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Learning to Apologize Well in MarriageSample

Learning to Apologize Well in Marriage

DAY 1 OF 5

Holy Humility

I am sad to say it, but I am a great candidate to write about learning to apologize well since it’s a process I struggled to learn in my marriage. It’s embarrassing to admit that for a long time I never apologized, but it’s true.

For a long time, I thought that having a good reason for my actions excused me from needing to apologize. When I said things that hurt my husband, whether intentionally or not, I thought that defending myself and explaining my reasons would justify them. For example, I’d say, “Yes, I yelled, but only because you yelled at me first,” which was an attempt to wriggle out of accountability for my actions and to blame my own sin on the sins of my spouse.

But I am called to live in obedience to the Lord, not in response to anyone else. My actions are my responsibility, regardless of his. At the same time, my apology does not excuse his sin either. In marriage, we must be committed to seeking God’s conviction for our own sin, not that of our spouse.

When we have wronged our spouse, we need to remember that excuses don’t repair relationships. Furthermore, a posture of unrepentance is ungodly, and causes relational disconnection. Repentance turns your heart from sin and toward the Lord, and apologizing well will help you repair the inevitable conflicts and hurts you will face in marriage.

Jesus was the only human ever to live who never needed to apologize. He was without sin and perfectly righteous. Yet he did not grasp for power or position; he did not push to get His way. He yielded and submitted to God. He followed His Father’s plans, even to the point of death. Philippians 2 humbles and compels me, reminding me that to follow Jesus, I need to be quick to lay aside my pride and admit when I am wrong.

If He who was without sin yielded to God, we then should be quick to submit to God, knowing that as humans, we are flawed and broken. We should not be surprised when we need forgiveness from God, from our spouse, or from others. Nor should we be surprised when we have the opportunity to forgive our spouse. We know that we are flawed, but God is holy, and we are completely dependent on His grace.

Clinging to a desire to be right, justified, and vindicated is counter to what Christ demonstrated in his earthly life. Sometimes saying “I’m sorry” will really feel like emptying yourself. It’s letting go of the pride that insists on being right, understood and vindicated.

Next Steps:

  • Do you have a practice of repentance and confession before God in prayer?
  • Are you quick to apologize to your spouse? To others?
  • Does one person tend to apologize first each time in your marriage? Are you both equally quick to apologize and forgive?
  • Repent today of any sin God convicts you of. Turn from sin and toward God.
Day 2

About this Plan

Learning to Apologize Well in Marriage

It can be hard to apologize well in marriage. Your spouse sees you at your best and your worst, on good days and bad. It’s inevitable you will let them down at times. Apologizing well facilitates confession and forgivene...


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