The old adage holds true. It's almost cliche, but we all know what it means when we hear people talking about how trust is built, right? Trust is built one little droplet at a time, and yet trust is lost in courts and gallons, right? We know that to be true in our own life, in our own experience. That one lie can completely devastate years of trust that's been building in a relationship. There's very little that is more devastating and destructive to a marriage than deceit. Dishonesty destroys the closest of relationships. Let me say that again. Dishonesty destroys the closest of relationships. As a counselor—in working with just a multiplicity of different struggles, different suffering, different sins and difficulties—dishonesty, lying deceit, that changes the dynamic and makes it far more complex and far more difficult as we're working with people caught up in struggles.

Now when it comes to marriage from the very beginning, Genesis 2, Moses says, "Therefore, a man shall leave his father and mother and be united or cling to or cleave to his wife, and the two shall become one flesh." The two shall become one flesh, one body, and the essential quality of a one flesh, of a one body is honesty, is openness, is transparency, is truthfulness, right? Paul says as much when he's talking about the body in Ephesians 4 verse 25, he said, talking about the body of believers where Christ is the head, we are his body. He says, "Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor." Why? For we are members of one another. He's not talking about members as if we're an association together. No, we are connected organically together. Each body, each person is a different essential body part. Now imagine what would happen if you're going for a hike along the edge of a canyon and your head lies to your feet or your eyes deceive your body on the edge of a precipice. It's deadly. Or imagine what happens if Jesus as the head of the body, his church, it's unimaginable, but what if he lied to us? What if we found out that God, the Son of God lied? It would be utterly devastating because in a body, in one flesh, in a marital union, honesty is essential.

But what are we to do? How do you know, when someone has lied and been dishonest, how do you know when you can start trusting the other person? Well, the first thing that I'd say is that trust cannot be the ultimate goal. Trust is a byproduct. Trust is something that either grows or doesn't grow, but it doesn't do you any good to focus on it. Trust itself, it's like exercise. Now, if you do the right things, if you exercise hard enough, if you run, if you bike, if you lift weights, whatever, if you go to a spinning class, you're going to sweat. Sweat is the byproduct, but very few people, unless you're going to the sauna or you're going to hot yoga or something like that, very people go with the goal to sweat, right? You're exercising your muscles, you're working hard, and sweat is the result. Well, in the same way as a couple, as a person who has not been trustworthy, who has not been open and who has been deceptive as they're working on being more transparent, even being vulnerable, being faithful, their yes is their yes, their no is their no, and they're growing in integrity, opening their hearts and minds to their spouse. As that is happening, trust will happen, trust will grow, and my guess is you will know as you start to see a bigger pattern of trustworthiness.

Now, my second question is, does this lie that your husband spoke, does it come out of a bigger, broader pattern of deceit, right? Is there a habit of disorienting others with misinformation, with spinning or twisting the truth, leaving things out that are really important to the story, so to speak? Speaking half truths, living with secrets, and always there's always questions around what actually happened, what he was doing, when, where with whom, right? So if you see a broader pattern, not just in your relationship or in this one instance of this lie, and not just in your marriage, but in a way of relating to others, if that's true, then the work is going to be longstanding. The work is going to be slow, and you may need to have help with that.

One of the things that I've always appreciated is how John, the apostle John, describes Jesus in John 2, and I'll just read a couple of verses to you from John that have always been fascinating to me. How does Jesus relate to others when he cannot trust them? This is John 2 verses 23 to 25. "Now when he [Jesus] was in Jerusalem at the Passover feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing, but Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them because he knew all people and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man." That is fascinating to me. Jesus. There's people who are believing in Jesus. They're around him. They're seeing his miracles. They're seeing what he's teaching and they're believing him, but Jesus doesn't entrust himself to them. Why? Because he knows humans. He knows human nature. He knows what's in our hearts, and he knows that it would be foolish for him to put himself into their hands. 

On one hand you could say Jesus is not simpleminded. He's not gullible. He doesn't just put his, when people are not trustworthy, he doesn't just put his head in the sand and just try to trust them to do so blindly or foolishly. So Jesus actually holds people's feet to the fire. You could say he confronts people when there's deceit, like with Ananias and Sapphira, Peter holds them to account, keeps them accountable, and I think that's going to be a part of your walk with your husband who's lied to you. When you have questions, when you feel confused, if there's a bigger pattern of questions, of confusion and what actually happened or where your husband was or what he said and how that lines up with actually what he did and who he was with, you are going to not just overlook that, that'd be unwise, but actually to press in and to push a little bit further beyond just overlooking and not being afraid to address inconsistencies.

The other thing we know about Jesus in this situation is that he is love. He loves these people, and just because he doesn't entrust himself into their hands does not mean that he doesn't actively love them, and his love sometimes speaks hard things. His love confronts. His love is very flexible and meets the person where that person is at. So how will you know when you can trust your husband after he has broken your confidence, broken your trust? Well, this will take some time and it'll come as you see not just tears if he's remorseful and not just an apology, but actually as you see a trajectory over time of being trustworthy, of being where he says he's going to be, doing what he said he was going to do, being where he was supposed to be, and where there isn't confusion, where there isn't details that don't seem to match up. So as you see a trajectory of that, as you see desires for openness, desires for transparency, even vulnerability with what's going on in his mind with his heart, what he fears, what he desires, as you guys are more open there, trust will build.