The VIP of all relationships is TRUST.
I repeated that because it's so important. I've given you examples and tried to lay a framework for understanding trust. Every relationship, every relational issue will succeed or fail based on the level of trust.
I told you I would give you a list. Making that list has been a lot harder than I thought. Add to that some problems with my computer and it became even more difficult.
1. Children - They are born trusting you. They trust you to feed them and care for them. They trust you to be their protector and to provide for their needs. They trust you to teach them how to get along in this society. And they trust you to show them the way to a better life. Here's a few ways parents teach their children to mistrust them.
Don't yell at them or embarrass them in public. If you do, you become the enemy not the person they look to for guidance. By embarrassing them in public you have become a person who hurts not a person who protects.
Don't be a screamer at home for the same reasons. Also screaming teaches your child that you are out of control. How can you expect them to be "in control" if you are constantly "out of control."
Don't take away their childhood. Allow them to be their appropriate age. Always wanting them to act older than they are or to accept responsibility that's beyond their age will not only make them nervous - but will help them to mistrust you. If you push too hard, how can they trust you enough to understand their inner thoughts?
Don't betray their trust physically. It is your responsibility to protect that child. Think of yourself as a mother in the animal kingdom. You mess with any baby animal and that mother will fight you. My mom used to say that I reminded her of a lioness. Anyone messing with my cubs and I would pounce. I consider that a compliment. If you aren't that way and you allow others to hurt your child - your child won't trust you. And if you become the aggressor and hurt your child, it will be a long time before your child can trust you or anyone else.
2. Spouse - when you pledge your life to someone that requires trust on your part - but volumes of trust on their part. They have agreed to be linked to you for the rest of their lives. Whatever you do will affect them and sometimes will be worse for them than it is for you. When you allow mistrust to enter that sacred bond, you weaken your ability to love.
Be considerate. Treat your spouse "better" than you treat anyone else. Be willing to do little things for them and go out of your way to be kind.
Don't forget to say PLEASE AND THANK YOU. I think it's awful when spouses think it's okay to lose your manners at home. If your spouse takes the garbage out - YOU MUST SAY THANK YOU! When that wonderful spouse takes you out to dinner - don't forget to say THANK YOU! And men, if you have a wonderful wife who stays home and does all she can to provide good children and a beautiful home - it is your GOD GIVEN DUTY to say THANK YOU - OFTEN!
Don't take each other for granted.
My Dad, Dr. Ken Crocker has given many wonderful sermons on marriage. I will never forget one where he said "betrayal in a marriage is not limited to an affair. Anytime we betray our spouse in public by making fun of who they are or belittling what they do - we are guilty of infidelity.
Webster's defines infidelity: An unfaithful or disloyal act, unfaithfulness or disloyalty to another.
Wouldn't that cause mistrust? How can you trust someone who is selling your reputation up the river for the sake of a joke or a moment in the spotlight?
Be the greatest supporter of your spouse and they will not only trust you, they will give you undying love.
3. Your Church - how many times have you betrayed your church? Promised to stand by another member during a hard time, promised to pray - but you got busy and forgot. Promised to let others at work or in your neighborhood know about the church, but you were too embarrassed. How many times has someone asked you where you went to church and you acted like you were embarrassed to answer?
How many times have you disrespected God's house? Have you taught your children to be respectful?
A little soap box of mine. Why do we think we are opening up the heart of God more when we allow people to dress like bums when they attend church? We are saying to them, "Come hear about a man who gave his all for you. He died on a cross. He shed his blood. He loves you with everything he is and all he represents. And guess what? You can come and disrespect him all you want. You can wear tee shirts that proclaim ungodly things. You can wear your worst clothes, not shower, don't even brush your teeth or comb your hair. You can sit in church wrapped up in someone else or even sleep through the service. It's all okay, because even if he died for you - you can disrespect him all you want." We constantly preach that God is awesome and the greatest thing in heaven and on earth, but we allow them to disrespect him as if he were a bum sitting in the back of a public bus.
B A L O N E Y! I believe that if you truly love God he will love you back. But I also believe that if you truly love him you will WANT to give him all the respect he deserves. You will take a lesson from Cain and Able in Genesis and you will bring him your "BEST" fruits. You will clean up, dress up and act like somebody.
Well, as you can see the list for taking TRUST into our everyday lives could go on forever. Just remember that real trust hides in the most unlikely places. Over the last few days I have notes for 137 ways we can expand TRUST and develop better relationships.
Here's my final tip. Ask yourself if your family or your friends were all sitting in a circle and talking about you - what would they say?
Would they say things like, "I could always count on her to be there."
"He never let me down. Every time I wanted to talk he was ready."
"If She made a promise, you could take it to the bank."
"He was the most trusted person I know."
"My life was better because I could TRUST her to be at her best."
"He supported me and never left my side. I TRUST him."
It really isn't hard you know. In any situation you face, ask yourself one question - if I were on the other side, what would I hope others would do? In other words, "Do unto others as you would have them do unto you."
God loves you,