August 1, 2017

How to Restore a Relationship When Trust is Broken

Written by Shana Schutte

Thoughts from daily Bible reading for today – August 1, 2017

By Shana Schutte

Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.  Philippians 2:3-4

If I could sit down with you and have an honest conversation about your relationships, I bet you could tell me a story about a time when someone took advantage of you, betrayed you, or let you down. Perhaps they failed to give you the love you long for, or the support you desire. As a result, trust was broken.

Or, perhaps you were the one who contributed to the death of trust through some sinful attitude or action.

The good news is that the Bible gives a prescription for the restoration of relationships.

“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First, go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift” (Matthew 5:23-25).

The prescription is to go. That sounds challenging, but not impossible, right? Go. Admit you’re wrong. Be reconciled.

But have you noticed that when trust is broken, restoring it isn’t as quick as an apology? Why? Because the beginning of reconciliation happens with an apology or a request for forgiveness, but total relational healing happens when trust is restored, and that often takes more than an “I’m sorry.” But how does that happen?

It happens when both parties forgive, of course, but also as the offender moves from “I’m sorry” to action. They are willing to do what is necessary to make the one they have offended or hurt feel safe. If that means they need to tell their mate where they are going after work and call home at noon, they’ll do it. If it means they need to submit themselves to counsel or accountability, they’ll do it. If it means they need to take a class or have some hard conversations to regain trust, they’ll do it.

When we are serious about relational restoration, we’ll be truly remorseful about the sin we have committed against our brother or sister in Christ and we’ll move from “I’m sorry,” to action. We will be willing to not only ask for forgiveness but do the work that is necessary for healing to happen.

When there is consistency between words and actions, between intention and behavior, trust can be restored. And when two people work together to restore trust, great things happen. Intimacy grows. Joy increases. And, God is glorified.

There is no relationship that is so broken that God cannot restore when both parties humble themselves and work together to restore trust.

Is there a relationship in your life that has been broken because trust has been broken? How can you respond in a godly way to contribute to the restoration of trust? And, if you are the one who wronged another, are you willing to humble yourself and do the work so confidence and trust can be restored? Are you willing to help your brother or sister in Christ feel safe with you again?

Humble yourselves, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time”(1 Peter 5:6).



Lord, please give me the courage, grace, forgiveness, and humility to always conduct my relationships the way you desire. Amen.


Is there someone you need to restore trust with today? Pray about your next step.

Related Reading

Proverbs 29:23; Romans 12:10; James 3:14-16

Post/Tweet today

There is no relationship that is so broken that God cannot restore when both parties humble themselves and work together to restore trust. #WisdomHunters #RelationshipsRestored

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  1. Donna Dirks says:

    I was getting your daily devotionsls via email up until a week or so ago (about the time you launched the app). Is the new app. the only way to get the devotionals? Are the emails stopped now? I’d really prefer to get them via email. Thanks….appreciate the devotionals each day!

  2. Kassie says:

    This was very good and encouraging… But what happens when I’m the one who caused the hurt and break down. I’m willing to do whatever it takes, but he isn’t now. He isn’t even talking to me now, and has broken our engagement. Can God still restore this, now? You said both parties… But what if one party has totally shut down?

  3. Gwynne says:

    Dear Kassie,
    Thank you for your kind words for Shana after reading “How to Restore a Relationship When Trust is Broken”. Your question is a good one and I can tell, so heartfelt. “Can God still restore this, now?” Our Heavenly Father can do anything and relationship restoration may be one of His “favorites”. So, seek Him out, through prayer and worship and surrender. Dive deep into His Word. Turn this over to Him, Kassie. He knows your heart.
    But Kassie, if the relationship is or is NOT restored, give it to God. He will be with you with either outcome.
    If it isn’t restored, maybe that is because God has something else in store for you in His Perfect Time.
    At the end of Shana’s devotional she writes the verse:
    “Humble yourself, therefore, under God’s mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time.” (1Peter 5:6) He is there for you, Kassie.
    Praising Him for His unbelieveable Love,

    “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all of your heart.” (Jeremiah 29:13)

  4. Gwynne says:

    Dear Donna,
    Thank you for letting us know that your devotionals have stopped. You can still receive them by email or on the app. I will be happy to look into why yours have stopped and I will get back to you through your email. (You will be receiving an email from In the meantime, you can go to our website and get any of our past devotionals that you may have missed.
    I will be in touch with you and we will make sure you are up and running.
    We are so thankful that you are a part of the Wisdom Hunter’s family.

    “Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.”
    1 Thessalonians 5: 16-18

  5. Daphne Lingela says:

    Thank you to hear more from you I know I will testify

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