Summary: Trust is the key ingredient for healthy relationships, but it inherently comes with the risk of betrayal.
• You cannot have happiness in relationships without trust.
• It is the key ingredient for healthy relationships.
• Trust creates safety, security and openness in relationships.
• But it inherently comes with risk of betrayal.
Matthew 26:21-26, “Truly I say to you that one of you will betray me.” Being deeply grieved, they each one began to say to Him, “Surely not I, Lord?” And He answered, “He who dipped his hand with me in the bowl is the one who will betray me. “The Son of Man is to go, just as it is written of Him; but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been good for that man if he had not been born.”
• We all fear betrayal but it was God’s plan for us to be together in relationship.
I. LEARNING TO TRUST IS LIFE-GIVING
• Trust violations have happened since humans have sinned.
Exodus 22:9, “For every breach of trust…the condemned will pay double.”
• The need to trust is so valuable to relationships; healthy people trust.
• Lonely people are more rejecting and judgmental of strangers. They live on an average 10 years less than those with relationships.
• People who trust others are not as gullible. They are in fact more able to detect who to trust and who not to trust. People with low trust tend to idolize or vilify others.
• Qualities in people to trust:
3. Accountability. They do what they say. They keep their word. If they are vague or unreachable don’t trust them.
4. Ethical – simply they are consistent with others, fair in their conduct.
5. Alliance – they have your back. If they say, “Just trust me.” Don’t! Watch their actions.
II. BETRAYAL KILLS
• Betrayal = the exposing or deceiving of ones who formerly trusted you.
Proverbs 25:9-10 NLT, “…don’t betray another person’s secret. You will never regain your good reputation.
Proverbs 20:19 NASB, “He who goes about as a slanderer reveals secrets, therefore do not associate with a gossip.”
• If trust is the foundation for all healthy relationships it makes sense that the loss of trust would be the greatest threat.
• Betrayal thrives in environments of low trust.
• But obviously as is the case with Judas, anyone in any situation is capable of betraying trust.
• Low trust is a process not usually an event.
• The great betrayal is sexual; an affair.
• Affairs begin when people justify wrong thinking and give themselves permission to cross small boundaries.
• Betrayal kills the soil of life. It destroys trust and breeds contempt, which always kills relationships.
III. THE ANATOMY OF AN AFFAIR
• Secrets destroy trust.
• A secret blossoms and an affair is beginning.
• Deception by omission becomes part of the lifestyle.
• Walls are breached and another person is allowed into the circle.
• Secrets create emotional distance that erodes relationships.
• The betrayal and affair begins with the very first secret.
• Permission is given to themselves to cross boundaries in small ways.
• Commitments are made conditional based upon the other person meeting your needs = a contract.
• Lies and deception – lies begin with omission
• Coalitions with others against the partner – talking negatively to others, children or friends about your partner
• Unfairness or lack of care
• Better to fight than hide. Successful relationships have two serious arguments a year on average, but this is good!
• Disrespect – compliments die, ridicule and mockery take over, cherishing ends
• Asserting of superiority over the partner takes place.
• Breaking vows and sacred promises.
• Only 11% of affairs lead to an actual long-term relationship.
IV. PREVENTING BETRAYAL
• Cherishing - key to trust that works – Ephesians 5
• Thalpo – root is to warm, as in your hands on a cold day - care for them.
• Respect and trust empower people and make relationships work.
• That is why the Bible talks so much about them.
I Peter 2:17 NLT - Show respect to all people.
• Learning to accept your partner’s annoying traits and cherishing them in spite of them is crucial to building trust.
• Those who cherish others are less likely to be destructive in conflict.
• They think of their partner when not together and are grateful for their partner’s qualities.
• Cherishing puts a large fence around other possible liaisons because the partner is present in their mind.
Proverbs 31:10-12, “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. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life.”