From the day we are born we learn to trust. That newborn trusts, after having their needs met for 9 months in the mother’s womb, that they will continue to receive the nourishment needed to exist. Isn’t that often how we describe a baby….that they are so trusting and how could anyone betray that trust? And as they learn to believe and trust, their needs are met. If it happens that they grow and they are not supplied with their physical or emotional needs, then the child will learn to think that is a normal way to behave and have a warped view of trust and of love.
When we as parents teach our children and discipline them as they need to be, we trust they are learning to obey us. We tell them when they are little the things that are safe and good for them and those that are not. By the time they go to school we hope that they know to look both ways before crossing the street, and not to talk to strangers and to do as educators tell them to do when they are in school. We also trust that the teachers do what is necessary to help our child learn.
As our children grow older and enter their teen years, we hope that what we have instilled in them regarding self-esteem and making good choices, that they will not participate with those that get into drinking alcohol and taking drugs. They earn our trust when we see how they are handling situations like this. We want to trust them in order that they might grow into adults, able to make right decisions about their life.
In marriage there comes another kind of trust and perhaps this is one of the most important times in our lives, when we need to be able to trust that person with whom we have decided to share our life. This is perhaps the time that if trust has been betrayed, it is one of the hardest things to get back. But it can be earned again with time, effort and love in a great number of cases. If trust has been broken multiple times, or the situation was so egregious then perhaps it can never be so.
Having said this, with God as our guide and helper all things become possible. I believe the most important issue with gaining or regaining trust is proving that you deserve it. From the time we are born and old enough to be trusted, when it is betrayed we can restore people’s faith in us with an acknowledgement of our failing and a promise to renew their faith in us and then following through and doing just that.
Of course the ‘ultimate’ trust is that of trusting in Jesus …. He is always faithful and just.