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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Coffee, Car accidents & Compassion

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It’s quite a rare sight to see me on-the-go and go “aye aye captain” when my alarm clock goes off. So when it happened one morning and at an earlier time than usual, I felt good about myself. I didn’t hit … Continue reading

The worst case scenario syndrome

The pros and cons. The best and the worst thing that could happen. We always live by these thoughts every single day when we make a decision. Especially major ones.

Best effort I’ve done all I could, but worst case scenario, this is the solution I will do. Jason would often tell me if you don’t plan, you plan to fail, but of course there are situations that really can’t be avoided, so what will happen when those dreadful circumstances happen? What is the plan of attack?

Most marriages today would end up in divorce since the idea is we can get married, and if it doesn’t work out, we can just get a divorce. Of course you don’t have to consciously think that way and you don’t plan that your marriage would fail, but at the back of your head you know that it is an option.

I admit that before and subconsciously I would have this bad case of “worst case scenario” syndrome. If a relationship doesn’t work out, worst case scenario, I could just pack up my bags and leave. Some people have done it and they’ve walked out on it easily, why couldn’t I, right? Well wrong.

During the wedding preparations subconsciously I would think of the worst thing that could happen if our wedding didn’t push through. If an argument arises between Jason and I, I would have bouts of doubts and entertain the thoughts of just walking out and turning my back on all these hullabaloo.

However in marriage it doesn’t work that way.

Once married, you’re married in God’s eyes forever. That’s why it’s a big deal. It’s not something you do when you’ve fallen passionately and deeply in love. It’s not just the joys, but the pain, the health and even the sickness. This is the promise you made to your partner, this is the covenant you made with God.

Though we’ve heard this from pre-marital counselling in CCF a year ago, Jason would often remind me that divorce or annulment is never an option. As I’ve come to know God more and more, I learned to never even entertain this thought or this inkling of doubt, because this will become a foothold of the enemy, the devil.

Marriage is forever. What God has joined together, no one can separate. Mark 10:9

No matter how complex, how difficult, how doubtful, how crazy it’s going to get. work it out. There is no worst case scenario. PERIOD.

Marriage can only work if God is there. If we turn to God in times of happiness and in despair. Because God completes the divine triangle – He heals all wounds, He teaches us to reconcile, to obey, to forgive, to be merciful, to do the unimaginable, to temper our words, to curb our evil thoughts.

My papi Ceferino once told me, even in marriage the doubts do not stop. Sometimes you would want a way out. Given that these concerns are normal what then do you do? to turn your back on the opportunity to love greatly and not be troubled by these doubts. Or let love overcome all these doubts and fears?

It may be difficult but by God’s grace, He has impressed on me to step up and be courageous, for He will be with me.

1 John 4: 18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

It may be tough, and scary, but I know God who has brought us together will keep us, in sickness or health, in happiness and in sorrow, all these, forever.

Freak Out, Faith Out

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Freaked out! That’s how and what I am. With only a month and a few days left, I can’t believe how many wedding related problems are starting to surface. There’s this invitation boo-boo (which I’m totally responsible for), a change … Continue reading

God’s Best and Indescribable Gift

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When you hear the word Christmas, what comes into your mind? Parties, reunions, merrymaking, the many mornings of waking up not remembering the night before, the holiday rush, noche buena, and non-stop eating! Everything about Christmas just gives you the … Continue reading

Feeding the Soul: Condemned to death but glory in Christ – Romans 7-9 (Part 3)

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For our last chapter for the session, Chapter 9, we may not fully understand God’s choice but we trust that all these will reveal his glory. In this last and final chapter, we see here God’s incomprehensible yet all too … Continue reading

Feeding the Soul: Condemned to death but glory in Christ – Romans 7-9 (Part 2)

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As we moved on to Chapter 8 we are given the promise of freedom from sin and death, suffering and life through Christ Jesus as we are God’s adopted child. In this chapter, 4 verses struck me. (1) 5 Those who live according … Continue reading

Feeding the Soul: Condemned to death but glory in Christ – Romans 7-9 (Part 1)

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Last Wednesday was my first time to facilitate our Bible Study. Finally after almost 5 years of on and off BS (since the time of Ate Chen), Small Group both here in my church and with Achi Susanna and John, … Continue reading

He himself will be with me… Deuteronomy 31:23

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This morning as I walked towards my station, I saw my co-worker Brian hunched on his seat and fussing about. Curious as I was, I asked him what he was busy with. Then he showed me a little square box … Continue reading