Trust and Honesty is the foundation of any relationship and in a family it is crucial. Trust creates that foundation and feeling of safety for family members to truly become the best version of themselves. Here are some ways you can build trust in your family:
- Make a commitment to honesty
Honesty is crucial in marriage because trust provides the foundation in an intimate relationship and honesty breeds trust. Your spouse needs to know they can trust you to tell the truth no matter how hard or unpleasant it is. However parents in particular need to pay attention to both modeling honesty and emphasis zing honesty in order for children to learn it. I figured out pretty early in life that honesty was the better option even if it was about something wrong I had done.
- Know that certain information must be kept confidential
Can you imagine a marriage where partners feel they cannot be vulnerable with each other for fear that what they shared will be the subject of conversation in another setting? This is usually a problem for women more than men but husbands also need to ensure that they are sensitive to things their wives would rather keep private. Children must also be taught confidentiality. They must learn not repeat embarrassing things that may happen in the home. They must learn to be mindful of the feelings of others. In other words, if you’re about to say something about a family member and you know that if they were to find out it would damage your relationship, break trust, embarrass them unnecessarily or hurt their feelings, don’t say it. Cut out all gossiping. It is a good rule of thumb to always make a good representation of others in your speech. It feels so awesome when someone tells me something nice a family member told them about me.
- Check in with each other
For my husband and I, one of us will check in with the other at least once during the day while we’re apart. Aside from being a sweet gesture, it means he knows where I am and I know where he is. We know each other’s plans for the day and we can pray for each other and it also builds trust.
- Be open with each other
In a family, there’s no room for being shady and trying to keep parts of our lives to ourselves. Be open about your life, your plans and your friends. Even though you and your spouse may work in different locations and share different circles of friends, there should be no secrecy about your activities and who your friends are. If possible, introduce your spouse to your friends. For our children’s own good and protection, we also need to have them be open to us as parents about their friends and activities.
- Be a safe place
Proverbs 31:11 says “An excellent wife, who can find? For her worth is far above jewels. The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain.” If Solomon were to write about a virtuous husband, he would probably say the same thing. Being a safe place includes confidentiality but also means being non-judgmental and quick to listen. Many a marital affair has begun just because someone needed a safe place where they could talk, confide and be comforted. Many a child could be saved from becoming wayward if home was a place where they could unload the challenges of growing up. Your spouse and children must be able to trust that you will not hurt them. How do you respond to them when they’ve had a bad day…again? Are they allowed to talk about hurt and pain from the present or the past? Are you a good listener or do you jump to telling them what they need to do? Do you have a ‘get over it’ attitude? Many relationships are unfulfilled because vulnerability is not allowed to take place. Resist the urge to judge your children. Stop what you’re doing and sit and listen to them, pray with them about their challenges and don’t make them feel like it was a mistake to talk to you. You need them to talk to you so you can guide them into adulthood.
- Keep your interaction with the other sex above board
Husband and wives, guard your heart. Your spouse needs to see and know and trust that you make the effort to preserve your relationship by not allowing the devil to have any wiggle room. Some simple ways to do this are to limit time spent alone with the opposite sex. Ensure your conversations and comments are not too intimate or give wrong impressions. We must shun even the very appearance of evil. Guard your heart.
What are some things that you do to build and maintain a high level of trust in your family? Share in the comments below!
Love and blessings