When a relationship begins to fall apart due to serious sin on the behalf of one person, the culprit will have to change if the relationship is going to be sustainable. What often happens here is that the offender pretends to change external behavior, which is all too easy a solution. The idea here is, “just tell me what to do and I’ll do it.” The offender’s assumption is that if one behaves differently and better, that’s all that counts. Yet this is unlikely to be convincing for the offended as being a charlatan is part of what led to the breakdown in the first place. Several problems arise in this scenario, but the most severe is an issue of trust concerning who this offender is. An unknown identity increases suspicion. Real change and release has to come from an internal transformation and this must first take place between the perpetrator and God before it can eventually have an impact on the offended so that trust, the very essence of sustainable relationships, can begin to be built again.
Dr. Gregory J. Laughery