Trust and commitment are the pillars of any healthy relationship. As such, it is imperative to ensure the maintenance of these pillars. If these pillars start to decay, so too will the relationship.
So then, what is trust and how do we maintain it? Simply put, trust is a choice. It is something you choose to do every day. When counselling couples, Julie and I talk about “default positions”. A default position is simply a position you default to when things get rough, an argument breaks out or you think they’re behaving a certain way towards you. It’s the mindset you revert to when you’re unsure of something.
For Julie and I, we have established that our default position is trust and commitment. If I do something, make a mistake or she mishears me, while her initial reaction might be hurt or offence, (and that could be a legitimate feeling because despite all appearances, I’m not perfect) rather than take offence or dwell in that hurt she knows that I love her, trust her and am committed to her. It’s the same with me: my default position is always that Julie trusts me and is committed to me, regardless of what the situation might be.
For many couples, this isn’t their default position. Their default position can be self-centred and “me” oriented rather that “us” oriented. The default position for any healthy marriage needs to be no matter what, you will always choose to trust and nurture the other person because it’s not about you as an individual any more, it’s about you as a couple.
For Julie and I it goes back to our wedding vows. The essence of which is that we both committed to always seek the best for each other regardless of circumstance. As a couple we must always remember this and choose it again each day.
And that’s the second pillar: commitment. When you know your spouse is equally as committed to your relationship as you are, it feeds right back into the first pillar of trust. Choose everyday to commit yourself to giving your best to your spouse and trust that they are doing the same and you will see your marriage strengthened.
Remember, God has put you together for a reason and if you trust in God as you should you can relax in his goodness and his blessing of your marriage. “Trust in the Lord with all you heart and lean not on your own understanding.” (Proverbs 3:5) Time and again we are exhorted to trust in the Lord, trust in Jesus and His unfailing and perfect love for us. If He has brought the two of you together then He has predestined good works for you to do together. (Ephesians 2:10) He has equipped you for marriage and will help you in maintaining your marriage.
Commit yourselves to each other daily, trust in the Lord who has brought you together and trust in each other.