Marriage often starts with a lot of fun and feelings of joy, contentment, and peace. But very quickly, every couple realizes the truth that a good marriage takes hard work.
As married life progresses, love can deepen. Crises can be weathered. Mistakes can be forgiven. But each step takes effort that, at times, can be confusing, scary, and exhausting. That work can be bolstered or derailed by the people we allow ourselves to listen to while we walk the journey of marriage.
To help you on your journey, let’s look at some signs of untrustworthy and trustworthy people and why they should have more or less influence in our marriage.
5 Signs of Untrustworthy People
- Those that have never been committed to your marriage’s success. Some people may have questioned the wisdom of your marriage from day one. So when things aren’t going well, they want to further undermine or discourage you in your marriage at every turn.
- Those who don’t share your values. If you are listening to someone who doesn’t view right and wrong the same way that you do, you’re opening yourself up to wayward advice.
- Those who are manipulative for their own benefit. When you hear advice from people that have a track record of controlling people and circumstances to their will, seriously question what they have to say. Manipulation is not a path to a healthy marriage.
- Those who are vindictive and cynical. The kind of advice you will hear from a spiteful person is rarely going to help you work on improving your marriage. A heart with a bitter bent and taste for revenge is hardly capable of encouraging kindness, forgiveness or humility.
- Those who are hypocrites or have big blind spots. When you see someone giving advice that they refuse to take themselves, it’s time to question their advice. If they are incapable of seeing or accepting some of the flaws they have, you should question their perceptions of your situation as well. Their hypocrisy makes it hard to evaluate the merits of their counsel because their lack of integrity is so distracting.
5 Signs of Trustworthy People
- Those who have owned and learned from some big past failures. If you know someone who has really turned something serious around in their marriage for the better, you can probably count on their perspective to help you out. They have already wrestled “personal demons” and know the rough spots and the work it may take to make real progress.
- Those who are farther down the road you are on, but making progress. There are people you’ll recognize as similar to yourself because their story mirrors yours in some ways. If they are making positive steps, they may have wise counsel.
- Those who say hard things, but love you and share your values. Hearing someone challenge you in a deep and personal way is never easy, but the blow is softer when you know that person loves you and agrees with your morals and goals in life. Give this voice a fair shake.
- Those who seem to have peace in their own marriage. Not all peace is productive. For example, living in denial can give you false peace. But because a peaceful heart is not easily attained in this world, it is so remarkable when it is on full display in a person’s life and in their marriage.
- Those who are wise. This may be the most important virtue you should look for in the person you seek advice from. Proverbs 4:5-6 tells us to: “Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or turn away from them. Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.” Wisdom comes from God. So get wisdom from those who know God well.
Who are the people you trust and turn to in marital difficulties? Please share your comments below.