I’m writing this post to help you gain insight into how wise you’re being and how well you’re doing on trusting your spouse. It’s always necessary to have certain boundaries and biblical principles in mind when granting trust, especially if your spouse has consistently acted in untrustworthy ways.
No where in Scripture does God expect you to immediately trust a spouse who’s betrayed your trust, especially when true regret and improvement are not evident in your mate’s life.
Even God doesn’t grant trust in those cases!
He is patient and cautious with every offender (Psalm 103:8).
And God expects us to be patient and cautious with others like He is as well (Proverbs 14:15)!
I’m so grateful to have a spouse who has been nothing but trustworthy, making it fairly easy for me to trust him. It’s “fairly” easy because of my own fears and trust issues that come into play at times. This is why it’s important to gauge how trusting we are of our spouses, as well as knowing when to trust.
Perhaps you’ve been betrayed by your spouse. If that’s the case, it will take much more time and effort for you to regain your footing. Even then, there are no guarantees your trust can or should be won back.
Still, it’s important to always do your part, while never demanding your spouse to do his or her part (Romans 12:18) …
Now, encouraging trustworthy actions and transparency are another matter!
[bctt tweet=”Trust and boundaries go hand-in-hand in our marriages, built on a culture of transparency and truth. Find out what the Bible says are other ways to build trust in marriage at MM! #Trust #marriage” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
Sometimes we don’t trust simply because we’ve been in abusive or hurtful relationships in the past. This inventory will help you to make the distinction between a healthy withholding of trust and unhealthy cynicism.
How Trusting are You of Your Spouse?
Click on the link to download “Trusting Inventory” and to calculate your overall score.
Hover over each Scripture to see where the questions spring from—scoring yourself based on these: 1 never; 2 rarely; 3 sometimes; 4 often; 5 almost always.
1. I make it my aim to overlook my spouse’s behavior(s) that annoy but don’t really hurt me, believing this is a wise and gracious way to show my love (1 Peter 4:8).
Honestly, this is a hard one for me, so I’ll give myself a 3. I do work on letting annoyances go and extending grace/love, but it’s still something of a work-in-progress in my life.
Be wise in how you view this question! You could be overlooking sins, not just annoyances. That would be unwise! Perhaps you might want to memorize 1 Peter 4:8—praying it the next time your spouse does something annoying. 😉
2. I’m careful to guard against bitterness building up in my heart against my spouse—continually working to resolve our differences openly (Proverbs 4:23).
If it weren’t for that last part—“continually working to resolve differences”—I’d be a 3 here too. But because I continually work on resolving differences, I’m going to give myself a 4.
If you struggle here, remind yourself of the truth of Proverbs 4:23—everything in your life is being affected by your bitterness toward your mate. Puts things into perspective fast!
3. When my spouse repeatedly commits major offenses against me, I confront, call in support, set boundaries and withhold trust until I see evidence of real repentance (Matthew 18:15-17).
My spouse and I are both 5‘s here. We work very hard to deal with and resolve every serious offense committed in our marriage. It’s what has moved us from very messy most of the time, to only slightly messy in moments.
If you struggle here, it might be because you’ve neglected to do as Matthew 18:15-17 commands. Seek the help of your pastor before it’s too late!
4. Once I’ve taken my own sins seriously and repented, I make it my aim to lovingly help my spouse see any “speck” or “log” in his/her eye (Matthew 7:4-5).
I am a 4 here. Though I do take my sin very seriously and work to resolve offenses in my marriage, I often “casually” confront in the heat of the moment. For some crazy reason, I often think I can “reason” with my spouse when the heat of hurt feelings fires up.
If you struggle here, pay attention to this principle from Jesus. You’ll be surprised at how much this can deescalate the way you approach any problem with your spouse.
5. I gladly embrace my spouse’s flaws and failures, especially when he/she gives evidence of working toward unity in our relationship (1 Corinthians 1:10).
This one is probably a 4, only because of the last statement about working toward unity. It always amazes me how very much I’m motivated to be gracious when I see my spouse supporting and respecting me in turn.
If you struggle here, ask yourself if this is really about you expecting perfection. That could be the culprit!
If your mate isn’t embracing your flaws, then you might have reason to withhold some level of trust. Just find godly support to know how to navigate this painful situation.
