Reliability is the third factor Dr. Van Epp places in the Relationship Attachment Model that will enable couples to maintain healthy connection.
Reliability is trust put into action. When your mental image of a person is accurate, they will (unless there is an unusual circumstance) follow fairly closely what they have told you they will do. If you ask them to pick up the children from school, they are reliable to do that. If they said they will be responsible to vacuum each week, they will do it most weeks. You know that they will do what they have said they will do.
Across seasons of life, levels of reliability can shift. For example, when a new baby is born, the new mom may not be able to complete the responsibilities she has previously been completing, and may need to rely on the husband more for some of those tasks. When the husband opens a new business, he may need the wife to complete certain tasks for him in the new business. A lack of reliability almost always begins to break down the level of trust between a couple.
How is reliability reflected in our relationship with God? Most of us, if asked, would quickly say that God is reliable. At least in our prefrontal cortex (that part of the brain that reasons and makes judgments) we would assert that God will do what He says he will do. But when it comes to everyday life, we often doubt that God will do what He says He will do. God says He will provide our every need. The children of Exodus doubted Him when they were thirsty, and began complaining and grumbling, instead of asking God to provide for their needs. They had already witnessed great miracles from God, including the plagues in Egypt and the parting of the Red Sea.
We often are quick to doubt God, and not believe that He is reliable. When we need something, and don't have the money to meet that need, often our first action is to get out our credit card and go purchase whatever we think we need, instead of asking and waiting to let God provide. When we are in a difficult or painful situation, instead of crying out to God to comfort and strengthen us, our response may be to complain and do whatever it takes to run from the circumstances, or to numb our pain in some way. Our behaviors betray our words that we believe we can rely on God. Is He able to direct the decisions of my boss or supervisor? Is He able to direct the heart of my husband or wife? Can I rely on Him to use even painful losses or illness? Putting our trust or faith into action is one of the behaviors that pleases God most. (Hebrews 11:6 "And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him."
I wonder how reliable we are for God? As Christians we claim to be His servants. But how often do we bring disgrace to Him for our un-Christ-like behaviors and attitudes? How often do people think "If that is what being a Christian is all about, I'm not interested."
To have a strong bond, a strong attachment between myself and God, I need to believe that He is reliable and I need to be reliable to God. I am convinced that God is reliable...He always is who He says He is, and does what He says He will do. But I need to work on my confidence in that and be sure my life reflects that belief. And I need to evaluate my own behavior and attitudes....can God rely on me?