Are you in a serious relationship that you think is real love, but can't shake those doubts? Here are afew red flags that indicate it's time to take a step back.

Love Trusts

In Advice and Encouragement, Dating, Relationships by Debra Fileta

Game shows might be a thing of the past. The last time I checked there were not too many of them still airing. Though, it seems like Steve Harvey is killing the game right now. Well, outside of the entire Miss Universe debacle!  

However, one of the few game shows that has lasted the test of time is Let’s Make a Deal.  The game of probability. It is a game show based on people’s ability to make decisions as they weigh out all of their options.  Though, the show is probably most famous for their bit where contestants have to choose to walk through one of three doors.

The way the game works, is there are three doors and a prize behind each door.  Behind one door might be a blender and behind the other door might be a mint green refrigerator.

Behind door number three, well that’s a different story.  Therein lies a prize everybody wants.  A prize, that even if you have considerable financial means, you would still want it.  It might be an all-inclusive trip abroad, an entire living room set from Pottery Barn, or even a new car. It’s definitely a prize you want to win.

In this game, all the doors are available for the contestants to choose from and the decision rests entirely upon each individual. They get to choose what door they walk though.

When it comes to relationships, sometimes it can feel like we are always choosing the door with the mint green fridge and never the one with the car.  The fridge might have worked for us in college, but it definitely wont do now. And, if we are not careful we will constantly find ourselves choosing second best.  

So, when we come to 1 Corinthians 13 , we  are given insight, insider information, on the best door to walk through. It’s as if Paul is telling us “this is the door that leads to a more excellent life and life long relationships”.  It’s a promise he is giving us that there is a better way in our relationships.

As we have been investigating the topic of love this month, today we address love as it relates to trust.  Paul writes in 1 Corinthians 13:6, “Love always trusts”.  So, the door we must walk through to find a more excellent life is marked by trust. True love trusts.  

But to be honest, I really don’t have that much of a reason to be trusting.  Trusting God- yes. Undoubtedly.  Trusting of people. Not so much. It feels like that door has been slammed in my face before or I have purposely walked away from that door.

People are challenging.  In fact, at times, they can be down right horrible.  There are times when they are rude. There are times when they make harmful statements. There times when the only reliable thing about people is that they are unreliable. So, tell me again why true love involves trust?

Trusting is costly.  It requires that we abandon our sense of control and place our selves in a vulnerable position.  A position with no guaranteed result. No guarantee that someone will match our level of commitment, reliability or faithfulness in a relationship.  Our trust exposes us to feelings of shame, fear and unworthiness.  Particularly, when our trust is not reciprocated.

So what do we do? As Brene Brown puts it, we numb the feelings of vulnerability.  We minimize our risks.  We don’t get too close. We don’t ask that person out on a date.  We don’t tell the people we are dating what we are really thinking.  We don’t believe we are valuable enough to have high standards.  We guard ourselves and put up barriers in our lives so that no one will hurt us.  

But the thing about those barriers is that it also prevents other feelings from surfacing.  One might argue while vulnerability can bring about feelings of shame and fear, it is equally true that they are the source of joy, happiness and belonging.

Without vulnerability, our relationships will only be a shadow of what they were intended to be (Tweet It!).

There will always be a lack of depth and we will find ourselves standing in shallow waters.

That’s why when Paul is addressing the path towards the excellent life, it is one marked by trust. True love trusts. Not with reckless abandonment but with the belief that we are called to live a better way than isolation and fear.

Trusting other people is a beautiful design for relationships.  It is a wonderful and beautiful thing to trust someone else.  But it should give us enough pause to ask, where will I get the ability to trust and keep on trusting? Where will I get the power to trust in spite of my past?

The good news is that you are not alone as you journey through your relationships.  There is One who showed trust in the Father, even when it cost him dearly.  He wants joy for you. And for that reason he will give you His presence and peace as you trust others and let the walls down in your life.  

My pastoral prayer for you is that you would drink deeply of God’s love everyday so that you can trust others and experience the abundant life.

Tony Stang is a Small Groups Pastor at Woodlands Church.  He earned a Master’s of Divinity at Baylor University.  He is an avid fan of Tex-Mex. 

Catch up on the ENTIRE #LoveIs Series as we unpack the traits of love from 1 Corinthians 13, by clicking on the photo below or subscribing to my blog!