Welcome to Simply Sundays…At The Picket Fence
“Say you’re sorry!” I sternly said to him. “Tell your sister, you’re sorry for picking at her!”
“sorry…,” he mumbled. “Now give her a hug,” I admonished him.
sigh…”okay,” he muttered and begrudgingly gave her a quick hug. Then he stomped off.
“There,” I thought, “see they love each other. They said they were sorry after all.”
How many of us have been through this scenario time and time again. We want our children to be “sorry” for their actions so we force them to say it. Because, saying it makes it true..right?
The other day I offended Bama Boy. He was upset. I was angry. I huffed off to my room to pout. I WAS NOT going to say I was sorry. Then I started to think. If he was a friend I had offended I wouldn’t hesitate to tell her I was sorry. In fact, I tell my friends or even strangers I’m sorry if I even THINK I’ve offended them in someway. Why do I struggle so much then, telling my husband…I’m sorry? My children…I’m sorry? My sister…I’m sorry? My parents..I’m sorry? Why is it so hard to tell the ones we love MOST that we’re “sorry”?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the words “I’m sorry.” What do they mean to the other person? Why should we say we’re sorry when we feel we haven’t done something wrong?
I believe “I’m sorry” conveys so much more than…I am guilty. I hurt you on purpose. It says…“I feel bad you are hurting.” “I hurt with you that an action of mine advertently or inadvertently caused you pain.” It says...”I know that you love me so much that you are hurt when I disappoint you in someway, or I’ve acted in a way you didn’t expect.”
See, we don’t care much for apologies from people we don’t have a connection with, a relationship with, people we love. They just don’t mean much, they are just words.
On the other hand, we do feel passionately about hearing “I’m sorry” from those we love the most…the ones who are the hardest to say “I’m sorry” too.
Saying “I’m sorry” can be the hardest two words to say. Saying it and meaning it is even harder.
Scripture says, “So if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother (husband, child, parent…) has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go. First be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift.” Matthew 5: 23-24.
You will notice it doesn’t say if you feel they DESERVE the apology. It doesn’t say do this ONLY if you hurt them intentionally. It states if you know that THEY feel hurt by your actions than seek reconciliation, say you’re sorry. Period.
Matthew also says this, “Knowing their thoughts, he said to them, “Every kingdom (family, friendship, relationship) divided against itself is laid waste, and no city or house divided against itself will stand. Matthew 12:25
Do not let the enemy divide your home and your relationships over two simple words.
Even when you don’t feel like it, “Say You’re Sorry.” I believe you will find a peace within yourself by doing so. Saying “I’m sorry” refreshes the spirit of the giver and the receiver of those words.
So I’m sure you’re wondering did I tell Bama Boy I was sorry? I swallowed my pride, and yes I did…and all was right with the world.
Now you’ve got me singing Elton John’s “Sorry Seems to be the Hardest Word.” The thing about having to say “sorry” is that when I did whatever I did that I now have to apologize for, I thought I was right. Apologizing is an admission that I wasn’t. And that what I did or didn’t do or said or didn’t say didn’t come off right. Ugh. But…it is one of the words that can lead to some of the greatest healing – for the giver and the receiver.
Heather this is so great! I have been trying to teach my children the meaning of the word sorry. How we use it for little things and how we use it in the bigger things, and that it is not just a word that you say but something that you have to give from your heart. The hardest part is when they say sorry and think that that is it, like a band aid for the time being, then they do it again and the cycle continues. For such a small word it has such a huge impact and meaning. I think we all need a reminder of what the word truly means, thank you for this!
Beth@Wiccan Make Some Too says
I would make my children hug each other for 5 full minutes. Once my oldest daughter & her older brother walked crab like, still hugging into the other room that I went into to do something to ask if the 5 minutes was up yet. This always ended up with the children laughing. A few times all 3 kids had to hug at the same time!
Heather- What a great post. I think there are so many people that say I’m sorry and they are just playing lip service. It doesn’t REALLY mean they are sorry…they just felt like they SHOULD apologize. And, I have to admit, that I have done that too…said I’m sorry without really meaning it…just to get it “over with”. I don’t think there is anything worse than a insincere apology (even though I have already amitted giving them-lol). It needs to be heartfelt. We need to put ourselves in the other person’s place and truly apologize for the feelings we have CAUSED THEM to experience.
And, sometimes, even apologizing seems insignificant for real harm we have caused…and that is sad and leaves you with an empty feeling.
Thanks for a wonderful Sunday message..one I needed to hear! xxoo Diana
Thank you Heather.. just what I needed to hear. I love that you reminded me of God’s word on the subject. No we don’t have to have malice intent to hurt someone do we? I often forget that people can be hurt regardless of how I feel.
Heather, thanks for the reminder to “mean it” when I say “I’m sorry.” Sometimes saying it becomes a habit (one that I would like to stop).
Love you lots,
Such a lovely post. So true, the Lord forgives much and we should also. I have learned that even though I may be “right,” it is not worth drawing a line in the sand when the other person is hurting… I’m Sorry… beautiful words in all scenerios.
Thanks for sharing.
‘i’m sorry’ are two of the most powerful words that parents can speak to our children (and to each other in front of our children)…we have taught our kids that when someone apologizes to them they should say in return ‘i forgive you’ rather than ‘it’s okay’ because it completes the repent/forgive process.
thanks for the timely reminder.
stuff and nonsense
Sarah @ Modern Country Style says
This is so true. It’s so easy to say for bumping into someone….and then hard to say when it’s more important.
Great post!! I teach my children to say sorry and I for the most part when I’m wrong say I’m sorry…except……..when it comes to my husband it’s always for hard for me to tell him. HMM, lol
Heather, that is so perfect!! I have been there for sure. It’s amazing what happens when I just change my attitude and say it meaning it.
What a wonderful post. Its so true that its easy to apologize to a stranger, but your husband? A million times more diffcult, yet so much more meaningful to him than the random stranger you muttered “I’m sorry” to. Thank you for writing this. I will remember it the next time I need to say those words!
I am your newest follower.
Thank you, your “I am sorry” post made a really bad day a great one.
Great reminder Heather……but can I say, “I’m sorry that you did this”…or “sorry that you made me mad”….or “sorry that you are wrong?” ; ) Just teasing…..true grace…got it. Thank you for the reminder to even us the parents and adults. Love, Me