Rebuilding Trust

Once trust is broken it is difficult to rebuild it… but it is possible!

When I’ve counseled people… usually married couples… where one’s conduct has deeply wounded the trust factor, I tell them it can only be repaired one way: By observation over time.  Here’s what that means…

Let’s say a husband has wounded his wife’s trust in him.  That means to rebuild it he must:

Willingly and gladly allow her to go through his wallet, car, files, and/or desk any time she wants…

Willingly and gladly allow her to check his text messages and emails any time (She gets all his passwords)…

Willingly and gladly allow her to check up on him by going to wherever he said he’d be at any time…

Willingly and gladly allow her to question him on and/or about anything and answer honestly without animosity…

Willingly and gladly do all these things for at least a year… if not for the rest of his life.

Seem harsh?  It isn’t.  When a person has nothing to hide they won’t mind.  When a person wants to regain a person’s trust they’ll do whatever is required of them (Read 2 Cor 7:10-11 CLOSELY!).  Actually every spouse should be more than happy to do even if trust hasn’t been broken.

Do you need to rebuild someone’s trust in you?  Offer this plan to them.  Do you need to trust someone else again?  Suggest to them that if they want you to trust them again this is what it will take.  My by-word here is… Trust, but verify.


4 comments on “Rebuilding Trust

  1. How about willingly submit to the Lord. Period. The above scenario looks like a worldly plan of action, no offense. If a man or woman is thirsting for God and making his/her amends to the One who can change them (the only one who can make good changes), then the rest will follow. This method above is for starving Christians or the just plain carnal person…people who break trust are LOST people…they need true healing from the Healer, not a way to appease our human weaknesses. With all due respect, this is a pretty scary post…I would rethink my perspective if I were you…I’m just sayin’…This woulld be a set-up for some serious fireworks…I’ve been there, done that! What has worked and is working is the testimony of love, the testimony of dedication to being a righteous person(someone who believes in God’s promises), the testimony of Christ in action and not in words, and of course, time…trust is built like a brick house…one brick at a time with no schedule for completion. When trust is built back, we don’t pat ourselves on the back for being a “good boy”; we lift our hands in praise to the God that empowers us to let our light shine! God bless you sir, and sorry for being wretchedly honest…

    • Pastor Ron says:

      Disciplegideon… thank you for your comment. I have a few in response…

      A worldly plan of action? Really? Did you read 2 Corinthians 7:10-11? If you’ll read the Scripture linked in the post you’ll find that what I wrote and suggested is massively supported by Scripture! At every point what I suggest is the exact kind of thing Paul would affirm as… “YES! That is what I mean!” Consider what the Holy Spirit had Paul to write about a person who has GODLY SORROW 2 Cor 7:11… “For see what earnestness this godly grief has produced in you, but also what eagerness to clear yourselves, what indignation, what fear, what longing, what zeal, what punishment! At every point you have proved yourselves innocent in the matter.”

      “Eagerness to clear yourselves” is a desire to do whatever it takes to make things right! “Indignation” is the anger toward self that actions have wounded others. “What fear” is that it could happen again and there be further wounding unless something significant is done. “What longing” is the desire to make things ritght… a willingness to go the extra mile, or two, or three if necessary. “What zeal” is the passon to carry out what is called for from within the person themselves… they don’t have to be forced to do anything… THEY WANT TO. “What punishment” is the person themselves grieving over the fact that their actions have wounded others. “At every point… proved yourselves innocent” is an affimation that… to put it another way… actions speak louder than words! They are willing to PROVE what they say BY WHAT THEY DO!

      I suggest that this post is all about “Godly sorrow” which does anything BUT (As you write) “pat ourselves on the back for being a good boy.” Godly sorrow is a willingness to submit to others for the purpose of reconciliation.

      Yes… this IS a scary post… because it strikes at the heart of human pride. It exposes the dark places of hidden sin. It affirms the Biblical truth of “Submit to one another.” As for the “been there, done that” comment… I wonder what you mean, what nerve this post hit (Don’t reply)? It is written in Acts 26:20 that people should… “Should repent and turn to God, performing deeds in keeping with their repentance.” When a person repents unto salvation their ACTIONS will show it. When a person has GODLY SORROW, their actions will show it. When a person wants to rebuild trust because of their actions… THEIR ACTIONS WILL SHOW IT.

      I have tought thruoug my position carefully over many years… and I am confident that what I wrote in the post is consistent with the Scriptures.

      Thank you again for your comment!

  2. Thankful says:

    I really like this post, Ron. You nailed it with truth, I believe.

  3. tammie says:

    This is excellent.

    The point of the article wasn’t really intended to deal with the attitude of the offended party, but the verifying of the trustworthiness of the offender should not be done with a spirit of bitterness or grudge-bearing or retaliation. The offended should have a heart inclined toward reconciliation– a willingness to deal with the wrong, but also a willingness to cover it with love and grace and humility as trustworthiness is restored over time.

    Easier said than done, I know.

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