One of the most important things in a relationship to me is trust. Without it, you don’t know if the other person is being honest, you don’t know if their emotions are real… really, you don’t know a lot about the other person if you can’t trust them. With trust, strong relationships are formed. It’s possible to get real and authentic. It’s possible to truly connect.
I have spent a lot of time trying to build a reputation of being trustworthy. One of the biggest things I tell my students over and over again is that they can feel safe in talking to me about anything and it doesn’t leave the 2 of us. (There are certain cases when things have to be reported, but that’s another story). I want it known that I will be a vault of information, that way a student knows they have the freedom to be fully open. I think this is a biblical principle too:
Whoever goes about slandering reveals secrets, but he who is trustworthy in spirit keeps a thing covered.
Recently this issue of trust came up with a student. There was a mutual feeling that we couldn’t trust each other–me because I knew this student hadn’t been truthful about some things, and him because he felt like I might tell other people some stuff he needed to share. Once I explained to him how much I value trust (over about 45 minutes), he seemed to get it, and things just came spilling out.
We need to be people who are “trustworthy in spirit.” We need to live out our lives in a way that display this trustworthiness to the glory of God and the benefit of our students.