I’m Sorry, Will You Forgive Me?

I grew up in an environment where saying sorry is cheesy and unnecessary. Things just eventually work out sooner or later.

Back when I was younger.. Had a big fight with my older sister that involved some unladylike behavior? After a week we talk normally, as if an explosion didn’t just occur a few days before. Got into an argument with my mom? The next day one of us just asks a question, then it’s back to regular programming and the relationship will be restored. Or so we would like to think.

In one of the lessons in GLC 2 as Jason cascaded to me before, family life is a priority. To have a good relationship with our parents, siblings, children, etc. This is our first ministry.

With that in mind, I was set to tie loose ends before I get married and start a family of my own. So one day (I think back in 2012), I was convicted to apologize to my mom after a heart-to-heart discussion. Both of us were in tears and I remembered my mom saying after I apologized for the things I’ve disappointed her with, “It’s okay we’re family, it’s understood already” In Filipino “‘Di na kailangan yun, alam naman na natin yun”. I felt relieved. It took so much effort to say “I’m sorry” I was so glad that it was over.

I felt that my mom’s intention was good as I believe she accepted my apology, shrugged it off and made it no big deal. But later on in married life, my husband and I realized saying sorry is just the tip of the iceberg.

During our first year in marriage, saying sorry was still a struggle (at times until now), even with Jason. If Jason did something to offend me example say something embarrassing about me to others (which I believe he was just joking, being the joker he is), I make sure that he knows it. He would then answer me back with a question that puts me on the spot! As if I were the one who made the mistake! When I couldn’t articulate myself and the tables would turn on me, it would leave me frustrated and too angry I could cry ending with the words “Is it too hard to say I’m sorry?” In Filipino, “Ganun ba kahirap sabihin ang sorry?”. That was all what I wanted.

Of course I am rebuked with what I said because yes it is hard to say I’m sorry. (BoyzIIMen)   Even I would catch myself giving excuses after I do something wrong example raise my voice at Jason (till he backs down, sorry) or other things.

I don’t know when it happened. One day after some arguing to see who’s got the most explanations up his or her sleeve, Jason suddenly said, I’m sorry (minus all my frustration, anger, crying and “is it too hard to say i’m sorry?” dialogue).

I was surprised. In the following days or whenever some fights would occur, I was shocked to see Jason initiate those words. Even when I would sometimes provoke him after his apology, he would say I’m sorry… the next part was.. “Will you Forgive Me?”

What was I to say?? My pride told him, “I’ll think about it” but of course the next day I would tell him that I do forgive him and I also apologize.

I believe this sparked some change in our crazy cycle of arguments. By Jason modeling how it is to say sorry. It took some time but when my husband – the leader of our family, comes to me in humility, my wall of pride is slowly crumbling and I become unguarded and softhearted.

I guess this applies to all relationships.. If you’re the one who feels disappointed and hurt, be the one to say sorry. If you feel discouraged, encourage others (nick vujicic, life without limits). Even with employer-employee relationship, parents and children, managers and the people they manage. When the leader is unwilling, even the followers will grow cold. But when the leader shows humility, this changes the course of the relationship. Because even leaders make mistakes. It’s better to come in humility than be unyielding when they make a mistake. Humility isn’t weakness in fact it saves us from disgrace.

Proverbs 11:2 When pride comes, then comes disgrace,
but with humility comes wisdom.

It’s so much easier to move on with our lives after arguments, after a misunderstanding with our loved ones, workmates, and friends. Later on though, those unresolved matters puts tiny dents in our relationships that will blow up later on. It’s so easy to leave it at that for the meantime, but it takes someone strong to confront a situation and be genuinely sorry and apologize.

The apology is a way of accepting responsibility for our behavior and expressing regret – Dr. Gary Chapman, Love Language Minute Devotional.

Soon it’s becoming a practice in our relationship. Saying sorry is not enough (at least for us). There must be a confession of what offense we committed, and then the question, “will you forgive me?” and usually a probation period. :p

Sometimes we just say sorry for the sake of saying it. “SORRY na nga eh!” (I said i was sorry!) or “‘Di ba nag sorry na ko?” (Didn’t I just say I was sorry???)

In our marriage, there must be a question if the other party has truly forgiven the offender.  Or else we might just be saying sorry for the sake of ourselves than for the person we offended. Marriage is not about me. Marriage is about YOU.

Marriage is about Jason (for me) and Marriage is about Gia (for Jason).

