These may be the scariest words in marriage: Trust your husband.
Do those words bring to mind a cartoon-like image of your kids leaving the house in pants either two sizes too big or three inches too short? Their outfits — a mix of plaid and stripes — loudly proclaim, “Dad dressed me today!” Do you have visions of a dinner of burnt oatmeal and orange pop? Or your laundry turning a grungy pink because your husband forgot to sort the colors before throwing everything in the wash?
And now you’re reading an article about trusting your husband? Sure. Why not?
All joking aside, the question remains: What difference would it make in your marriage if you really trusted your husband? What if — this Father’s Day — you gifted him with trust? Would such a gift benefit him? Would it benefit you? How do you start?
Trust brings benefits
First things first: If your husband is making poor decisions that affect your health, marriage and family, this article isn’t for you. Talk to a licensed marriage counselor for advice on your current situation. If, however, you and your husband are struggling through day-to-day issues and are looking for ways to strengthen your marriage, here’s a place to start.
Why trust your husband? He makes decisions differently — and they’re not always the same decisions you’d make. It’s OK to feel nervous about handing off projects or duties to your husband. After all, you’ve worked hard to develop a system. But trusting your husband can help him grow in a couple of specific ways:
- Trust gives your husband the opportunity to see the consequences (negative or positive) of his decisions.
- Trust helps your husband feel confident. He may even take on additional responsibilities as he grows comfortable with being a part of your daily routine.
- Trust gives your husband the opportunity to learn to trust you. As your husband learns how (and why) you do things a certain way, he can also gain a deeper appreciation for your skills and insights.
- Trust brings vulnerability. It’s nearly impossible to trust someone without opening your heart to him or her. As you extend trust to your husband, he becomes more comfortable with trusting you and opening his heart to you.
Trust starts small
In Matthew 25:14-30, Jesus shares the Parable of the Talents. While Jesus used the parable to remind us that we will one day give an account of our service to Him, Jesus’ story also speaks about trust. “A man going on a journey … called his servants and entrusted to them his property … each according to his ability.” No one man received the masters’ entire property. The master trusted each servant with a small amount of money. The wise servants, empowered by their master’s trust, served him faithfully and were rewarded with a higher degree of trust.
As you and your husband work to build trust in your marriage, it’s important to start small. Trust is given and earned one day at a time … one situation at a time. Whether you’ve just married or are celebrating a milestone anniversary, trust starts small and requires time.
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Trust requires communication
Before Era Londhe sent her husband to market, she gave her husband a simple, but detailed shopping list. To help him choose the right kind of tomatoes, onions and potatoes for her cooking needs, she added helpful hints and sketches to the list. She had no way of knowing that the entire world would soon see her shopping list. While some social media commenters claimed she treated her husband like a child, most responses — especially from men — praised her for sharing such clear-cut, easy-to-follow instructions.
Marriage is more complicated than grocery shopping, but Londhe’s list is an example of good communication. Because she was willing to share her expectations, her husband was able to pick up the right ingredients at the market.
It’s easy to forget that communication involves sharing our expectations and intentions. What if — instead of hoping your spouse gets it right — you shared your expectations upfront? Maybe that means explaining why the dishes should face a certain way in your dishwasher. Or telling him why routines are important for your kids. It also involves listening to his ideas and reasons for why he does things in a specific order. When you communicate your needs and expectations to your spouse, you build trust in the marriage. When you build trust, you can feel confident that your husband understands your expectations. In return, he feels validated because you recognize his work and willingness to share the load.
Trust needs grace
Trust is earned day by day but can be broken in an instant. Sometimes, it’s the big things — an affair or willful and wrong financial decisions — that cause hurt. But in most marriages, it’s the little things that cause the greatest pain. How should you deal with the little things that break your trust and hurt your marriage?
Colossians 3:12-14 provides a blueprint for dealing with those little things (and even some of the big ones). “Put on then, as God’s chosen ones, holy and beloved, compassionate hearts, kindness, humility, meekness and patience … and above all these, put on love, which binds everything together in perfect harmony.”
Despite his best intentions, your husband will make mistakes. What should you do when he’s disappointed you or messed up your system? Address it. With grace. No, it’s not easy. But God willingly extends His grace and wants to help you deal with the daily frustrations that pop up in even the best of marriages.
Trust is a gift
What if you gave your husband your trust? Or opened your heart to the possibility of learning to trust him? Father’s Day is coming. Trust can be a scary word … or it can be an opportunity to strengthen your marriage and watch God use your gift of trust to challenge your husband to become a more trustworthy man.