January 23, 2024

Rebuilding Damaged Trust, Trusting Christ, and Richard Baxter

ONE Thought (from us)

Relationship growth is impossible without trust. But what can we do when trust is lost? Rebuilding trust in marriage relies, at a minimum, on the following steps:

  1. Realize that rebuilding trust starts with trusting Christ and entrusting the process to him. You can’t do it without grace and the power of the Holy Spirit. Acknowledge that and ask God to help you in this process.
  2. Recognize and call the sin what it is. All sin is rebellion against God and rejection of what He calls good. Recognize that sin leads to death and can never bring life.
  3. Repent of the sin and turn toward Christ. Without repentance, there is no admission of your complicity in the rebellion and there is no true path forward. With repentance, there is hope in Christ and a path toward healing.
  4. Forgive. This is easier said than done, but the command is clear (if you doubt this, see Jesus in Matthew 18:21–35). Note that this doesn’t mean you act as if the betrayal of trust never happened, it simply means that you choose not to hold it morally against them. This is vital to the reconciliation process.
  5. Create systems and boundaries that will help in rebuilding trust. Trust doesn’t materialize out of thin air. It must be built, brick by brick. But it also needs a clear blueprint, or your bricks won’t amount to anything. Create a path toward trust. Build systems that help you measure it (accountability measures for the internet, determine to hand over your unlocked phones at any moment, for example.)
  6. Set a communication schedule. Pick a weekly day and time when you do a “trust review” (or something to that effect). Evaluate how the past week went, point out strong areas, and reveal ways you can improve. Talk about how it feels to be rebuilding trust. In general, just discuss this specific area and keep communicating through it!
  7. Pray for trust daily, together. Many couples skip this part, and it’s not last here because it’s unimportant. Instead, it’s meant to be a sort of seal, committing this process and your efforts to God. Pray about building trust, and do so together in the presence of God and by the grace of God.
  8. Keep going! Trust doesn’t rebuild instantaneously, but it can be rebuilt. Keep going. Keep trusting God together. And stick with it. We’re praying your efforts are fruitful.

If any of those reasons resonate with you, we encourage you to listen to this week’s podcast episode where we go into much more detail.

“O my God, in you I trust;
let me not be put to shame;
let not my enemies exult over me.”

(Psalm 25:2)

ONE Quote (from another)

“When you have sinfully acted towards your spouse confess to one another; and ask for forgiveness of each other, and join in prayer to God for pardon; and this will act as a preventative in you the next time: you will surely be ashamed to do that which you have confessed and asked forgiveness for of God and man.”
– Richard Baxter

ONE Question (for you)

On a scale of 1-10 (high), how much would you say you trust your spouse? Why?

As mentioned, we talked about this topic in this week’s podcast episode. Be sure to watch or listen to get the full discussion.

Much love and stay fierce!

Ryan & Selena Frederick
Founders of Fierce Marriage