I’m Sorry … Again
By Lisa Lakey
Here we were again. Or, rather, here I was again: wishing I could take back the words I spit at my husband. Words of anger and a hefty amount of snark.
The way I saw it, I had about three options.
A. Laugh and say, “Just kidding. Gotcha!”
B. Pretend I didn’t say what he thought he heard.
C. Say, “I’m sorry.”
Obviously, I chose D, none of the above. Instead of apologizing, I ignored my own wrong behavior (if you still aren’t clear, I should have picked C). In fact, the more I ignored it, the more I justified it in my head (But if only he …).
And the more hurt my husband felt by my sharp tongue and resulting silence.
Saying “I’m sorry” isn’t taking blame for the entire argument. It’s owning the part you played. Proverbs 15:1 reminds me, “A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Sometimes that soft answer is “I’m sorry.”
From creating far too many situations requiring one, I’ve found an apology works best when I keep to three simple steps.
1. Say “I’m sorry,” and mean it.
Mumbling an apology in anger or like a petulant child doesn’t count. In a flash, the person receiving it will pick up on its lack of genuineness. And it only deepens the hurt.
2. Say “why.”
This isn’t your moment to let them know why you were angry in the first place. Instead, tell them why you are apologizing. It simply lets them know you see what you did wrong.
3. Fix what you can.
What can you offer to rebuild their trust? Often, there’s nothing you can do to fix a situation broken by words.
But you can pray. Ask God to work to repair what cracked.
And ask His help in choosing a better option than I did that day. Doing nothing when you offend is never the right answer.
Action point: What wrong have you done that you owe your spouse an apology for? Ask for their forgiveness, then add a fourth step to the above: accept it.
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