We are all sinful, dysfunctional people who at some time will prove ourselves to be untrustworthy to someone who trusted us. And who hasn’t been the victim of someone else’s betrayal of our trust? And, as hard as such a loss of trust can be, it’s always so much worse when we betray, or are betrayed by, a family member.
Sometimes it may seem easier to cut our losses and run when we decide the relationship isn’t worth the effort of rebuilding. Of course, it’s not so easy when it’s a family member, such as a spouse. You could even say that one of the purposes of marriage is to teach us the lesson of how to rebuild trust when it is broken.
When trust in a relationship has been compromised, how can both trust and the relationship be healed and saved? 1 Pet. 5:6-7; 1 John 4:18; James 5:16; Matt. 6:14-15.
Rebuilding broken trust is like a journey; you must take it one step at a time. The journey begins with a sincere acknowledgment of the hurt and confession of the truth, whatever the offense and whoever the offender.
When adultery has been the cause of the breach, healing begins when the betrayer confesses. As part of the healing process, confession must accompany complete openness on the part of the betrayer. There can be nothing that remains hidden, or else, when it is found out (and it will be found out), it will destroy the trust that was reestablished. And the second time trust is breached, it becomes even harder to heal than the first breach was.
Rebuilding trust takes time and patience. The more serious the offense, the more time it will take for it to be repaired. Accept the fact that sometimes it’s going to feel as if you are moving two steps forward and three steps backward. One day it seems like there’s hope for tomorrow, and the next day, you feel like running away. Many have, however, been able to rebuild their broken relationship and developed a deeper, more intimate, more satisfying, and happier marriage.
|What principles in healing a marriage can be used in the case of other kinds of broken trust? At the same time, what might be a situation in which, though there is forgiveness, there is no more trust, nor should there be?|