Now we know that these are the 2 phrases important to keep our marriage healthy, (because in marriage we will make mistakes and apology is necessary for good relationships according to Dr. Gary Chapman), we mustn’t abuse it and just go through the motion of “I’m Sorry will you forgive me” speech.

It’s important to have a relationship with God, because only God can truly impress in our hearts the faults we have done, we’re doing, and we are contemplating to make. Only God can compel us to feel truly sorry and even identify what fault we made. Even if I am stubborn refusing to apologize after a heated argument with Jason. When I come to God in prayer, He tugs at my heart to be humble and apologize. I often get no sleep and have no rest for my soul when things are left unresolved and I suppose this goes for my husband too.

So whenever I’m feeling pride in my heart I know it’s best to come to and learn from the one who has perfected humility. That King who came down here on earth to live a life unfit for royalty and even chose to be crucified – to die for the sins of many, Jesus Christ.

In Matthew 11:29 He says, Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.

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When You Say Nothing At All…

If some couples have a hard time starting a conversation, my husband and I have a hard time stopping ours. I’m such a chatterbox with him. Even when we were dating, as soon as I get into his car I immediately go into a list of what happened to me throughout the day. My ex-bf then now husband used to be annoyed with that habit of mine so he suggested that as I get into his car, I greet him first, pause, and ask about his day. And wait until he asks me about mine. (Torture!) Just kidding. But I suppose I passed the test.. to move on to another challenge.

My husband just wanted to stress that there’s a thing called perfect timing. :p

He is known to be quiet (or so he believes… would our friends agree?) but I also find him a chatterbox when we’re together.  We talk about anything, from our past hurts, to how we feel about one another, to what transpired the time we weren’t with each other, to work problems, to rantings and morning devotions. Of course on good days that’s how open we could be and it just flows endlessly. On not so good days well it’s a different story. :p

Now that we are married our supposedly quick breakfast to get us going to our agenda  becomes a “trivial things about life” or “what was your dream last night and what you think it means” session spilling over to the time allotted for a scheduled activity that day. I suppose my incessant questions contributed to part of it. And his elaborate explanations the most of it. (:p)

One day at work I saw Jason kind of worried exchanging confused and anxious looks and tones between him and the staff. I wanted to be filled in on what happened.

So when we got to the car, I prodded him to relate what happened. He then explained a  boo-boo that occurred due to a miscommunication between him and a client. I didn’t hesitate to put on my chatterbox self and try to analyze why it happened and give suggestions to solve the problem.

“What happened? Did you do this? Didn’t you do this? Did you do that?…” and my interrogation goes on and on. I also added “Maybe you didn’t explain it properly that’s why.. You should have done this beb.. or that”. In Filipino, “Ano nangyari? Ginawa mo ba ito? Baka di mo kasi naexplain mabuti… Dapat ganito ginawa mo….”

It was then that Jason quieted me and somewhat said, “Did I tell you to fix the problem?” He was just sharing what happened.

I immediately remembered the book Men are from Mars, Women are from Venus that men are supposedly the Mr. Fix It species, but this time I was wearing his hat. The way I expressed concern was to bombard him with questions, should-have-done’s and solutions which do not help at all especially at that time when it just happened.

When my husband said that, I was jolted back to my role and the perfect timing to solve the problem should my advice be solicited. My husband was already concerned about the situation and here I was aggravating it.

I suddenly felt that I sometimes do say it best when I say nothing at all. When husbands share a problem to their spouse, it doesn’t mean that they automatically need her help to solve the situation. Sometimes they just need to let it out and express but they will face it later on.

In Proverbs 31:28 it says that a woman of worth opens her mouth in wisdom; kindly instruction is on her tongue.

I realized then that my words weren’t wise and it was disrespectful as I indirectly judged Jason and assumed that he couldn’t solve the problem. It would have been better if I respectfully asked him how can I help solve it? Or how can I be part of the solution? Suggestions like does he need me checking in the store more often etc.

If however I do not automatically think of responding that way, I should pause after my husband shares and discern the appropriate response  instead of shameless bombarding.

So though I feel the need to chatter away with my husband whether in telling stories or correction, I must agree that the song has got it right…..

Sometimes I do say it best when I say nothing at all.

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The Backyard Reservoir at Z Compound | UP Malingap St.

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There’s a restaurant called The Backyard Reservoir inside Z Compound along Malingap Street that serves good homemade herbed sausages as a topping for their pizza, El Pago. The Backyard Reservoir is just one of the many restaurants in the Z … Continue reading