Monday, March 25, 2013

Thirty-one: Trust

(This is the 3rd in a 10-post series)

"Her husband can trust her, and she will greatly enrich his life."    - Proverbs 31:11 NLT

As I dug into Proverbs 31:11 for this post, I looked up the word "trust" in the dictionary.  According to Merriam-Webster, 'trust ' means "assured reliance on the character, ability, strength, or truth of someone or something".  Being worthy of my husband's trust is very important to me. But I think trust is much more than Gene being assured that I'm faithful, reliable and truthful. I think that just scratches the surface. What a husband needs is to trust his wife with who he really is.

He needs to trust that I'm safe. He needs to know he can safely share his thoughts, fears and dreams with me.  My husband is a bold and visionary man who dreams big dreams,  who actually believes that nothing is impossible with God.  I love that about him. But that kind of fearlessness makes a practical, risk-averse girl like me quiver in her Sperrys! I have a hard time not being afraid out loud, which can make it tough for him to really trust me me with everything he's thinking or feeling.  God's not finished with me yet, and occasionally I get it right. Like the time he shared this completely crazy idea with me: he thought a movie theatre would be a great place for a church. (!!!!) True, I reacted badly at first.  But I listened and prayed (and cried) and supported him, and his dream became Crossroads. If our husbands are going to really trust us with who they really are, they need to know it's safe to share...or they won't.

He needs to trust that I'm strong. Many years ago, my husband traveled frequently for his job, logging hundreds of thousands of miles in the air. That meant it was just me at home with our four young children 4-5 days a week. Gene should have been able to trust in my strength, that I would do my part while he did his, for the good of our family. God had blessed him with a good job and he provided very well for us.  But growing up, my Dad was home for dinner every night, and my life-plan did not include my husband traveling. "I didn't sign up for this!" was my battle cry. I was so angry that instead of asking God for strength to manage well, I basically threw a decade-long temper tantrum, putting a serious strain on our marriage and family. Looking back, I guess he was able to trust that I would take good care of our kids and our home.  But I could have "greatly enriched his life" if he could have trusted me to do that with strength and joy.

He needs to trust that I'm committed.  The world is full of couples who promise to stay together "as long as you ..." or "if we both ..." or "as long as we feel ...". That kind of flimsy commitment falters in the face of loss or disappointment. My husband and I take our vow to stay married "until death do us part" very seriously. It's an uncommon level of commitment. We're going to love each other and stay together in sickness or in health, for richer or poorer, for better or worse. After thirty-three years of marriage, we're still 100% committed to finding a way through any hardship, not a way out.  A man who can trust in his wife's commitment to him is a man who is free to become all God has created him to be. There is something so fear-shattering, so life-giving and empowering about knowing the one you love is committed, come what may.

Prayer for Today:  Father, I want my husband to be able to trust me with who he really is. Help me -help us both- to grow in the grace and knowledge of You. In Christ's name, Amen. 

To read the other posts in this series, go here and enter "Thirty-one" in the 'search' box. 

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