To build anything that will hold up under the toughest of conditions and storms that will come, it is crucial to have a quality foundation. To maintain structural integrity over time, using quality materials to build that foundation is vital. Cut corners, and you weaken the entire structure and subject it to potential collapse under stress.
The quality of the components we use to build the foundation of our marriages is arguably more critical, if it stands a chance to survive the storms of life. One of the most destructive forces our marriages will ever be slammed with is pornography.
Trust is the pure and powerful binding agent that holds our marital relationships together. Porn is trust’s greatest enemy. Its effects are relentless and destructive. And when that foundation of trust gives out and the structure of marriage sitting on top of it begins to crumble and fall, people get hurt leaving wounds and deep scars. And then what?
Can our marriage be rebuilt?
I struggled with wondering if our marriage could be rebuilt. I feared the damage I’d done was too severe to repair. You may be asking yourself that very question.
My answer to you–yes, it can be rebuilt.
Will it be easy? No. Trust built over time and destroyed in a moment will be rebuilt in time, not in a moment. In fact it will likely take a long time to restore and rebuild.
So where in the world do we begin? Here are five habits that provide a good starting point on the blueprint for rebuilding trust.
Habit 1: Leave no time unaccounted for in your day.
That’s pretty radical you say? Yep, you are right. It is. Share your schedule and plans of where you are going to be with you wife. Give her reasons to trust you. You can also have your accountability partner(s) be a person who knows your schedule. Give your wife full permission to check in with him. Keep no secrets!
Habit 2: Do things together that you might otherwise not.
One of the things Julie (my wife) and I do together now is grocery shopping. She’s not fond of doing that chore alone, and we make drudgery fun. I tell her my corny jokes (she’s very gracious), we reflect on fun times with our kids, and we have had many great discussions about life, future hopes and dreams while in the produce aisle.
Habit 3: Install Accountability Software on all devices with Internet access.
Offer full access to your wife on the contents of the activity reports. If she is not receiving them, let her know she can contact your accountability partner anytime to get updated. Keep no secrets!
Habit 4: Her bedtime is your bedtime.
Even if you are not tired, grab a book and join her. Late at night, or when we are tired, is a very common time that we become vulnerable to temptation. Satan knows our every weakness and lays in wait to “steal, kill and destroy” in those moments. Ephesians 4:27 instructs us “and give no opportunity to the devil.” Do not give him the opportunity to stick his foot in the door.
Habit 5: Tell your wife when you stumble or are struggling with temptation.
No, I’m not kidding. Nearly all my fears about sharing my failings and struggles during my recovery, all proved to be faux fears. Instead of becoming angry with me, my wife’s trust grew as I was transparent and honest with her. Did it still hurt her? Of course it did. Yet she felt included, valued and it gave her an opportunity to pray with me and for me.
Radical measures to restore relationship
We chose a pretty radical way to undermine the trust of our wives, so radical measures are required to rebuild.
Jesus took some pretty radical measures to restore the broken relationship between himself and us. In his total innocence he was beaten, crucified, died and rose again to rebuild that which broken trust destroyed in the garden.
Jesus said in Luke 9:23, “If anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily and follow me.” Men, the cross of rebuilding trust is indeed ours to carry daily. That very cross, however, leads to a place of great hope, healing and restoration if we are willing to endure the path.
Trust is found in it’s most pure form in Jesus Christ. He is our example to follow and has shown us the way.