Apology & Forgiveness
There are two types of people in a relationship. You are either a master or a disaster of relationship.
The disaster of relationship does not make the health and happiness of the relationship a priority. The relationship may be strained, even toxic and failing, but they never take the necessary steps towards reparation and healing.
The master of relationship, on the other hand, is always seeking an opportunity to repair the relationship.
Today I would like to share a surefire method to commence the process of repairing a ruptured relationship. It is Apology and forgiveness.
Did you know that no one will be able to have a long lasting, healthy relationship except they are always ready to apologize? Some will not apologize because they did not learn how to do so in childhood. Others will not apologize because they consider it a sign of weakness and threat to their manhood/ womanhood. Hence they are filled with anxiety and discomfort when they are called upon to demonstrate the vulnerability and sincerity required by an apology.
But apology must be a part of our mode of operation in a relationship. The more comfortable we are at acknowledging our failure, and the extent to which we have hurt the relationship with our habits or behaviors, the greater our hope of having a triumphant relationship.
Apology is saying, I have failed and want to make amends.
Apology is acknowledging our mishap, and requesting an opportunity to reconcile.
Apology is saying, I want to rebuild trust and convince you that there will not be a repeat performance.
Apology is saying, I value the relationship and if you help me, I'll become a better person.
There are five (5) components of an apology:
1. Expressing regret. Say what you are apologizing for and be specific about it. David declared before God, 'I am guilty of blood-guiltiness" (Psalm 51). This demonstrates sincerity, remorse and empathy, without which our apology is only an empty platitude.
2. Taking responsibility. You understand how your behavior has inflicted pain and has hurt the relationship, and you take full responsibility for your action. You don't attempt to defend your behavior by deflecting blame or finding excuses. Example, If you didn't do that I would not have done this". You face the issues squarely and you are ready to deal with the consequences.
3. Making restitution. Here, you ask the question, "Is there something I can do to make it right?" The rich young ruler, in conversation with Jesus, was ready to make it right.
4. Changing our behavior. If you are genuinely repentant you will possess an ardent desire to change your behavior. You make a promise that there will not be a repeat performance. "Godly sorrow worked repentance" ( Text). If your behavior does not convince the other person that you have made a right about turn, then you have not really apologized.
5. Requesting forgiveness. There are some who never feel like you have apologized except you ask for forgiveness. If this is how your spouse views apology, then you must literally request their forgiveness.
There is power in apology to turn your marriage around. You cannot change your partner, but you can influence them towards reconciliation by your sincere apology. If somehow you believe that your marriage is at an impasse and there is no hope, remember that God, who specializes in the impossible, can use your sincere apology to restore your relationship.