Time for Apology?

When I woke this morning, I knew God wanted me to share with you that I had sinned against my husband, hurt his feelings, and what happened as a result.

I wasn’t surprised, therefore, when I read Proverbs 28 today, in verse 13: “He who conceals his sins does not prosper, but whoever confesses and renounces them finds mercy.”

Confirmation.

The nitty gritty details aren’t necessary here, but I will tell you that I said something I shouldn’t have, and it hurt my big mountain of a man. And instead of apologizing immediately, I let it sit out there for hours, growing the festering wound in his heart.

The Holy Spirit nudged me, and my flesh wanted to come up with a reason my unkind comment was justified. It couldn’t. Yes, he had also been wrong about some things in the discussion – but that was HIS issue, not mine. God wanted me to work on my issues, instead of pointing fingers. That whole “plank in your own eye” thing…

And I knew if I wasn’t committed to a life-long journey of respect for myself, my God and others, I would not be taking action at all. Thank God for writing The Respect Dare and for the ministry!

Then, the enemy tried to use guilt and shame to keep me from full repentance. “How could he forgive me for this?” I thought. I felt embarrassed. “How can I even say anything? Maybe I should just leave it alone…” The Holy Spirit shined His light into my heart, however, and Truth prevailed. I remembered that without healing balm, wounds often scar worse.

And apology and forgiveness provides the healing balm of relationships.

Left untreated, these “little injuries” result in the gaping wound of a relationship destroyed.

I called my husband, and this is what I said… “I was really wrong to say what I did last night. I am sorry. I hurt you, and I was wrong. Please forgive me. I was out of line, and you didn’t deserve that. I’m really sorry for hurting you.”

We had a discussion. He forgave me.

Then he talked about how he was also wrong, and we talked some more.

Growthful, painful stuff.

Worth doing.

We are closer today as a result.

Dare you to take similar action in your relationships. Know God well enough in the first place (by spending time with Him DAILY, even if it’s just reading Proverbs for the date) to recognize the different voices and follow the Right One. It will change everything. Stay focused on your own behavior, instead of committing the sin of judgment against others.

SO glad you are on the journey! What about you? How easy is it for you to apologize first? What do you struggle with? What has God done in your situations?

Love to you,

~Nina

Comments

  1. Linda F says

    Oh Heidi – I hear you Sister !!
    I am in a similar situation .. (almost 29 years married too) ..
    My greatest encouragement is to release yourself from the guilt and don’t try and compare your self to anyone else – either their marraige or their walk ..
    Our situations are unique – and although there is similarities and pain and hurt and frustration and tension … I have found that those things are definitely grown when that is our sole focus (and we don’t even mean it to be , because it IS our daily life) ..
    Take heart that you are truly NOT alone .. and that is the beauty of being a part of this blog, or the Respect Dare ecourse – to know that you are not alone, and to have a network of women who Do pray – is a great help and support ..
    Over the years I have read so many books on marraige and parenting – that were Christian – awesome books – but I did feel worse reading them – because my husband didn’t ‘measure up’.. The true difference has only come into my life as I accept that I can only make a difference by changing me … and losing any expectation of changing my husband – I know now that isn’t my job … It still is quite hard at times – but there is definitely more light than dark on my scale of ‘hope’…
    Praying for you now :-)

  2. Heidi says

    Thank you Sister’s in Christ for all of your thoughts, words of wisdom and God’s Words. He is the only reason I have gotten through this long and I continue to lean on Him. I have read Sacred Influence and it was a good but yet another frustrating book. Again the examples and stories led me to want to say, “But that is so much easier than my story”. My husband is not only not a believer, but mocks my faith which is VERY strong. I depend on God completely for all that I have and He is my everything. I just sometime get so worn out and just don’t want to take it anymore. Yesterday I found out that my grand son who was adopted eight months ago today (that was when he was born) is moving out of the state. He is precious to us and lives only 15 minutes away and we have an amazing, open adoption relationship with the family who adopted him. This was very hard to get though,. giving him to another family but we knew it was what was best for him. My son and myself get to spend time with him and his family every week. God has called them to leave the state and this news devastated us though we believe it is God’s will. I didn’t need to be kicked when I was down and that is exactly what happened. My husbands words cut to my soul and it makes me want to run away. This is always the case whenever there is a crisis or “situation” in the family and with three kids, there can be many. I need support and help with godly parenting in those moments and instead I get left with a mess of ugly words to clean up. I hate it and it exhausts me and this blog seemed like a good place to share and hear from other woman who are trying to “do better” in their life. I have been encouraged and have felt all of your prayers and would so appreciate it if you righteous woman would pray for me and my family. Satan wants nothing more than to divide this family and I am hanging on by the grace of God. Thank you all so much!! xoxo

