Rebuilding Trust


Joe Martin shares three necessary components to rebuilding trust with your spouse: confession, repentance and restoration.

Question: How do I start to rebuild trust with my mate?

Real Men Connect Reply:

I believe “rebuilding” trust comes down to three (3) things: Confession, Repentance, and Restoration.  

1)  Confession – in order to rebuild trust, you have to first admit that you broke it.  That means you should be humble and transparent without defending your actions.  Confession means you accept FULL responsibility for the part YOU played in breaking the trust.  This is not a time to place blame or bring up how the other person broke your trust in the past.  This is a all about YOU making things right, right now.  James 5:16 says, “Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed.”  

2) Repentance – contrary to what most people think, repentance is not just about saying you’re sorry.  Repentance means to CHANGE (turn away from), specifically speaking, changing your mind and changing your behavior AFTER the trust has been broken.  Saying you’re sorry without actually changing your behavior is meaningless, and it only serves to make the person distrust you even more in the future.  When Jesus addressed the woman, who was caught in adultery, and after she stood alone when no one was “righteous enough” to stone her, He said to her in John 8:10-11: “Woman, where are those accusers of yours? Has no one condemned you?” She said, “No one, Lord.” And Jesus said to her, “Neither do I condemn you; go and sin no more.”  Jesus, didn’t just forgive the woman, He expected her to “change” her behavior after she was forgiven.  Confession means nothing without repentance.

3.)  Restoration – I believe this is the part that most people leave out.  You may be willing to confess (admit) what you did wrong and even accept full responsibility for it. You may even repent to God about it and change your behavior by not repeating the offense.  However, there’s a healing that STILL needs to take place.  God forgives and forgets our sins, but people don’t…they remember.  And the deeper the cut, the longer it will take time for those wounds to heal.  So in order to speed up the healing process, you should take the initiative by asking the offended/wounded person a question (or something similar to it): “What can I do make amends/make this better/or make things right?”  The key here is your willingness to “follow through” on whatever is suggested (as long as it’s not a sin).  So if that means giving up your cell phone and email passwords, joining a recovery group, spiritually leading your family, spending more time with her, or whatever, you do it. James 4:17 says, “So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”  So find out the “right thing” to do, and like Nike says, “Just do it.”


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