Last week’s post about promises got me thinking about commitment … and how important it is when it comes to keeping our promises. Since God has shown His commitment to us by being faithful, trustworthy and loving, shouldn’t we also do likewise one to another? God committed His one and only Son Jesus to die on a cross for our sins so that we may have eternal life. Jesus showed his commitment to God the father by obeying God even to his death on the cross. In the garden of Gethsemane Jesus prayed for God’s will to be done. Matthew 26:39 He went on a little farther and bowed with his face to the ground, praying, “My Father! If it is possible, let this cup of suffering be taken away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” Jesus paid the ultimate price for his commitment to God through the shedding of his blood and the death on the cross. That’s commitment! Have you ever given any thought to a commitment that you would be willing to die for?
I began thinking about marriage and commitment. As a Biblical Counselor, I do a lot of pre-marital and marital counseling. A theme I hear often is a lack of trust. In today’s fast pace world people are seeking instant gratification, wanting results with no work, and gaining benefits with no sacrifice. We jump into relationships too quickly and jump ahead of the stages God wants us to go through to build a healthy foundation for marriage. Not only does “doing relationships our way” typically end in a failed relationship but the baggage we collect as a result often affects our marriage when we finally do get it right. One of the biggest pieces of baggage people bring into a marriage is trust issues.
Trust is essential in all stages of a relationship from dating, engagement, and into marriage. It is vital for a marriage to remain healthy. Trust has to be continually built upon. It ‘s not something that you arrive at and then stop. So the question is how is trust built and maintained?
Trust is built on showing yourself loving and trustworthy. It involves hard work, respect, patience and understanding the needs of your spouse. 1 Peter 3:7 In the same way, you husbands must give honor to your wives. Treat your wife with understanding as you live together. She may be weaker than you are, but she is your equal partner in God’s gift of new life. Treat her as you should so your prayers will not be hindered. In this Bible verse Peter is telling us what the character of husbands should be. A husband should be understanding towards his wife by taking the time to know and understand her weaknesses and her strengths. He realizes that his authority as a husband and a leader does not make him superior, but they are both equal in all the gifts that God has provided for them. A husband and wife are to embrace their strengths and weaknesses and learn from them instead of using them against each other. They use their strengths to compliment one another. Where one is weak the other is strong and vice versa. This type of commitment prevents their prayers from being hindered for God sees all that they do.
Ephesians 5:21-33 Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church—for we are members of his body.“For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband.Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. This is the great mystery in that marriage should model Jesus’s sacrificial love for the church which is his body.
The husband and the wife are called to submit one to another out of their love for Jesus and their love for each other. Their submitting toward each other, in a loving way, lays a foundation for trust. This word submit has been misused and misunderstood all to often. The type of submission Jesus is talking about here is not because the wife is considered subservient and not done out of obligation. Rather, the wife’s submission is done out of love and respect for her husband. She desires to place herself under her husband’s loving protective care because he has demonstrated that he is trustworthy and committed to her and their marriage. She willingly submits to her husband’s unselfish love. This is how Jesus demonstrated his love for the church which he called his own body, But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8. From the very beginning of creation God intended for the husband and wife to be as one even as Jesus is one with God. Because of our sin nature this type of relationship requires time and patience. It’s a slow process of dying to our selfish desires and to seek the good of each other.
HERE ARE SOME TIPS ON BUILDING AND MAINTAINING TRUST
Tell the truth! Yes, it is as simple as that. Even though you may believe it to be the smallest of a lie, it can have long lasting, damaging effects.
Keep your promises – do what you say. Be honest with the person if you failed to keep your promise.
Don’t belittle the promises you make – realize the person may have placed more significance on the promise then you.
Be open and specific even when there is an opportunity to be vague, otherwise the person might feel that you’re hiding something.
My biggest tip is for us to recognize that we should want to do all we can to ensure that our spouses knows that we love them, are committed to them and that they can trust us. We shouldn’t look at this as a burden or something we wish we didn’t have to do. We must embrace this and find joy in it for these were the promises we made to each other in marriage.
Very dear friends of mine gave me and my wife a plaque, with the poem Marriage Takes Three, as a wedding gift. It reminds me of
Ecclesiastics 4:12 Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.
It is my prayer that this post has allowed Jesus to teach you somethings about marriage, promises, commitments and trust. What’s one thing you are committed to doing as a result of reading this post?
If you would like to contact me for prayer or to know more about a relationship with our Lord, Jesus Christ, please contact me by clicking on the envelop icon in the upper right hand corner.