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Say You’re Sorry
Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret. 2 CORINTHIANS 7:10, NIV
A friend wrote to tell me of an incident in his home, a scene uncomfortably familiar to many of us. He and his wife had experienced some conflict—nothing major, just enough to leave the air a bit tense as the breakfast rush ended and the kids disappeared for school. My friend, Keith, admitted that he had “developed the fine art of winning arguments at any cost, especially when I am in the wrong!” So when his wife began to come down pretty hard on him for what he had done, he was half listening and half preparing his case for a suitable response.
“As I caught my breath,” he wrote, “readying my tongue for the task, something happened. Just at that moment, God did one of those surprising things it seems He loves to do. No words came. I watched my wife fall silent in turn, as she waited, girding herself for my self-defense. But in place of my impeccable logic, five simple words came out of my mouth: ‘I’m sorry. I was wrong.’ ” Repentance is never easy. We know. It’s even bitter at times. But the fruit is sweet: Husbands and wives forgive each other and discover fresh joy, hope and oneness in their relationship. Children regain loving, attentive parents and are raised to fear God and keep His commandments. The estranged are reconciled. The haughty are humbled. The guilty find relief and rebellion. A family reformation begins.
Keith concluded, “Husband, don’t argue with your wife from a position of authority or gifting or power or capacity. Don’t win just because you can. Simply apologize.” And ask for forgiveness. Don’t you love the way that sounds?
How often do you repent to your spouse? In what situations do you argue rather than repent when your spouse points out a problem?
Ask God for a heart that doesn’t argue when caught—that your first thought would not be of self-defense but a desire to see how your actions (or inactions) are affecting your spouse. Pray that you will be quick to admit fault and ask for forgiveness.