How to truly rebuild trust

All Woman

How to truly rebuild trust

Shelly-Ann Harris

Monday, April 06, 2020

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Our Marriage & the Family page has uplifting content from Family & Faith Magazine founded by Editorial Director Shelly-Ann Harris.

LAST week we looked at the importance of forgiveness, the five truths about forgiveness, and how to know if you have truly forgiven someone. We also made the point that rebuilding trust is the offender's responsibility. This week we will focus on how to rebuild trust.

So what kind of work is involved with becoming trustworthy again? First of all, the person has to acknowledge that what they did was wrong. They have to own it; they have to take responsibility.

“They need to make sure they are not blaming someone else; they are not justifying their actions. They need to remove all those defence mechanisms that they are likely to have been using and take ownership,” Christian counsellor and CEO of Family Life Ministries Dr Barry Davidson advised.
“In other words, they should seem to be saying, 'what I did was wrong and I am extremely sorry'.”

The second step is that the offender needs to get help. This is to make sure that they understand why they did what they did because all behaviour has meaning, and to see how they can make sure that for now and the future they are not going back down that road.

Dr Davidson added that sometimes getting help might involve total spiritual transformation in which the person who caused harm experiences God's forgiveness and conversion. He noted, however, that it is wise for that person to put themselves under the authority of someone to help them to grow and become this new person.
Within this context, he pointed to a frequently referenced scripture passage that he says is often misunderstood — 1 Corinthians 5:17.

“It says, 'therefore, if any man be in Christ he is a new creature, old things have passed away, behold everything becomes new'. The passage is really saying it's a process. So you don't get converted tonight and all of sudden all of the terrible things you used to do, by tomorrow you stop doing them. That doesn't happen,” he explained.

That is why discipleship is so important as you are re-socialised to do things differently, he emphasised.

Marriage is more about giving than getting
Applying the five truths about forgiveness on the part of the victim and taking ownership for the wrong that was done on the part of the offender are the necessary five ingredients for true reconciliation, whether it be in friendships or intimate relationships. But since more seems to be at stake in a marriage relationship, we posed a final question to the veteran relationship counsellor. We asked, in the marriage relationship, when one person has expressed forgiveness but the offending party has not acknowledged the wrong and is not remorseful, is it possible to live together in peace?

“I believe it is going to be very difficult simply because the person (offender) actually is saying I didn't think I did anything wrong, and is a person who is saying I am going to continue business as usual,” Dr Davidson said.

Additionally, he pointed out that marriage is more about giving than getting.

I miss school!
SCHOOL has been out for a while, and many parents are finding it difficult trying to keep their children focused while they miss out on one key aspect of schooling — peer interaction. This is not something homeschooling can help with, especially homeschooling in these times when social distancing is the message being preached.

Here Zoe-Marie and Sarah-Rene Harris share their stories.

I really miss school. It was so much fun, but coronavirus is making everything boring. At school I would always go on the playground after lunchtime. We also got candy when we answered questions correctly in class!

I had lots of friends to play with. We played boys versus girls — it was so much fun! We use to play hide and seek, 'Mama Lashi', and other things! Now we have to stay home because of the coronavirus.

At least I can see my friends on Zoom when we have classes online.
Still, home isn't that bad though. When I finish my work I can go on the phone or play with my baby sister, which is fun!
—Sarah-Rene, 9 years old

I had just started high school and was finally settling down when the pandemic was declared and all schools were shut down. At first I was happy for the break so I could catch two extra hours of sleep in the morning. Although I can wake up later now and wear my own comfortable clothes, I miss many things about school.

Plus I prefer learning in school rather than online classes because my teachers make me want to learn.

But I mostly miss interacting with my friends and I hope that the coronavirus doesn't infect anymore people so that everyone can go back to their normal lives.

One thing I really enjoy about being at home, though, is getting to eat way more food and spending more time with my mom who has to work from home.
– Zoe-Marie, 12 years old


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