Last week I told you about how I lost my parents’ trust. I know I’m not the only one. If you’re one of those girls who has been walking on eggshells around a couple of suspicious parents, here’s how you can get their trust back. Ready?
First, it will take genuine repentance. For the sake of this post, I’m going to assume that you lost your parents trust because . . . you sinned. Usually that’s the way it works. Oh, we don’t like to think of it that way. We usually say “I made a poor decision because of so-and-so or such-and-such, I got caught, and now I want my parents to trust me again so life will be easier for me.” This is what God’s Word refers to as “worldly grief [that] produces death” (2 Cor. 7:10). You’re sorry about your sin because you don’t look so good in someone’s eyes anymore or because now you’re dealing with the painful consequences.
But . . . what about the fact that you sinned against a holy God? Is your heart broken over the fact that you disobeyed His law, that you chose sin over pleasing Him, that you didn’t bring Him the glory He deserves? When God is the main reason you regret your sin (rather than yourself and the consequences you’re facing), that’s a good thing. That’s what God’s Word refers to as “godly grief” that “produces a repentance that leads to salvation without regret” (2 Cor. 7:10).
So as you evaluate your situation, would you say you have worldly grief leading to death or godly grief leading to repentance? If it’s not the latter, I encourage you to ask God right now to give you godly grief that leads to repentance. Ask Him to help you see your sinfulness as He sees it, to see His awesome holiness, and then turn to Jesus in faith, knowing that He has declared you righteous and clean and forgiven if you have put your trust in Him.
Second, it will take HOT conversation (honest, open, and transparent). If you have genuinely repented of your sin, then you will want to bring all your sin “into the light.” Have you been completely honest with your parents? Trust me . . . as hard as it will be for you to tell them the whole truth, it will be so much harder if they find out from anyone other than you. Proverbs 28:13 says, “Whoever conceals his transgressions will not prosper, but he who confesses and forsakes them will obtain mercy.”
Once your sin is out in the open and exposed, ask your parents what it will take to regain their trust. Be willing to work with them. Set up a plan with them, and go out of your way to let them know where you are and what you’re doing.
Finally, know that it will take time. Lots of it. It’s just a natural consequence we have to face when we’ve sinned and hidden it. Be patient with your parents. They can’t see your heart. Give them time—lots of it—and watch God restore your relationship beyond what you would have ever imagined!
I’m sorry it’s not easier. Sin rots. Its consequences are long-lasting. But because of God’s grace, there is always room for redemption, healing, and restored relationships! What step will you take today to genuinely repent, communicate honestly, and prepare for the long haul? Any other ideas you have that I didn’t include?