How can you trust again after you have been betrayed, wounded, and heartbroken in the past? When you cannot trust someone in the present because you have been betrayed by someone else in the past, your current relationship will never be healthy until you deal with the betrayal that occurred.
So here are three biblical ways to trust again after you’ve been betrayed and heartbroken but desire to be in a new Christian relationship one day.
If You Want to Trust Again, You Must Forgive the Wrongs Done in Your Past
In the Bible forgiveness and reconciliation are two different things. Forgiveness is when you release someone of the penalty of their crime. Reconciliation is the restoration of a relationship to what it was before the offense took place. All Christians are called to forgive all sins done against them. We are not called to always be reconciled.
Forgiveness is so important not only because it is the first step to being reconciled to the person who sinned against you (if reconciliation is appropriate), but also because forgiveness is the first step in being reconciled to other humans in general. When you are betrayed and hurt by one person, you will project that fear and pain onto other people in your life as well.
If you want to trust again and start a new relationship with someone else, you must start by dealing with the betrayals of your past. You will not be able to trust others until you forgive the one who betrayed you. You will always project your hurt onto others until you forgive the person who actually hurt you.
Give People Opportunities to Show Their Trustworthy Before Trusting Them
You shouldn’t trust everyone, but you should also be able to trust some people. So how do you figure out who to trust and who not to trust?
One way to guard your heart (Proverbs 4:23) is by slowing entrusting yourself more and more to someone rather than giving them all of you all at once. You should scale your relationships with people and give them more and more opportunities to be trusted rather than just giving all your trust to someone all at once.
This is why dating is so helpful before marriage. You should not fully give your heart to someone right at the beginning of the dating relationship. The point of dating is to see if someone is worthy of being trusted with your heart.
I don’t think you should totally give yourself to someone in your heart until marriage because your intimacy should match your commitment.
Trust Is Ultimately Undeserved Therefore It Must Be Given as a Gift in Love
You will not find one Bible person where you are told to trust another human. God commands us to trust him, that’s it. This does not mean, however, that we are told not to trust people. Rather, it just means trust is always a choice. Like love, trust is something that cannot be forced. In fact, trust is an expression of love.
When you have been betrayed and heartbroken in the past, you struggle to trust other people because you have come face to face with the sin inside of the human nature. John 2:23-25 explains:
Now when he was in Jerusalem at the Passover Feast, many believed in his name when they saw the signs that he was doing. 24 But Jesus on his part did not entrust himself to them, because he knew all people25 and needed no one to bear witness about man, for he himself knew what was in man.”
Jesus eventually entrusted himself to his disciples not because they deserved it but because he was showing them his love (John 15:15). God doesn’t trust us in such a way that he believes we will never sin against him. Rather, he trusts us with things and gives us opportunities to fail because his trust is a gift to us. He loves us therefore he trusts us to do what he wants with the things he gives us rather than us doing what we want. His trust is seen in our ability to choose what we will do with what he has given us. We don’t deserve this trust and God knows we will not be perfect, but he still remains open and vulnerable with us because he chooses to love us despite our failures.
Likewise, if you ever truly love anyone in a committed Christian relationship it will not be because you finally found a perfect person who will never let you down. It will be because you have finally realized that you must love someone because you choose to, not because they deserve it. Likewise, you can choose to trust someone because you want to love them, not because you believe they will never betray you or let you down. God remains faithful to us even when we are unfaithful to him. Romans 3:2-4 explains:
To begin with, the Jews were entrusted with the oracles of God. 3 What if some were unfaithful? Does their faithlessness nullify the faithfulness of God? 4 By no means! Let God be true though every one were a liar, as it is written, “That you may be justified in your words, and prevail when you are judged.”
God “trusts” us by giving us his word to follow without forcing us to follow it. He knows we will fail but he still trusts us with his desires and plans found in the word. But what happens when we break his trust by breaking the commandments? God remains faithful to us because his love is rooted in him and not us. He continues to trust us as a gift his love, not as a reward for our faithfulness.
There’s always the possibility of being betrayed again. If you won’t trust because you refuse to be hurt, you will never be able to trust and you will never have a true love-based relationship with anyone. We don’t trust people because we know they can hurt us just like people in our past have hurt us. The reality is that’s true – this new person can betray you. So you can’t give someone your trust because they deserve it because everyone will eventually not deserve it.
I’m not saying everyone will cheat on you or hurt you just like someone in the past did. But everyone will sin against you someday and in some way. So you will only be able to trust again when you choose to give your trust to an imperfect person as a sign of your love for that person. Love is a gift. It’s a choice. We must love others because we choose to, not because of their perfections. The same is true of our trust.
Trust ultimately will be given as a sign of your love for someone. You can trust someone not because that person is flawless and will never hurt you but rather because you have made the commitment to keep loving him or her even when they fail. That’s how God loves us, and that’s the only way we will be able to love and trust one another.