Trust is a key component to any relationship, especially the marital relationship. Communication, intimacy, and happiness are all built upon trust.
But at times our spouses let us down. We let our spouses down. And we are left to wonder if it is safe to trust.
While we must address trust within the marriage relationship, there is an even more foundational trust that will help us not be shaken. Our trust must first be in God before it can be safe in any person. But what does trust even mean? The dictionary tells us:
- reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.
- confident expectation of something; hope.
- confidence in the certainty of future payment for property or goods received; credit.
Do we rely on God’s integrity and strength?
“Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and will not be afraid; for the Lord God is my strength and my song, and he has become my salvation.” Isaiah 12:2
To trust in God is to believe His Word, even if our own feelings or circumstances appear to contradict it. If our feelings or circumstances contradict God’s Word, which do we place our trust in? Which do we count on as more true? Are we brave enough to deny ourselves, to contradict ourselves, and instead choose to believe God’s revealed truth?
When He says, “For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses” (Matthew 6:14-15), do we make our decisions based upon that or upon our feelings? Do we tell ourselves that God wouldn’t ask us to do something that we didn’t want to do, didn’t feel like doing, or thought was too hard? Then we are trusting our own hearts rather than God’s Word.
He says, “Forgive.” Obey Him. Trust that He is asking you to do what is ultimately for your good, for your marriage’s good. Rely on God’s Word rather than your own inclinations. As the old hymn says, “Trust and obey, for there’s no other way, to be happy in Jesus, but to trust and obey.”
To trust in God means that your hope for the future rests in Him and not in yourself, not in your spouse, not in your children, and not in your marriage. Your spouse might die. Divorce is terrible, but possible in this broken world. Children might even die, and could possibly reject you. These are tragedies that we do not want to consider, but if our hope is placed primarily in our dreams for our family, our family quickly becomes an idol. God removing our idols can be a mercy to us in the long run, because He is the only sure thing, the only place it’s safe to rest our hope. Anything in this world is unreliable, subject to brokenness, subject to decay, subject to disappointment. God is the only One who does not change.
“Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God.” – Psalm 20:7
Is your hope anchored on the shifting sand of a happy family or on the solid rock of Christ? A happy family is a good thing and a blessing, but even blessings make bad gods. Would you, could you be happy if all you had was Christ? If everything else was stripped away? Would Christ be sufficient for you? Is He your hope not only for the next world, but even in this world?
Do you give God the credit He deserves? Of course giving God credit includes worshipping Him for all He is and does, but it also means trusting that He will make good on all His promises. Even when it looks like all is dark and difficult, do you remain certain that He will deliver you?
“In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” – Psalm 56:4
God promises in Romans 8:28-29, “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son.” Do we trust God when He tells us this? Do we have “confidence in the certainty of future payment for property or goods received,” as the dictionary puts it? Are we willing to wait for it, trusting Him even when we don’t understand?
We can trust God’s promises, because God keeps His promises. He tells us that his purpose for us is to be conformed to the image of his Son. That takes hardship. God is not promising us a happy and comfortable life, always full of non-stop material and emotional blessings. He promises that He will work in us to make us holy and blameless, a bride without spot or blemish. That is why we can “Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.” (James 1:2-4)
Although human relationships do require trust, it is our own trust in our holy, loving Father that matters more than anything else. Let us all pray not only for solutions to our problems, but more importantly, for God to give us greater and greater trust in Him.
“Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us.” Psalm 62:8