Search Results For "trust"

When I’m talking with someone who has been deeply betrayed by a friend, a family member, or a coworker, they often ask, “How can I ever trust him again? He said he was sorry, but how do I know if he is truly sorry about the damage he’s done or if he’s just sorry he got caught? I don’t want to get burned again.”

Those are tough questions, because there’s a lot at stake for both the betrayer and the betrayed.

Rebuilding trust in a relationship after a bitter betrayal almost feels like an insurmountable task. No one in his right mind would dare trust a spouse who was unfaithful, a coworker who stole his good idea, or a friend who lied about him behind his back. Would you?

But what if that person apologizes? Then what? How can you know if someone has truly repented?

As Jesus’ followers, we talk about repentance—that radical change of heart and mind that alters one’s perspective and reshapes behavior patterns to look more like Jesus.  It’s been a part of the Jesus story from the beginning. John the Baptist referred to it as “producing fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matt. 3:8; Luke 3:8).

Testing repentance is vital to rebuilding trust in a broken relationship. So what are some of the signs of a repentant heart?

King David—a man whose deceit betrayed his wife and his nation—said it best: “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, You will not despise” (Ps. 51:17).

One place to begin looking for “fruit” that reveals a deeply rooted heart of repentance is in how the repentant betrayer responds when questioned. A repentant person demonstrates a humble attitude that is neither demanding nor defensive when questioned. There is an openness that replaces deceit, a willingness to be accountable for his or her actions on multiple levels without resorting to blaming others or making excuses for failures.

It’s only through experiencing a consistency in both attitudes and actions that reflect repentance that the betrayed individual will over time begin to take the risky steps towards trusting again.

How much time? As much as it takes.

And the repentant person will humbly wait for as long as it takes, knowing that the celebration over restoration will be a sweet harvest for both parties—a harvest that repentance and forgiveness has made possible because of Jesus’ example.

“Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret” (2 Cor. 7:10).

Trust & Verify

Tim Jackson —  June 22, 2011 — 8 Comments

I work with a lot of couples in crisis. Promises made at a wedding 3, 7, 15, or 28 years ago that expressed good intentions and carried so much hope were somehow forgotten. Vows are broken. Hearts betrayed. Trust shattered.

Rebuilding trust? That’s one of the the greatest challenges any couple will ever face in their marriage.

(By the way, it’s not just couples where trust can be broken. Parents break their children’s trust. Children break their parents’ trust too. Employers and employees alike can cultivate an atmosphere of distrust. Friends can betray friends.)

So what do you do to begin rebuilding trust when you find yourself standing in the smoldering ruins of a relationship that’s been torched by betrayal? Here are a few suggestions for a couple who is beginning this process.

First, recognize that rebuilding trust is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. Everything inside of you screams, “Don’t do it! Are you nuts! They’ll just do it again! They’ve already proven that they can’t be trusted! You’d be crazy to set yourself up again!”

But that seems to put Jesus’ followers in a real bind. Because Jesus has called us to forgive those who have harmed us. Right? But how can we forgive after we’ve been so deeply betrayed?

Second, understanding that forgiveness begins a process that opens the door to the potential for rebuilding shattered trust (Luke 17:3-4). This is not a quick fix. This takes time for both the forgiver and the offender. And forgiveness doesn’t mean simply letting the person off the hook after they say, “I’m sorry.” It’s not forgetting. There is accountability in healthy forgiveness.

(For more on forgiveness, check out some of our Round Table discussions and Insight Videos on the topic of forgiveness.)

Third, understanding that rebuilding trust requires two willing participants who are devoted to Christ first and then to each other. One person doesn’t make a relationship. It takes two individuals who long for restoration and are willing to submit to God’s purposes and then risk being vulnerable with each other to learn how to love. Oh, and the offender in the relationship needs to set the tone by taking the initiative to be vulnerable first. Unfortunately, if the offender refuses to take ownership, makes excuses, resorts to explanations, shifts the blame to the other person or bulks at requests for accountability, rebuilding trust is impossible.

Forth, recognize that the only formula for trust building is consistency over a long time. That’s  the hard work of reconstructing the core foundation of a relationship one thin layer at a time. It’s a daily thing. It requires an intense amount of energy and investment on the part of both spouses.

The best analogy that I have found to describe trust building is the process of applying a fine lacquer finish on a piece of furniture that I’ve made in my wood shop. Here’s the process:

Lacquer is a finish that I spray on one thin layer at at time. After giving it sufficient time to dry, I lightly sand out the finish with extremely fine sandpaper. Sanding smooths and levels out the surface, allowing the finish to fill in the grain of the wood. It also creates thousands of micro-fine scratches in the finish. Then, when another layer of finished is applied, the scratches are filled in by the fresh layer of finish and binds the layers together. Then, after it dries, the sanding process begins again.

This process is repeated time after time after time. The layers build on each other and meld together to form a singular bond of protection the displays the beauty of the wood. The last time the finish is “rubbed out” with a superfine rubbing compound that produces a smooth mirror finish. The surface of the furniture feels like glass.

What I like about a lacquer finish is that it highlights all the beautiful grain in the wood. It deepens and takes on a richer glow over time as it ages. It’s a durable finish that protects the wood.  But as with any piece of furniture that is used throughout a lifetime, it will wear and inevitably get scratched, chipped or even gouged.  The finish can be repaired by repeating the process of rubbing out the scratch, reapplying a layer or two of finish (depending on how deep the scratch/gouge is). With a little TLC, the finish can again be restored.