  3. Lori says

    I agree with Kathy, Heidi. My heart hurts for you and your husband and family in this. I am the one in our marriage (and family) who tends toward nasty behavior and laziness. There are a variety of reasons for this, which I won’t get into, but I will say to you that it comes from and contributes to a place of pain for me. It hurts when I do it and yet I do it over and over again. If my husband weren’t the stand-up guy he is, I’d probably have given up and killed myself long ago. Seriously.
    It sucks to be in the position you’re in. It’s grindingly difficult. In the end, though, you win. If you live the way *you* know is right and not a way in which you bathe

    • Lori says

      in regret, yours will be the life best lived.

      And the examples found in this blog are not necessarily “normal”. I prefer to think of them as “ideal”. Don’t use the message to flog yourself or others.

  4. Ashley says

    Heidi.. There is a women’s online group that has been a great support to me. We pray for each other, vent, encourage one another and share our struggles. It was started for unequally yoked marriages but many women have joined for reasons other than that. It is called 1peter3living@yahoogroups.com. I hope this helps you as much as it has myself. The co founders are authors of a book called, Winning him Without words.

  5. says

    Heidi – I hear your hurt, and your frustration. I am praying for you. I have been in not the exact but a similar situation. I felt I had to do it myself, and asked God why He wasn’t. Then He reminded me that I had to let Him. My verse when I feel what you describe is Exodus 14:14. Praying for you, and over you, and with you.

  6. Heidi says

    I have found that doing this “Respect Dare” has made me feel worse about my marriage and has made it even harder. I have been doing the book (I am on dare 20) and reading these blogs and I see what “normal communication” looks like and what a more “typical marriage” is supposed to be even though I know there are no perfect marriages and they all need help. I have been married to an angry, verbally abusive, faithless man who does not work to support his family (I am the bread winner) and who finds fault with me, our kids, the world and everyone in it yet has a high opinion of himself. I have been in this marriage for 25 years because I believe what the Bible says about divorce yet it has been a constant battle. I have read so many books, gone to tons of counseling trying to improve me, but nothing appears to work. It is very hard to respect someone who does not work, contribute to society, and treats his own family with such contempt and mocks our faith every opportunity he has. I am a single mom in a married relationship. I am willing to listen to any real advice anyone has because my heart is in such a bitter place after years and years of giving, supporting and trying my hardest to reach this man and am exhausted of the battle. Is there anyone out there who has been in my shoes?

    • Kathy says

      Heidi, I can’t honestly say I understand because, even though my marriage has been far from idyllic, my husband is a Chrisitan and is striving to be the husband God created him to be. I can say, however, that I will agree with you in prayer for your husband’s salvation and miraculous deliverance from an abusive lifestyle. I will pray for him daily and I will pray for you also….that God bolster you, that He lift you up and give up His peace and His strength to continue the journey.

      God’s Love,
      Kathy

    • says

      Heidi,
      I, too, can only offer encouragement. I don’t know what it’s like to be married for 25 years, or to be in a situation such as yours. What I do know to be true is that God promises all believers that His rewards are not necessarily for this earth. I love the verse Shanyn suggested. And I also agree with Kathy – none of us are doing it right and perfect every day. None of us have perfect husbands. But we try to get better every day. Please know that an Army is praying for you.
      Leah

    • says

      Spiritually single – that’s what I called it. Going to church alone, praying alone, reading the Bible alone – living in a world where everybody you would enjoy spending time with has someone – reading blogs and books that seem to be working for other people. :( It’s not an easy life (and I didn’t live that way anywhere close to 25 years). You said “I have read so many books, gone to tons of counseling trying to improve me, but nothing appears to work.” and my response would be – who said you weren’t enough? [And yes, the disclaimer - no one is perfect, we always should be pursuing likeness with Christ, improving upon our sinful flesh.] I’m sorry if this comes across the wrong way, but maybe doing all of those things to “fix” your broken marriage hasn’t helped because our goal should only be what God wants and desires for us. *I* want God to fix your marriage, right this very moment; it would be a grand and glorious testimony, shared with hundreds of people, God would receive the fame – what’s wrong with what I want? – it may not be what God has planned for TODAY. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
      I don’t have advice for you. But I do hope that I can encourage you my friend.
      Father is with you: Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted
      and binds up their wounds. And John 16:32-33 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

      He is always with you: Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

      You are made in God’s own image, and a joint heir with Christ. Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Galatians 4:6-7 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, ” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. Romans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. http://ninaroesner.com/who-am-i/
      That was taking from the Who Am I? blog written by Nina

      I honestly can’t imagine how tired you must be, how defeated you sound. The long-suffering may feel like it is too long today – but all God asks us to do is to give Him today and not worry about tomorrow – He is already there.
      Matthew 6:33 But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. 34 So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.

