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We can spend months and years building trust and growing deeper into our relationships only for a moment to happen that can begin to slowly destroy the time invested. Rebuilding broken trust will take time and the intentional pursuit of restoration. 

What Happens When Trust is Broken in a Relationship

Moments where we begin to coil back like a snail back into its shell, wanting to hide from the potential danger outside. 

Slowly we stop sharing our feelings. 

We slowly stop wanting to communicate because we may wonder what’s the point. 

Slowly we think, “When did I stop mattering to this person?”

Trust is broken in many ways between friends, family, spouses, and children. Each requires different levels of restoration and willingness between both parties. (I am thankful that God is always with us, walking us through how to continue to keep our love on for people despite the hurt we feel.)

Psalm 147:3 says, “He heals the brokenhearted and bandages their wounds.”

When I am healing from broken trust with a friend after hearing what they were saying about me, I have to recognize, pray, and discern between ending the friendship for both of us to be healthy moving forward or if establishing new boundaries will help repair our friendship moving forward. 

When a family member continues to show me I can’t trust them with my pain, hurt, or feelings, I have to recognize where they are and know that boundaries will be important moving forward, and maybe a certain degree of reconciliation can happen. 

How Do You Start to Rebuild Trust in a Relationship

Rebuild broken trust in relationships starts with three things:

  1. Forgiveness
  2. Reconciliation
  3. Repentance

The first step to repairing any relationship hurt is forgiveness. 

Forgiveness is always given because Christ forgave us

Yet, trust is earned. 

As you are repairing broken trust, it’s important for both parties to discuss reconciliation. Do you both want to restore this relationship? 

Remember that forgiveness is between you and God. Forgiveness takes one person, and that’s you. However, reconciliation takes two people. You and the other person involved. 

God reconciled Himself to us through His Son Jesus. We become reconciled to God through our choice and Jesus dying on the cross. We choose to be reconciled with God by accepting Jesus as our Savior. Jesus reconciled me to God, but it’s my choice to choose Jesus. 

2 Corinthians 7:10-11 says, “For the kind of sorrow God wants us to experience leads us away from sin and results in salvation. There’s no regret for that kind of sorrow. But worldly sorrow, which lacks repentance, results in spiritual death.

Just see what this godly sorrow produced in you! Such earnestness, such concern to clear yourselves, such indignation, such alarm, such longing to see me, such zeal, and such a readiness to punish wrong. You showed that you have done everything necessary to make things right.”

Our sorrow leads us to repentance. Whether we did the hurting or were hurt, we can still repent of our actions to the Lord, going to Him humbly recognizing our own faults. We can not repent on someone else’s behalf; our repentance doesn’t excuse our behavior. Our repentance keeps our hearts humble before the Lord that we should ever act on our pain. 

How to Rebuild Trust in a Relationship 

Rebuilding broken trust in relationships with biblical action requires us to move in these five things:

  1. Admit and repent
  2. Practice forgiveness (the act of walking it out through our actions and words)
  3. Trust in God. 
  4. Recognize and encourage what builds trust. 
  5. Repetition of consistent action matching our words. 

Action means motion. We are moving in a direction that leads to healing. When we forgive someone, that’s the start of us walking out the healing in our hearts. Moving forward, our words and actions align with the forgiveness process leading to reconciliation. (If that is what is talked agreed upon. Even if you are not establishing reconciliation, we still begin the process of walking the hurt with the Lord.)

Trusting in God will be the foundation of our healing. We can trust God with our pain and restoration because He is a redeemer. 

Remember that forgiveness is between you and God. Forgiveness takes one person, and that's you. However, reconciliation takes two people, you and the other person involved.

How to Trust Again When Trust Has Been Broken

What builds broken trust?

  • Clarity
  • Communication
  • Honesty
  • Action

If you want to begin repairing broken trust and learn to walk out true forgiveness, I go deeper into each step in my course Spiritual Growth Framework

I know repairing broken trust is not easy. Time will help begin to rebuild what was broken. However, with time, it will take intentional steps to rebuild trust. The depth we experience healing is the depth we turn to the Lord and walk out His love for us. 

Bible Verses about Love and Trust

“When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. In God, whose word I praise, in God I trust; I shall not be afraid. What can flesh do to me?” Psalm 56:3-4

“You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord God is an everlasting rock.” Isaiah 26:3-4

“Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act.” Psalm 37:5

“They will have no fear of bad news; their hearts are steadfast, trusting in the LORD.” Psalm 11:7

“Those who trust in themselves are fools, but those who walk in wisdom are kept safe.” Proverbs 28:26

Learn more about repairing broken trust in my course Spiritual Growth Framework

Praying for you,

jessica hottle

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