Trust is a tricky thing. It is the foundation of every healthy relationship. It is the security that makes intimacy possible. It can be simultaneously strong and yet very fragile. It takes great effort and time to build, but it can be broken quickly.
Almost every relationship has encountered difficulties over broken trust. I would even argue that most difficulties in relationships stem directly from a breach of trust. Strong relationships (especially marriages) require strong trust, so here are a few ways to to build it (or rebuild it).
1. Don’t keep secrets.
In marriage, secrets are as dangerous as lies. Your spouse should have a “master key” to every part of your life. Never have a conversation you wouldn’t want them to hear, view a website you wouldn’t want them to see or go someplace you wouldn’t want them to know about. Complete transparency is vital to building complete trust.
2. Recognize the difference between forgiveness and trust.
Forgiveness and trust are two different things. When you’ve been wronged, you should give forgiveness instantly (which is “Grace”), but you should give your trust slowly (which is “common sense!”). Forgiveness by it’s very nature cannot be earned; it can only be given. Trust by it’s very nature cannot be given; it can only be earned. Forgiveness has to come first and then grace can pave the way to restoration and renewed trust.