Can you be trusted?


Trust thrives in an atmosphere of effective communication and commitment. There is trust in a family where there is communication and commitment that has passed the test of time. Trust takes time and effort. It is easily broken and hard to restore; but if you are willing to put to work what it takes to make it work, the reward is the successful family you have always dreamt of.

What is Trust?  
The Oxford dictionary defines trust as the firm belief in the reliability, truth or strength of a person; confident expectation, obligation or responsibility; the state of being relied upon. That is why the Psalmist said of the Lord in Psalms 18:2- "The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."

In a practical sense, trust means that you place confidence in someone to be honest with and faithful to you, and not abandon you. You cannot touch, taste, see, smell or hear trust; yet, no successful family or anyone desiring one can live a day without its effect. Trust is part of our daily life. Each time we flip a switch, sit on a chair, and turn the doorknob, we trust that something we expect will happen. Often, we do not even need to pray or fast before we take these actions. Why? We have over the time come to realise that these things respond naturally to our touch.

Trust is not a gift. It is a virtue built through experience and over a period of time. Trust is reciprocal. The more you express your trust to members of your household, the more they respond to you in trust. You can also rebuild trust in broken relationships when you make a choice to do so with the supernatural help of God. Trust grows over time. Building trust takes time, and you need to show your partner that you are trustworthy, and that you trust them in return.

"As for God, his way is perfect: the word of the LORD is tried: he is a buckler to all those that trust in him."  Psalms 18:30
Even God's Word is tried first before trust in it can be developed, and this takes time. The same goes for building a successful family. Your family relationship must come to a point where everyone responds to the other truthfully. You cannot have a successful family if each time one member of the family says or does a thing, you are second-guessing their real intent and rephrasing their statements and/or actions, to fit into your own agenda.

Why Trust?  
The very essence of life depends on trust. You go to bed at night with a perfect plan for the next day, because you trust you will wake up the next morning. You eat your food knowing that your body network is designed to digest the food. You go to work everyday, trusting that the job you closed from yesterday is still there waiting for you. You breathe freely without bothering to crosscheck the oxygen level or quality of the air. All these actions are performed without concern, because of trust.

No successful family relationship can survive an environment devoid of trust between members. A married couple must learn to trust each other. If your marriage must work, you need to be able to trust your spouse with your past, present and future.
Marriage is dependent on the confident belief that you are loved and accepted the way you are.  The knowledge of the fact that you are loved the way you are helps you relax and let down your guard.  It makes room for honesty without fear of rejection, and that feels good.  One of the virtues of a woman aptly painted in Proverbs 31:11 is this: "The heart of her husband doth safely trust in her, so that he shall have no need of spoil."

Children born in a home where there is an open display of trust grow up more emotionally balanced than those bred in an atmosphere of dishonesty. They are more confident in life and approach issues with a right sense of judgment. The reason we have many children in all manner of vices today is because the vital key of trust is missing. They do not feel their parents' trust, and so really care less if any other person wants to trust them. They develop a rebellious spirit and are very self-defensive, even when there is no need for it.

How to build Trust
If trust is this important, then how do you build it?  Trust does not naturally happen between two people or members of a family, even though they love each other. It takes work and a commitment to build. Your past experiences sometimes may affect your ability to trust. If you had been hurt in the past, it can be especially difficult. The good news, however, is that in Christ there is hope.

In building trust, you need to be truthful. Be truthful to your spouse and family members. Don't be found to say one thing today and another tomorrow on the same issue. There is no substitute for truth! Your yea must be found to be yea, and your nay found to be nay. If you are a person with double standards, it becomes difficult to trust you.

Even with your children, always say what you mean. The home becomes an untrustworthy environment when people make threats or say things they don't mean. They become empty words. So all the, "I will beat you" threats you issue to your children that have become a play sentence will only destroy their level of trust in your words and person. It is very important that members of your household can trust what you say.  It is only men of truth that are considered for positions of responsibility.
It is very important that spouses in a marriage respect, appreciate, and fulfill their marriage vows to each other. That is the only way to build trust. Remember that trust is built over a period of time. It is in the keeping of your vows to one another that trust is built. Trust cannot thrive in a home where there is no respect or regard for each other and the vows of marriage binding you to each other. When you deal treacherously with your spouse, even God is offended.

Also, building trust demands that you be loyal to your spouse, especially in his/her absence. Loyalty breeds trustworthiness.

The word loyal is defined by the American Heritage Dictionary to mean "steadfast in allegiance to one's home… faithful to a person, ideal, custom, cause, or duty." Loyalty means a feeling or attitude of devoted attachment and affection. It means faithfulness to a person or a cause."

In other words, loyalty demands that your allegiance to your spouse and family must be in place, in order for you to build a successful family. Don't betray any of your family members. Betrayal destroys trust. For instance, as a mother, when your children trust you with some information, it is not for you to make it the subject of your dinner time conversation. A child in that situation will find it very difficult to entrust you with any other information he/she considers private and confidential.

Talking about the loyalty of Jesus, a writer said: "When we look at Jesus, we see that He did not live with a sense of open options. He was steadfast in His allegiance to the will of His father in heaven. He was faithful to His twelve disciples, bearing with them through thick and thin.  Long after you and I would have given up on them, He was loyal to them."
Loyalty demands that whatever you can't say in the presence of a family member, you should not be found saying it in his/her absence. In the same vein, what you will be ashamed to be identified with, don't say either in his/her presence or absence.

Benefits of Trust 
Trust is fundamental in building a successful family, because it creates an environment for intimacy to grow between family members. True and lasting intimacy can only be built with trust as its backbone. Just as building trust takes time, so does intimacy; it does not grow naturally, and it is not something that can be enforced. Intimacy will only thrive where everyone feels a sense of safety and confident trust in the integrity of the other members involved.

Intimacy is defined as "a feeling of being intimate and belonging together; close in friendship or acquaintance." What trust does in a family is to bring all the members of the family closer together, with a sense of true belonging one to another in an atmosphere of true friendship.

A family that enjoys intimacy must of a necessity command the blessings of the Lord. For:  "Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity…for there the LORD commanded the blessing, even life for evermore.”  Psalms 133: 1, 3

Children brought up in an atmosphere of true intimacy are usually very emotionally balanced. They find it easier to resist and overcome peer pressures, because they feel so much love and affection from their family members such that no void exist that is yearning for satisfaction. Intimacy involves both physical and emotional interaction. Emotional intimacy helps to breed an open sharing of feelings, experiences and thoughts in a very honest way among family members.

Secondly, trust eliminates fear.  "Behold, God is my salvation; I will trust, and not be afraid: for the LORD JEHOVAH is my strength and my song; he also is become my salvation."  Isaiah 12:2

Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of trust in building a successful family is the elimination of fear. Fear is a spirit, which gives birth to jealousy and insecurity in a family setup. These are destroyers of peace in the family.

Fear is defined as "a feeling of agitation and anxiety caused by the presence or imminence of danger." Sometimes the feeling of insecurity among family members leads to an unwarranted apprehension of marital unfaithfulness. Trust helps to eliminate this. Trust is also defined as "firm reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing." When the integrity of members of a family can be attested to, then the spirit of fear is completely eliminated in the family setup.

With the elimination of fear in any family comes strength. Confidence in the integrity and character of members of a family releases the strength to work together to make things work. The force of unity in the home becomes the secret of their Christian testimony.

"The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."
- Psalm 18:2

In conclusion, please note that trust takes time and patience to build. It is not a gift; it is a virtue that requires a conscious, deliberate effort to build; and it begins with you.

By Pastor David Koin
Winners’ Chapel International

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