If you have not read Part 1 of this blog yet, I would highly recommend going back and reading that blog before you read this blog. This blog will make very little sense if you have not read Part 1 first. You can read Part 1 of this blog series here.
Here are the action steps we have discussed so far:
Action 1: Discover Their Little Joys. Read Part 2 here.
Action 2: Kiss Unselfishly. Read Part 3 here.
Action 3:”Just Because” Gifts. Read Part 4 here.
Action 4: Ask, “Is This Okay?” Read Part 5 here.
In today’s blog, we will be discussing the 5th action step that I have come up with that I can work on doing that will help sustain my present relationship and future marriage with Steph. Remember, these are all action steps you can use and work on with me to improve your present relationships or marriages as well.
Action 5: Say, “I’m Sorry”
How many of you have messed up, stubbornly refused to repent, and suffered two or three weeks of the cold shoulder from your partner? Wouldn’t it have been easier on you (and your partner) if you had delivered a sincere and timely apology?
Why do we tend to be so pig-headed about this?
As men, if we leave the toilet seat up, we easily say, “I’m sorry.” If we forget to pick up something while we are at the grocery store, we say without even thinking, “My bad.” Those are relatively minor infractions and it somehow seems easier to say we are sorry for minor things.
It should be exactly the same with the big things that we screw up on. When you say something terribly stupid, forget something terribly important, or do something terribly disgraceful, it is just as important that you come back with an “I’m Sorry.” Just because the infraction is bigger, it does not mean that it should take longer for the apology to come.
When you do find yourself needing to make one of those bigger apologies, I would like to recommend the following steps to follow so that your “I’m sorry,” comes off as being sincere:
Steps for saying “I’m sorry,” the right way
Step 1: Find a quiet place.
Step 2: Do several minutes of soul-searching.
Step 3: Decide what kind of promise or restitution needs to be made.
Step 4: Go to the person.
Step 5: Acknowledge the damage you have done.
Step 6: Express remorse.
Step 7: Ask for forgiveness.
The bible has a couple of really good passages that show the importance of asking for forgiveness.
Psalm 32:1-5 (NIV)
1 Blessed is the one
whose transgressions are forgiven,
whose sins are covered.
2 Blessed is the one
whose sin the Lord does not count against them
and in whose spirit is no deceit.
3 When I kept silent,
my bones wasted away
through my groaning all day long.
4 For day and night
your hand was heavy on me;
my strength was sapped
as in the heat of summer.
5 Then I acknowledged my sin to you
and did not cover up my iniquity.
I said, “I will confess
my transgressions to the Lord.”
And you forgave
the guilt of my sin.
Proverbs 14:9 (NIV)
9 Fools mock at making amends for sin,
but goodwill is found among the upright.
I seem to be pretty good at saying the words, “I’m sorry,” when I mess something up. The part I seem to struggle with is having genuine remorse when I am saying it. Sometimes it seems like I am saying the words just to say the words, but they seem to have very little meaning behind them. I’m sure Steph would tell you how frustrating that can be at times. It is not like I meant to mess up, but when I do, I need to just learn to be a little more humble when I approach Steph and ask for her forgiveness. That is the aspect that I really need to work on improving.
Lynn Johnston, a cartoonist, says “An apology is the superglue of life. It can repair just about anything.” I would say that I definitely agree with that.
We need to ask ourselves two very important questions:
How quick am I to apologize for minor mistakes?
Is there something major for which I need to seek my partner’s forgiveness?
I would like to challenge all of us to work on our apologies with our partners. We need to say “I’m sorry” more frequently. When we do say it, we need to take the time to go through the steps of an apology in this blog so that our hearts can really process what we have done and so when we approach our partner, we know that the “I’m sorry” will be a genuine one. We are all human and we all make mistakes. We can’t stop making mistakes, but with a little care and thoughtfulness, we can get the “I’m sorry” part right every time. I’m sure they will appreciate it.