shutterstock_97614038As Valentine’s Day approaches, more and more of us think of that special person, and thoughts run through our head, “How do I know if I really love that person?” Many people get carried away by the emotion of the moment, (think Brittany!) and decide to get married, yet quickly regret that decision. Some think they really know the person, yet even still end up in divorce court, as statistics bear out: 43% of marriages end up in divorce.

Rather than rushing into love, we would suggest using the ROCC of Trust to help you Love the one you Trust. Anecdotally, people who are best friends, often end up having longer marriages. We heard a pastor preach who has been married for 40 years–he and his wife met when they were 10 years old and have been friends ever since. We all don’t have 10 years to know someone before we get married, but we can learn a few things from this couple.

They have Reliability going for them because they knew each other for 10 years before they were married. That gave them time to get to know each other, see each other, day in and day out, and share life’s trials and tribulations. In our own marriage, we have found that our relationship is strengthened by the tough times, not necessarily by the times of smooth sailing. It is those times when you learn to depend on each other.

They have Openness in their relationship. He said that she is his best friend. They share everything and always have. My husband often teases me that he could never have an affair because I know too much about him. That really is his way of reminding me how much we share with each other on a daily basis.

They have Competence in their relationship because their ministry is a shared partnership. They work as a team. They rely on each other and know each other’s strengths and weaknesses in order to compliment each other.

Finally, they have Concern in their relationship because , as he said , he learned early on that “she is always right”. He admonished the men in the congregation to remember that and it will help them to have a good marriage. He said more than once that he truly cherishes his wife. You could just tell by the way that he talked about her that he truly cared about his wife.

Maybe the key to building a longer-lasting marriage is not “falling in love”, but building trust with one you love, so that you love the one you trust!

You can become more trusting and loving by:

  • Spending time together day in and day out. Some couples only spend time together on vacations or on dream dates. That does not give you a true picture of what life together will be like.
  • Talking to each other and listening to each other. Couples spend so much time in activities together, that there is not often enough time to really get to know one another at a deep enough level.
  • Taking time to get to know that other person. Share some good and bad times together to see how you get through them.
  • Put the other person’s needs ahead of your own: find a way to be self-less and see how the relationship blossoms.
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