I’m continuing to unpack why I didn’t confess my faults and sins to my husband in the early days of my marriage, focusing today on . . .
Distortion Two – “If I’m right, I shouldn’t have to apologize!”
It goes like this . . .
- If I’m saying the right things Or
- If I’m doing the right things Or
- If I have the right solution to the conflict that I’m having with my husband . . .
Then my husband is wrong and somehow undeserving of an apology. And because he is wrong, then he should be the only one to apologize! Right??
Um . . . Wrong!!
You see, this perspective doesn’t take into account all that’s going on in the conflict, and worst of all it is fueled by pride.
Here’s what I’m trying to do when I allow that distorted thought to rattle around in my brain:
- I’m justifying my “self-righteous” actions and motives.
- I’m ignoring the hurt that my self-righteous actions and motives might have caused my spouse.
- I’m giving myself credit for my “good intentions” despite the fact that in some way my good intentions hurt or “cost” my mate.
- I’m avoiding taking responsibility for how my “right actions” might’ve been used to put my spouse beneath me instead of beside me.
Maybe this will help illustrate what I’m talking about –
Let’s say that I’m driving down the road. I’m the safest driver I can be and make absolutely no mistakes as I approach my spouse’s car coming toward me in the opposing lane. Just as we pass, my tire accidentally throws up a piece of rock that cracks his windshield. If we were to get out of our cars and look at the damage, would it be wrong for me to withhold an apology? In my opinion, it would! I could blame it on the tires or the rock in the road, but the point is that while I was behind the wheel, I damaged my spouse’s car and for that I should be sorry.
Jesus addresses this very important situation in Matthew 5:23-24 . . .
“Therefore, if you are offering your gift at the altar and there remember that your brother or sister has something against you, leave your gift there in front of the altar. First go and be reconciled to them; then come and offer your gift.”
Jesus doesn’t say that you should go to that person only if you truly did something wrong. He says that if the other person feels hurt by you, then you should go and work out the issue with them in grace and humility. This is so crucial that we are told not to continue to worship until we’ve dealt with this offended relationship.
I have to say that taking this approach—being humble and confessional—in all of your interactions with your spouse (and others) is not easy! It is true that . . .
[Tweet “Striving for a confessional culture takes the edge off of that humbling moment of apology.”] At least that’s been my experience.
BUT . . .
[Tweet “Confessing and apologizing to our mates must always be a Spirit-empowered and enabled transaction!”]
Otherwise, we will fail miserably . . . and then we will be “wrong” even as we try to act “right.” 😉
When have you fallen prey to this distorted belief?
How has it hurt your marriage to maintain your “right position” when the relationship is suffering?
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