We’ve been talking this week about building trust—one of the essential components of a successful marriage. It’s a bit like constructing a small house out of dominos. As you carefully lay them in place, each succeeding level depends on the previous one. The placement of each domino matters. If one is placed at an angle, the entire project will eventually come crashing down.
So it is with trust. Every aspect of marriage is connected. As we seek and follow God’s will for our lives, we behave in ways that earn trust from our husband or wife. As that trust grows, our mate becomes more open and vulnerable to us. As we share more of ourselves with each other, we achieve greater intimacy, which makes us more accountable to our partners and provides a better setting for encouraging each other in our spiritual lives.
One night in college I decided to tell Jim about my painful past— that my father was an abusive alcoholic. We had gone together for about a year before I revealed this secret. I didn’t know how Jim would react or if I could trust him with it. Actually, I was afraid the revelation might end our relationship. But as I talked, Jim put his arms around me and listened for a long time. When I was through, he told me that he had a new appreciation for me and for the strength I needed to live through such trying circumstances. Instead of driving us apart, my openness brought us closer together.
Clearly, you have to be very careful when choosing to share your intimate secrets. Some people will reject or hurt you or betray your confidence with others. However, one of the wonderful characteristics of love is that in a mature relationship, sharing leads to even greater trust. I hope that our conversations this week have already led you to a deeper experience of trust and confidence in each other.