There is one thing that underlies all functional relationships. Trust. Trust begets a sense of safety in relationship. A relationship undergirded by trust allows a free flowing of generosity, vulnerability, and interdependence, all adding up to resilience.
When trust is broken much is lost. Community is fractured. Individuals are hurt, betrayed, and become cynical. In the worst cases individuals become protectionist. They close themselves to any possibility for a future relationship of any kind.
Here’s the thing. To walk out into the world without protecting ones own heart, and testing others, is reckless. But to become such a cynic as to believe that trusting relationships are impossible is to lose all faith.
No. Trust takes time to build, and therefore must be our work. When inevitably we fail one another there must be a mechanism in place to rebuild the trust when it is broken. That mechanism is confession of our actions (or lack thereof), repentance (a deep turning of our heart), and forgiveness.
This cycle must be undertaken if we believe that the tending to our relationships is of more value than any other particular achievement.