WHY APOLOGY IS NEEDED IN A RELATIONSHIP
We can never understand the concept of APOLOGY in marriage without first knowing the CODES OF CONDUCT, ethics and morality of MARRIAGE. When you understand the standards of marriage set by God and man, it is easier to apologise or to completely avoid doing things that will hurt your partner.
As a partner, when you are well informed about the ethics and morality of marriage, no one will tell you to apologise when you go against these ethics. It is not all about saying SORRY that matters, but to know why that sorry is very important. When you offend your partner, you offended in two ways:
1. In your action
2. You hurt the feelings of your partner.
You see, but in apology, people concentrate on trying to correct and make up for their wrong actions but IGNORANTLY neglect the emotional torture and break down this has caused the partner.
Apology should be to make up for your wrong actions and feelings of your partner.
However, this may not be possible if you don’t know the right and wrongs of marriage. Or, it will keep happening, and you keep apologising.
Remember, when an action becomes habitual, apology becomes meaningless.
The first thing is to learn about the ethics of marriage, the code of conducts and morality guiding marriage.
1. Codes of conduct in marriage: These are acceptable norms, principles and practices expected from a couple in marriage. A code of conduct is a part of the expectations among couples in many homes. A partner do not want to condone bad, dishonest or irresponsible behaviour. Respect, love and honesty are one of the components of a good marriage.
2. Ethics in marriage: ethics in marriage are those standards or codes of conduct set by God and man for a successful marriage.
3. Morality in marriage: Morality in marriage refers to rules which prescribe the ways couples ought to behave and principles which reflect what is ultimately good or desirable for a partner.
Understanding the above makes it easier for couples to work together in love and unity, it makes it easier to say I’m SORRY and it will carry weight and positive meaning to a partner.
You need to apologise whenever you violate the rules, standards, codes of conduct and Morality of marriage. Apology is needed when a partner goes against the norms and good practices expected in marriage.
WHAT IS APOLOGY?
An expression of remorse or regret for having said or done something that harmed another: an instance of apologizing.
WHAT THE BIBLE SAYS ABOUT APOLOGY IN A RELATIONSHIP.
Basically, apology is to reconcile with your partner and allow things go on normal in a relationship. This scripture shows how God takes unity and love in relationships either of marriage, friendship or family. It is such a serious case that God was ready to reject your gifts (including your prayer) if you have an UNRECONCILED ISSUES WITH YOUR BROTHER (SPOUSE).
21 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:
22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire.
23 Therefore if thou bring thy gift to the altar, and there rememberest that thy brother hath ought against thee;
24 Leave there thy gift before the altar, and go thy way; first be reconciled to thy brother, and then come and offer thy gift.
WHAT ARE THE STANDARDS OF MARRIAGE
This teaching may not be exhaustive on this but I will try to mention some as a guide for you reading this article. The following are practical examples of ethics and codes of conduct in marriage.
1. Love as a standard
2. Honesty and openness as a standard.
3. Faithfulness and fidelity as a standard
4. Submission as a standard
5. Caring for one another as a standard.
6. Sexual fulfillment as a standard
7. Parenting as a standard.
8. Cleanliness as a standard.
9. Kind words for one another as a standard.
10. Good food as a standard.
11. Accepting other relations as a standard.
12. Attention and fellowship with one another as a standard.
13. Keeping your partner’s secrets as a standard.
14. Good manner of approach as a standard.
15. Forgiveness as a standard.
16. Family protection and provisions as a standard.
HINDRANCES TO EFFECTIVE APOLOGY.
2. Absence of forgiving spirit
3. Not opening up to your partner
4. When a couple is not free with each others
5. When couples grudge or keep malice in marriage.
FIVE STEPS TO A MEANINGFUL APOLOGY
1. Expressing regret – Saying, “I am sorry” and identifying with the pain that your behaviour has caused the other person. It notes the hurt, the emotional part. You realize what you did or said or didn’t do or say has hurt them deeply and that you feel badly. Be specific as possible. Remember, any “but” nullifies the apology. Don’t try to justify or explain why you did what you did. Face it; you caused hurt. Be sorry.
2. Accepting responsibility — Saying, “I was wrong, I shouldn’t have done that.” There’s no defense for that. Make no excuses. It’s fully admitting wrongdoing. Take ownership for your wrong words or behaviour that caused the hurt in your spouse. Don’t downplay or minimize what you did or try to point out that they are too sensitive. Own it!
3. Requesting forgiveness — Saying, “Will you forgive me?” Actually, ask your spouse for forgiveness. You first accept the blame and show that you want to get things right. Let go of the fear of them not forgiving you. Humbly, put your request out there actually asking, “will you forgive me” and then rely on their grace to forgive you.
4. Genuinely repenting —Saying, “I want to change and will really try to not do this again”. Expressing the desire to not let it happen again. Ask your spouse for input on how you can change. What are some ways you can turn this around? Ask for their assistance toward a change of behaviour. Don’t say you’re sorry but keep doing the same thing. The sincere desire to change the behaviour is key. No cheap talk – make the changes. Write down the action steps to show intentionality. You’re not saying, if you forgive me, I will never do this again. Rather, “I don’t like this about me. I want to change”.
5. Making restitution —Saying, “What can I do to make this up to you?” How can I make this right? It’s relational recompense. You value their relationship and want to be restored to them. They will be assured of your love, as expressed, by your desire to make things right between you. Your spouse will often make a request in their primary love language.
FOR APOLOGY TO HAVE IMPACT ON YOUR SPOUSE, THESE MUST HAPPEN.
1. You have to admit you are wrong
2. You have to appeal for the emotion or feelings of your spouse
3. You have to forgive
4. You just have to make up for your wrongs
5. You have to avoid a repeat of your negative or bad actions that your partner dislike.
TWO APOLOGY LANGUAGES 👇🏿
Apology goes beyond saying sorry, you need to know its languages so for it to be meaningful in your relationship. In apologising, you have to apologise for the action and the feelings or emotional torture you caused your partner.
These are languages you may adopt for a meaningful and effective APOLOGY in your marriage.
The list is not exhausted you can be creative to adopt your own.
1. Verbal languages eg
* I’m sorry
* please forgive me
* sorry. It won’t happen again
* I accept my mistake darling.
* You are the best, I never meant to do that.
* For the sake of our love please forgive me.
* You are beautiful/handsome, I love you my dear.
2. Non verbal languages
Non verbal languages appeals to our emotions or feelings.
Many are not aware of these apology language, while some that are aware finds it difficult to use it. Eg
* give him/her a kiss immediately
* taking the moment to give him/her romantic sex
* surprising him/her with a gift.
* try to hug or passionately hold the partner.
* send him/her soft romantic love and apology messages.
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