That’s trust building: two partners who are fully invested in the long term process of rebuilding trust by demonstrating love consistently one layer at a time over a lifetime. The result is a durable relationship that lasts and reflects the beauty of the love of Christ reflected in the love of the couple.



The prevalence of adulterous affairs are one of the most regrettable aspects of our modern times. One of the casualties of an affair is the betrayal of trust. Rebuilding that trust is essential if a couple is to restore their marriage. Rebuilding trust takes time, patience, and the full participation of both spouses.


Trusting in someone who is unseen is a major hurtle for people of faith. While trust is an issue for everyone to some degree, trusting in someone you’ve never seen can feel insurmountable at times. Taking the risk of taking the invisible God at His word is the ultimate request of faith from the God of the Bible.

Join us as Gene Getz shares how God reveals Himself to us through creation and His Word, the Bible. Learn how you can build trust in the one true God.

Pornography is one of the most common forms of betrayal in marriages today. And while it may seem to be far less damaging than a full blown affair, the devastation left in it’s wake should never be minimized. Wrestling through this form of betrayal is a process that takes significant time and commitment from both spouses.

We often ask the question, “Why do you have to be that way?” When we understand another’s complex journey, empathy can trump our initial perceptions. Join Dan Allender as he discusses stepping into the shoes of another through understanding their story.

Trust is a foundational element to any intimate relationship. In a place as vulnerable as a marriage, how can the foundational element of trust be rebuilt after it has been broken? Listen as Dan Allender offers words of encouragement for this painful situation.

despitedoubtw_650x220-recorded-onDoubts are a common struggle for many who have embraced the Christian faith as well as for those who are still considering faith. Doubts are those nagging questions that plague us when life’s struggles push us to wrestle with the hard questions about what’s true and good and really matters.

On Wednesday, February 5, 2014, RBC Ministries Webinars hosted Dr. Michael Wittmer in a live webinar event: “Doubt: A Friend or Foe of Faith?” Dr. Wittmer shared his insights in a lively conversation with our hosts Tim Jackson and Dennis Moles. Many who attended the live event learned practical information on how to struggle well with the doubts that plague us during times of struggle and heartache. Things like:

  • Understanding the difference between “objective” and “subjective” doubt
  • Understanding the difference between “sincere” and “insincere” doubt
  • How doubt can hinder our growth in the faith
  • How doubt can enhance our trust and dependence upon the God of the Bible

In keeping with our ministry commitment to make the life-changing wisdom of the Bible understandable and accessible to all, we are making the content of this webinar available without cost or obligation to you and anyone you’d like to share it with.

To listen to the audio recording from the webinar, click the link: Doubt: A Friend or Foe of Faith?

To download the PowerPoint from the webinar, click the link: Doubt: A Friend or Foe of Faith PPT.

To get a free sample download from Dr. Wittmer’s book, click the book title link: Despite Doubt: Embracing a Confident Faith.

For a free download of a RBC booklet by Dennis Moles, one of our hosts, click the title link: Beyond Reasonable Doubt: The Truth About The Bible.

For further resources on understanding more about why we doubt and how we can handle it from RBC Ministries, click the link: Doubt.

Does God Really Care?

Alyson Kieda —  February 3, 2014 — 3 Comments


Nature’s Tranquility/flickr/Creative Commons/judecat (ready to ring in the New Year)

I believe in God the Father and in His Son Jesus Christ my Lord. I hold to the promises of the Bible, and nothing can sway me from those beliefs. But I admit that sometimes I’ve doubted God’s love and His motives.

I’ve wondered why some of my prayers seemed to fall on deaf ears, particularly a certain heart-wrenching prayer I’ve been praying continually and persistently, in varying degrees of intensity, for decades. If it’s true that “the prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective” (James 5:16), why won’t He answer this earnest prayer?!

Over the years, I’ve gone through a confusing jumble of thoughts regarding this: Maybe God doesn’t really answer prayer; perhaps I’m not praying hard enough; maybe something needs to change or I need to learn or do something before God will answer; maybe this is a trial God wants to use to purify and refine me. Is this my “thorn in the flesh”? Perhaps God’s answer is “no!” In the beginning, I even wondered if God really is a God of love who cares for His children.

I’ve learned a lot about God through the decades, and He has purified and continues to purify and refine me. And I’ve seen God answer many of my prayers—sometimes miraculously. I’ve grown to trust and rely on Him more for everything I need; and He has become the first love of my life. I know that He deeply loves and cares for me, yet I continue to struggle with the same prayer request . . .

But now my doubt is not as frequent or as despairing. I have the assurance that God will answer my prayer. I’ve learned that I will never fully understand His ways. (All of us this side of heaven see dimly—1 Corinthians 13:12.) And I’m learning to “be still, and know that [He is] God” (Psalm 46:10).

I’m fretting and squirming less and trusting more as I rest in His loving arms—and wait.

So maybe you’re like me and have had your share of struggling with doubts. Maybe you’re there now. Join us for our webinar on February 5, 2014, at 1:00 p.m. with Dr. Michael Wittmer on the topic of Doubt: A Friend or Foe of Faith? I think you’ll find help in understanding and embracing our journey of faith through doubt to trust. Click the title of the webinar above to register for the free webinar.