In February, my wife and I went on a cruise. It wasn’t all fun and free food, though. Since it was a marriage cruise, we had classes, too.
Who am I kidding? I’m a nerd; I loved the classes, even the one I fell asleep during.
A lot of people fanboyed and fangirled over the actors and musicians. For me, it was an author.
Gary Chapman, author of The 5 Love Languages. It’s a must-read for any couple.
That wasn’t his topic, though. His topic was on apology languages and dealing effectively with failures.
It makes sense, because to some people, “sorry” isn’t good enough.
Two essentials to start: keep love and appreciation in marriage and deal effectively with failures by apologizing and forgiving.
Okay, now, where did you learn how to apologize? Your parents? I don’t remember, but it probably involved telling my sister sorry even though I wasn’t.
There are five apology languages:
- Expressing regret – “I’m sorry that I…” (Never add “but”)
- Accepting responsibility – “I was wrong…”
- Making restitution – “What can I do to make this right?”
- Genuinely repenting – “I don’t want this to keep happening.”
- Requesting forgiveness – “Will you forgive me?”
To communicate sincerity, you have to speak their language. What is it? There is a test here and three clues.
- When I apologize, what do I typically say or do?
- What hurts me the most deeply about this situation?
- What could they say or do that would make it easier for me to forgive?
My language is to make restitution, followed by genuinely repenting. Just that
willingness and recognition goes a long way. Casey asks for forgiveness, so how this works is when I mess up, to show sincerity, I have to ask for forgiveness.
One thing of note, according to Chapman, if a person doesn’t speak my apology language-when they speak in their language, take it on faith and forgive them.
Remember, forgiveness doesn’t remove memory or painful emotions, nor does it remove the consequences of sin. Forgiveness doesn’t rebuild trust. It has to be earned back.
Forgiveness is giving up the right to get even, which is good in a marriage. War is hell. Marriage isn’t supposed to be.