Thursday, October 4, 2012

31 Days to a Happy Marriage: Day 5: I'm Sorry

One of the very best phrases a married person can use is, "I'm sorry."

Pastor Allen Speegle says, "Nothing takes the air out of confrontation like admitting your faults first. If you find yourself dealing with an explosive situation admit "your stuff" instead of harping on theirs."

There is so much truth in that!  I don't know how many times I could feel a situation escalating between Jeremiah and I, and as soon as I said, "I'm sorry." there was an instant peace. Unfortunately, there are even more times when I didn't say, "I'm sorry." and things got way out of hand.

Saying, "I'm sorry." has been hard for me in the past (let's be honest, it sometimes still is).  If you feel the need to 'be right' or prove you're right at all costs, saying sorry will be difficult.  I am learning that having peace is worth way more in my life than being right.  

Towards the end of the hellish time in the first 6 months of our marriage, I remember things felt out of control.  We were arguing constantly, and usually about something trivial.  My wise husband told me one day, "I am making the decision that we are having peace in our home."  Basically, I had no choice about it.  At that point, I would have argued with a wall to prove how right I was instead of having peace.  Thank God my husband put his foot down on that issue.  If we had continued down the path we were going, I'm sure we would have been divorced by now.

The thing is, you can be right, in fact, that you're wrong.  My dad says this, "If you're right you don't need an argument, and if you're wrong you don't have an argument." 

Matthew 7:1-5 tells us, “Don’t pick on people, jump on their failures, criticize their faults— unless, of course, you want the same treatment. That critical spirit has a way of boomeranging. It’s easy to see a smudge on your neighbor’s face and be oblivious to the ugly sneer on your own. Do you have the nerve to say, ‘Let me wash your face for you,’ when your own face is distorted by contempt? It’s this whole traveling road-show mentality all over again, playing a holier-than-thou part instead of just living your part. Wipe that ugly sneer off your own face, and you might be fit to offer a washcloth to your neighbor."

By constantly trying to prove your rightness and your spouse's wrongness, you can be pushing out the very happiness, peace, and love God has called your relationship to have.  By pointing out your spouse's issues and not looking at your own, you'll push your spouse away.  Through the years I am learning to say, "I'm sorry" more quickly...and sincerely mean it.  Peace is way more important than being right.  

*Find a list with links to the other posts in this series here.*

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