6. I consider how open, humble and willing my spouse is to confess his/her failures and sins to me when gauging whether or not to trust him/her—giving when it’s deserved (James 5:16; Proverbs 12:22).
This one is a 5 for me. Confession and prayer, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, is one of my and my husband’s strong suits.
This is an important standard to hold yourself and your mate to. If you’re the one not confessing, start out small, building up with each confession. But if your mate isn’t confessing, give them time to see you model this new way of relating. In time, they will probably follow suit.
7. I hold myself to the same biblical standard as I do my spouse—letting this guide me in how well I can trust and be trusted by him/her (Matthew 7:12).
Ah, the golden rule! I’ll give myself a 5 here because this rule is really motivating to me! That’s because I’ve seen the benefits of keeping this in place all throughout my life and marriage!
If you struggle to hold yourself to this biblical standard, guilt and deception will eventually take over your heart. And if you aren’t using this as a guideline for how and when to trust your mate, you’ll be building on a shaky foundation.
8. I do not allow my spouse to treat me disrespectfully or harshly without lovingly, but firmly asking him/her to make things right with me (Proverbs 19:19; Ephesians 4:15).
This is one that both my spouse and I do well. So I’m giving myself/us a 4 here. I would give myself a 5 but I’m deducting a point because I’m not always great about speaking the truth in love.
If you struggle here, ask God to give you the courage to lovingly confront your spouse’s sinful behavior before it completely undermines your sense of safety and trust in your spouse. And if your spouse isn’t calling you to give account for bad behavior, consider asking them to start today!
9. I pay attention to who my spouse hangs out with and use this as something of a helpful indicator for how much I can trust him/her (1 Corinthians 15:33).
My spouse and I are both very picky about the people we hang out with, choosing those who love God and are striving to honor Him with their lives. So I’ll give myself/us a 5 here.
If you or your spouse struggle here, then seek the help of a counselor or pastor to guide and support you on how to set this boundary in your own life and/or with your spouse.
10. When my spouse grows quiet and/or withdrawn, I don’t take it personally, but rather show great interest in listening to his/her heart (Proverbs 20:5).
I’m a 5 here, mostly because my career as a counselor has trained me to offer this rare and precious gift, especially to those who are hurting. It’s certainly helped to deepen my husband’s trust in me.
If you or your spouse are not offering this to each other regularly, make a point to do so moving forward. You’ll be surprised how much this softens your mate’s heart toward you and opens your heart to your mate.
[bctt tweet=”Come by MM to take another marriage inventory that will reveal how trusting you are of your mate—giving you ideas from Scripture for how to navigate this, especially when trust has been betrayed. #Trust #betrayal #marriage” username=”BethSteffaniak”]
My application for this week will be to work on #1. So when my husband does something that annoys me, I’m going to let it go to God, extending grace to my mate. Click here to view/download the How Trusting am I of My Spouse? to know how to tabulate your overall score. Then choose one area of weakness to formulate an action point like I did and am! Click Insight for 2020 Series to find all the other posts in this series. Click here to request to be added to the private FB group that’s supporting one another in this Insight for 2020 effort!
Be sure to join me next week when Patsy Burnette of Instaencouragements.com will be helping us to understand emotional differences in marriage. Intrigued? I hope so!
Which of the statements in the inventory are you going to work on and how?
What’s the bottom line for you? Do you need to trust your spouse more or are you following these principles?
I’m excited to be announcing I’m hosting another WORTHY Bible study on Facebook, starting the week of April 5th. And what better time to get started on studying the names of God than the week before Easter? This study will allow you to prepare your heart for Resurrection Day and all that it means! Plus, you’ll be able to make the most of this time physically isolating from others during the crisis by getting into God’s word—ultimately getting into God! This study will provide the prime opportunity to familiarizing yourself with who God is and how He operates, so that you won’t freak out with all the scary events happening all around us!
It’s a total win-win! Click this link—Names of God—to go to the group. Then request to be added and I’ll get on it ASAP!
Here are some other lovely linkups I join – Inspire Me Monday, Literary Musing Mondays, Purposeful Faith, Tell His Story, InstaEncouragements Linkup, Recharge Wednesday, Worth Beyond Rubies Wednesday, Tune in Thursday, Heart Encouragement, Grace and Truth, and Faith on Fire Friday.
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