FEBRUARY 17th 2019
For Better or Worse
This morning we are kicking off a new 3-week focus on the subject of relationships. I’d like to clarify that while the main focus will center around marriage and dating; the principles we apply to our lives because they come from Jesus, also apply to our relationships with our children, parents, co-workers, church relations and pretty much anyone we come into contact with on a regular basis.
For Better or Worse – Part 2
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This morning we are diving into part 2 of For Better or Worse. Last week we looked at the 5 love languages from Dr. Gary Chapman
The 5 Love Languages
l. Words of affirmation – using words to build up the other person. “Thanks for
taking out the garbage.” Not – “It’s about time you took the garbage out. The
flies were going to carry it out for you.”
2. Gifts – a gift says, “I’m thinking about you. You’ve heard the phrase, “it’s the thought that counts”…… that’s not a cop-out to not get a gift because the rest of it looks like this…” it’s the thought that propelled me to go out and get this for you that counts.”
3. Acts of Service – Doing something for your spouse that you know they would
like. Cooking a meal, washing dishes, vacuuming floors, are all acts of service. And if you’re keeping points… no points are given if you’re being asked to do those things. You may do the act but because you didn’t initiate it on your own…. it won’t communicate that you value them.
4. Quality time – by which I mean, giving your spouse your undivided attention.
Taking a walk together or sitting on the couch with the TV off – talking and
5. Physical touch-holding hands, hugging, kissing, sexual intercourse, are all
expressions of love.
Last week we took a look at the two essentials for a long term healthy marriage and we got to the first one:
1.) The two individuals in the marriage must feel loved and appreciated.
This morning, we’re going to take a look at the second one, which is:
2.) Must deal effectively with your failures.
There are no perfect people in marriage. No perfect kids. No perfect grandparents. No perfect husbands and no perfect wives.
We are all going to make mistakes and when we do there is a proper way to deal with those situations.
Ephesians 4:32 tells us…
And be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God in Christ forgave you. Ephesians 4:32 NKJV
We need to understand something this morning, everything that I’m about to tell you how it relates to you and others is built on the premise of how God relates to us.
How Does God Forgive Us?
If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.I John 1:9 NKJV
He who covers his sins will not prosper, But whoever confesses and forsakes them will have mercy. Proverbs 28:13 NKJV
Repent therefore and be converted, that your sins may be blotted out, so that times of refreshing may come from the presence of the Lord, Acts 3:19 NKJV
When we sin and we do things God says specifically not to do– If we don’t ever admit we wronged Him and stop doing that/those sins it puts a wall between us and Him. It blocks us being able to have a proper relationship with Him.
Isaiah 59:2 tells us this.
But your iniquities have separated you from your God, And your sins have hidden His face from you So that He will not hear. Isaiah 59:2 NKJV
This same barrier happens when we wrong one another. In fact, Jesus felt so strongly about this principle that he said in Matthew 5:23-24
Therefore if you bring your gift to the altar, and there remember that your brother has something against you, leave your gift there before the altar and go your way. First, be reconciled to your brother, and then come and offer your gift. Matthew 5:23-24 NKJV
For many of us, it’s hard to apologize. In fact, in a nationwide survey; studies found that 10% of the population never apologize, most of which are men.
I’m in my 40’s and I can honestly tell you that I don’t ever remember hearing my dad say, “I’m sorry” or ever apologizing for anything. Perhaps he did, I just don’t ever recall hearing those words. I also know that my dad never heard his dad say, “I’m sorry.” I bring this up not to point out their faults but instead to help us understand why it’s hard for us to apologize. See, we all learn from our parents in one way or another. Culture has a way of shaping our worldview, it’s why we must renew our minds on the Word of God. I learned from my dad and my dad learned from him and what the culture was pushing in those days could be crystallized best by the famous philosopher, John Wayne who said, “real men don’t apologize.”
So we all into marriage with no real understanding of how to say I’m sorry, I was wrong. Or if we do, because of different upbringings many of us don’t communicate on the same level of communicating apologies. But what we all have in common concerning the subject of hearing those two words, “I’m sorry” is the number one thing we all want to know from someone who says, I’m sorry, is…. do they mean it?
Just like a love language that you speak and hear with, there is an apology language you must learn to speak.
The Five Languages of Apology
In their book, The Five Languages of Apology, Dr. Gary Chapman and Jennifer Thomas outline there are key ways to communicate an apology.
I’d like to push the envelope by saying, while there may be a specific style that speaks to your heart, that it would be extremely beneficial as husbands, wives, Christians that rather view these as individual styles to view these as building blocks of communication and each one lays a foundation for the other.
- Expressing Regret: This apology language focuses on the emotional hurt you’ve experienced from the other person’s actions or behavior. Focusing on emotional hurt means that hearing a genuine “I’m sorry” goes a long way for you. When someone is expressing regret, you feel that they are expressing the guilt and shame they feel for hurting you or causing you pain.
- Accepting Responsibility: This apology language requires the person apologizing to admit they were wrong and accept responsibility for their wrongdoing. This can be difficult for us to do as it is challenging to admit to your mistakes, especially if those mistakes have caused pain to someone else. For an apology to feel genuine, you need the other person to simply say “It was my fault,” without further explanation.
- Make Restitution: This apology language requires justification or explanation for the person’s wrongdoing. If this is your apology language, you want to hear from your partner that they still love you, even after feeling hurt. There are many ways to make restitution, especially if we look at the five love languages. To feel loved after an apology, your partner must meet your love language to make restitution. Essentially, you’re looking for assurance that your partner still cares and is attempting to assure you by meeting your needs in the ways that are most important to you.
- Genuinely Repent: This apology language focuses on how the person apologizing will modify their behavior in future similar situations. Not only is there a genuine apology for the pain caused, but also verbalization for the desire to change. Genuinely repenting takes an extra step towards change, as you need to hear the person express they want to change and set realistic goals for how they will make those changes.
- Request Forgiveness: This apology language is all about asking for forgiveness and giving your partner space to decide if they forgive you. If this is your love language, it is meaningful to you for your partner to actually ask for your forgiveness. Requesting forgiveness is much different than demanding forgiveness. The key to requesting forgiveness is to allow the hurt partner to make the final decision. Because relationships require to give and take…. asking for forgiveness puts the responsibility back on your partner and ongoing heart check for future situations. We want to avoid bringing up past offenses and to truly forgive it means not to bring up the past.
Like last week, I encourage you to go to the website below and take the apology quiz to discover which language you and your partner speak and focus on learning how to communicate where they can hear you.