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Guy Talk: Why Saying "I'm Sorry" Is Essential

The 1970 movie “Love Story” was released. It’s considered to be one of the most romantic movies of all time. When adjusted for inflation, Love Story was also one of the highest grossing films of all time. The movie also had one of the dumbest lines of all time – “Love means never having to say you’re sorry.” What a misguided thing to say.

Guys, two of the most powerful words in any relationship, but especially marriage, are “I’m sorry.” Conflict is inevitable in marriage so, if you’re going to have a healthy marriage, you better learn those two words and be quick to use them when needed. Proverbs 18:21 reminds us of the power of words, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.” ESV.  Those two words, “I’m sorry,” can be life-giving to your marriage.

Someone asked me, “How do I know when to apologize?” The easy answer is - whenever you mess up. Since “we all stumble in many ways,” according to James 3:2, there are ample opportunities to apologize. Another way to put it is whenever you fail to show love to your wife by word or deed. Trust me, there is rarely a day goes by that I don’t have a chance to tell my wife “I’m sorry.” Those are actually the easy times to say you are sorry unless you let your pride get in the way.


“I’m sorry,” can be life-giving to your marriage


“Ok.” you might say. “I know I need to apologize when I mess up. What about when I haven’t done anything wrong or hurtful?” Glad you asked. Sometimes, it’s not your actions or words that create an apology opportunity but the conflicts that arise because we may think about and see things differently from our wife. It becomes a matter of perspective that leads to a conflict. So why do we need to apologize when we don’t see eye-to-eye?

I can only speak for myself, but maybe this will ring true with you. When my wife and I see things through different colored glasses, I find that I can become blinded to any position but mine. I stop trying to understand her. This then becomes an apology opportunity. “I’m sorry I wasn’t hearing you,” or “I’m sorry for being so stubborn.” The other apology moment often comes when my communication is not as clear as I think it is. So much conflict has its roots in poor communication. It’s not my wife’s fault that I don’t explain my position with clarity. When that happens, it’s another great chance to humble ourselves and say “I’m sorry.”

One last thing. Don’t get caught up in the culture that says apologizing is for weak people. That attitude is couched in insecurity. We all make mistakes, probably daily. Learning to say “I’m sorry” is a sign of strength and humility. That’s something I think most women want to see. So, next time you mess up, take a chance to speak those life-giving words – “I’m sorry.”

Keep on Forging,



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