Monday, February 1, 2016

I'm sorry

Gary Chapman wrote The Five Love Languages - which I have read several times as well as The Five Love Languages of Children and The Five Love Languages of Teenagers. Fascinating relationship skills. Then Gary Chapman wrote the The Five Languages of Apology. This may sound weird, but it is a good read and I it was a requested Christmas gift several years ago. People think I'm crazy. They may be correct. I learned so much about how I apologize, how other people apologize (or don't) and how I accept apologies. I'm not an expert, but it broadened my relationship skills. Like all topics, this information has bled into my parenting skills.

Children need to know how to say "I'm sorry." We have been diligent with Meg about this skill and it is beginning to pay off. It is not enough to only say "sorry" after a wrongdoing. A quick "Sorry" means nothing to either person. She must say "I'm sorry for..." then name the wrong actions - not following directions, being disobedient, saying no, not being a good friend, not sharing, etc., etc., etc.. This is important. 

Apologies must be immediate, honest, aware, and sincere. Most of all, we must all be able to apologize. It is where repentance begins - remorse and confession for sin. Saying "I'm sorry" leads to "Please forgive me". This is all part of our relationship with God. 

There will be people in our lives that refuse to apologize to other people. This is so frustrating because it blocks the growth of any relationship. The person who does not apologize will always remain in control of the relationship - in a negative way - and will cultivate a weedy garden of mistrust.

Am I mad at someone today for not apologizing? No. I just dealt with a toddler who refused to apologize and the topic began to rattle around in my head. The skill of apologizing should be taught at a very young age. Don't skip this step. It is vital to human relationships of all ages.

Saying "I'm sorry" is just as valuable as "I love you".

And "I love you" is not an apology, but that is another day's topic.