How do we learn to trust when we have been taught to distrust?
As babies we automatically trust. We reach out in absolute trust to our mother and care takers for our food, for a smile, for love and affection. But then something goes wrong and maybe a game is played where the toy we’re being handed is jerked away for example. If it is done enough times we will not trust the one playing the game. It can become cruel in the mind of the child and trust is lost.
That’s a very simple illustration of one way trust can be lost. What about when a child is sexually abused? The trust factor shoots off the scales. Distrust is learned. The one the child trusted has destroyed any possibility of trusting him/her again. The child is taught to distrust! It doesn’t matter how many times the abuser says, “You can trust me” it’s always a lie! Distrust becomes so deep seeded and so ingrained it’s a miracle if a child grows to trust anyone or anything, including their bodies in some cases.
If the abuser is a father figure, such as in incest, the emotional damage to the child is greater than any other kind of abuse. Why? Because it affects not only the body but the soul; mind, will, and emotions. It also deeply affects their spirit and can have devastating results.
Father figures, be it grandfathers, uncles, step-fathers, are to be a reflection of God. God is Spirit yet we know Him as Father. For several years after becoming a follower of Jesus Christ I could not, would not, call Father God “Father.” Why? Because it was my earthly father who abused me. He was cruel, deceptive, manipulative, controlling, and a liar. If I didn’t do what he wanted it was hell to pay.
If my experience with earthly father is such, why on earth would I trust another Father I can’t even see!? Because of the incestuous relationship between a father figure and the child a relationship with our Heavenly Father is damaged from the get-go.
Father God knows that! In my case He worked very hard to gain my trust. “I’m nothing like your earthly father!” He would tell me over and over and over. “Trust Me” He’d say, and I would have to make a conscious choice to do that. I had to learn to trust my Real Father, my Father in heaven. It wasn’t easy! With each command or request I had to “take a chance” and either trust what He was telling me or try to figure it out on my own or do it on my own. Was I going to trust my past experiences or trust the One who says He can be trusted? Each time I trusted Him He showed me through whatever it was I was to do that I could trust Him.
But what about trusting people? We all have run across people who just plain are not trustworthy. They’ve proved it by not showing up when they say they will, by stealing something when our back is turned, by not doing their required jobs, by lying. There are many examples. As with God teaching us to trust Him we also learn to trust others. If the past says “trust no-one” that is coming from the flesh and a wounded heart. We have to make a conscious choice to open our hearts to others and if our toes are stepped on a little we dust off our sandals and move on. It doesn’t prove that everyone is not trustworthy. Our world gets pretty dark and lonely without trust.
God proved to me over and over that I can trust Him and by Him doing that I have also learned there are people that I also can trust. True, we can’t blindly trust everyone we meet. It’s a process of getting acquainted. Just like my getting acquainted with the Lord. I had to step out in faith to learn those lessons and in doing so my world has certainly become a lot brighter.
It’s called VICTORY.
For my story of learning to trust and obey:
Available only through Elah Ministries, Inc. (Amazon is sold out and not available.) http://www.elahministries.com
Sing along with me………
List 10 victories you have had the past 6 months.
Eph. 2: 13-14
If you have confidential comments/questions feel free to e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Blessings to you.