Of course, even in the best of marriages, it is possible for husbands and wives to err and break the other's trust. That is why we must rely on God's power—not our own—if we hope to achieve an intimate marriage. It is only when husbands and wives commit themselves to living according to God's ways that a deep and lasting bond of trust develops between them. We can give our heart confidently to our spouse when we know that he or she is genuinely seeking to follow God and His guidelines.
Only confidence in God's faithfulness gives us the courage to remain vulnerably open, knowing that we might be hurt. In the 1993 movie Shadowlands, writer C.S. Lewis loved a woman who died prematurely. Her death was intensely painful to him, causing Lewis to question whether he should have permitted himself to care for her. He concluded in the last scene that we are given two choices in life. We can allow ourselves to love and care for others, which makes us vulnerable to their sickness, death, or rejection. Or we can protect ourselves by refusing to love. Lewis decided that it is better to feel and to suffer than to go through life isolated, insulated, and lonely. I agree strongly.
Yes, trusting your mate is risky. But the fulfillment of genuine intimacy makes the risk worthwhile.
Action Steps to Building Trust Together
• How deep is your trust in God? How much do you trust your partner? Talk together about how trust in the Lord can build trust in your marriage.
• Do you understand how strongly God feels about adultery? Read Exodus 20:14; Leviticus 18:20, 20:10; Proverbs 7; Malachi 3:5; Matthew 5:27–28; Mark 10:11–12; John 8:1–11; Romans 7:2–3; Ephesians 5:3–5; and Hebrews 13:4.
• Are you and your spouse both comfortable with each other's behavior around the opposite sex? Talk about guidelines that you can both agree on that will build hedges around your home.