Trust vs. Self-Reliance

As many of you know, I married Matthew around two weeks ago. The conversations we had while dating were often about how to trust. Both of us have had people fail us, and we’re not too naive to realize that we would fail each other too.

While I was writing my wedding vows, I struggled with what exactly to say regarding trust. I finally said this:

“I take you with all your faults and your strengths as I offer myself to you with my faults and strengths. I will freely forgive your faults, knowing that my own have been freely forgiven in Christ…. I commit to honestly communicate and I give you my heart and my trust, willingly, and without reservation.”

Two weeks after saying those vows to Matthew, I’ve come to realize even more what a huge task trusting somebody is. My attitude in the past toward family and friends has always been “they’ll fail me; I can do it on my own.” But with Matthew, there are times that it is necessary to trust him. I can’t throw him aside and do it myself like I’ve done with so many other people.

I always thought that the opposite of trust is doubt. But for me, the opposite of trust is self-reliance. Self-reliance is the action; the reason why I’m unable to trust. It’s silly, isn’t it? Because I’m once again placing all my trust on someone who can fail me, myself.

One of my favorite authors, Tullian Tchividjian, whose recent moral failure was part of the inspiration for this post, said:

“…the deepest slavery is self-dependence, self-reliance. When you live your life believing that everything (family, finances, relationships, career) depends primarily on you, you’re enslaved to your strengths and weaknesses. You’re trying to be your own savior… Real life begins when we transfer our trust from our own efforts to the efforts of Christ.”

I sent this song to Matthew at the beginning of our relationship, and we even sang it together at our wedding. I still don’t know really what trusting in God means, but this song continues to express what I do understand of trust.

Lead, kindly Light, amidst the grey and gloom
The night is long and I am far from home
Here in the dark, I do not ask to see
The path ahead-one step enough for me
Lead on, lead on, kindly Light.
~ “Lead, Kindly Light” by Audrey Assad

matthew & cami lantern

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