How do I know I can trust you?

“Trust me!”

The howling winds swallow the words as another wave pounds the rock to which the terrified swimmer clings. The winchman lowers the line, little by little; rescue is imminent. But the rock seem more secure, safer even, than the arms of a rescuer hanging precariously over the wild waters.

Helicopter rescue

“Trust me!” the call comes again. With heart pounding and in spite of the fear, he takes the plunge; relaxing his grip on the rock he surrenders himself to the uncertainty, to the grasp of his saviour.

Trust: the reliance or confidence in the ability of something or someone to do what is asked of it. It grows as we consistently prove the capability of something or someone to do what is asked of them. We trust a chair to take our weight. We trust a friend to keep a confidence. We trust the coastguard to save us from the storm.

Perhaps the best image of trust is a small child. Completely dependent, they trust every word spoken to them. It is natural for a child to trust. As we grow up and experience failure and disappointment we become guarded. Not wanting to allow ourselves to be taken in by the unscrupulous, or hurt by inability, we learn to doubt.

Relationships cannot be built without trust; it is the foundation on which each brick of our relationship must be laid. But it’s not just about how we respond to others. It is about others trusting us. “Do I trust my spouse?” but equally importantly, “does my spouse trust me?”

The need for trust permeates every area of a marriage. Without it every decision made and every vulnerability shared becomes a cause of doubt, pain and stress.

Am I trustworthy? How have I demonstrated this recently? Have I broken a trust that I need to repair?

Do I need to be more trusting? Am I undermining my spouse’s confidence by failing to trust where it is due?

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