      And take just a few minutes to listen to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrOotpSKOX0

    • says

      Spiritually single – that’s what I called it. Going to church alone, praying alone, reading the Bible alone – living in a world where everybody you would enjoy spending time with has someone – reading blogs and books that seem to be working for other people. It’s not an easy life (and I didn’t live that way anywhere close to 25 years). You said “I have read so many books, gone to tons of counseling trying to improve me, but nothing appears to work.” and my response would be – who said you weren’t enough? [And yes, the disclaimer - no one is perfect, we always should be pursuing likeness with Christ, improving upon our sinful flesh.] I’m sorry if this comes across the wrong way, but maybe doing all of those things to “fix” your broken marriage hasn’t helped because our goal should only be what God wants and desires for us. *I* want God to fix your marriage, right this very moment; it would be a grand and glorious testimony, shared with hundreds of people, God would receive the fame – what’s wrong with what I want? – it may not be what God has planned for TODAY. Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.
      I don’t have advice for you. But I do hope that I can encourage you my friend.
      Father is with you: Psalm 147:3 He heals the brokenhearted
      and binds up their wounds. And John 16:32-33 Behold, the hour is coming, indeed it has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home, and will leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. I have said these things to you, that in me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation. But take heart; I have overcome the world.”

      He is always with you: Deuteronomy 31:6 Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”

      You are made in God’s own image, and a joint heir with Christ. Genesis 1:27 So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. Galatians 4:6-7 Because you are sons, God sent the Spirit of his Son into our hearts, the Spirit who calls out, “Abba, ” So you are no longer a slave, but a son; and since you are a son, God has made you also an heir. Romans 8:17 Now if we are children, then we are heirs-heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. http://ninaroesner.com/who-am-i/
      That was taking from the Who Am I? blog written by Nina

      I honestly can’t imagine how tired you must be, how defeated you sound. The long-suffering may feel like it is too long today – but all God asks us to do is to give Him today and not worry about tomorrow – He is already there.
      Matthew 6:33 But seek (aim at and strive after) first of all His kingdom and His righteousness (His way of doing and being right), and then all these things taken together will be given you besides. 34 So do not worry or be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will have worries and anxieties of its own. Sufficient for each day is its own trouble.

      And take just a few minutes to listen to this song: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qrOotpSKOX0

    • Nina Roesner says

      I concur with the other commenters… and am so sorry you are going through this now and have been for so long… Am praying for you and your husband. If he claims to be a believer, you might find some encouragement here: http://ninaroesner.com/resources/when-it-doesnt-work/ Also, “Sacred Influence” or “Sacred Marriage” might be of some encouragement, also.
      Love to you,
      ~Nina

    • m says

      Yes, God hates divorce but He hates sin too.
      Just because your husband is not a believer does not give him the right to treat you and your family with contempt. There is a really good book by Meg Wilson its called Hope After Betrayal that I believe could help!. Even though the book is supposed to help women that husband’s have been involved in any sexual addiction, the book also deals with many other issues!! Sometimes people can make it seem like since you have an unsaved husband you have to just put up with all his abuse and issues. Yes love him with ALL you got and when your love runs out love him with Jesus’s love. His love never runs out. But after 25 years I believe you are allowed to tell him to seek help for his anger etc.. let him know how it is affecting you and your children. Truly sit down (no tears) and pour out your heart to him(with God’s love but firmness).
      God is a graceful, sovereign all loving God BUT He is also an All POWERFUL, mighty, and jealous God!
      Get on your knees sister..the secret is secret prayer. That is where the strength you are looking for will carry you. And the things that bothered you so heavily can be eased remember Jesus said His burden is LIGHT. I’m here if you need me.

      • Nina Roesner says

        Stellar. I haven’t read this book, but will be checking it out! We do not know whether God will call us to confront, but when He does – we need to do so (and do so safely). Praying wisdom and strength for her – excellent reminder that strength comes from prayer! :)

        Thank you for chiming in!
        Love to you,
        ~Nina