Love Means Saying I'm Sorry

In 1970 a movie called Love Story was released, challenging a generation to believe, "Love means never having to say I'm sorry." 

Insert eye roll here.

I remember watching this movie in the 80's because it was a classicI knew immediately the message it was intending to teach was foolishness. And now, after being married for twenty-seven years, I know it more than ever. Because love means saying I'm sorry. The truth is, we mess things up. It's what we do. We're human. Feelings get hurt, whether intentionally or not. We always hurt the ones we love. Because we are people. We are a box of disappointment wrapped up in pretty paper. 

Sometimes our perceptions of how we think things should be and the reality of the way things are cause tension within us and we lash out. Life rarely responds the way we hope it will. Pies get dropped. Coffee spills. Hospital visits ruin vacations. Stress levels rise and we react instantly instead of thinking through. Our voices take a tone we never thought they would. 

Apologizing and forgiveness go hand in hand. You cannot have a healthy relationship without them. Friendship. Marriage. Even your relationship with Christ requires apologizing and asking for forgiveness. That's the basis of the entire gospel. Jesus died for us so that our sins could be forgiven. We apologize, He forgives.

When we apologize we are emptying ourselves of pride and selfishness. We are placing the blame on ourselves and admitting we were wrong. It takes a strong person to say I'm sorry. Every time we do it we put deeper roots in our relationship. We build a foundation that helps us when the little things turn into big issues. 

However, an apology without changed behavior isn't really an apology. It's a bandage that doesn't make the issue go away. It just masks the behavior. If I apologize to my husband for my bad attitude, if I repent and ask the Lord to forgive me for the same bad attitude, but don't work on changing then they were just empty words. I need to make sure to back up my apology with action. To not do so is stubbornness on my part. 

A healthy relationship involves being humble. Putting someone else above yourself. God, a spouse, even an employer. To be humble includes being able to apologize. Changed behavior is like a love letter. It's the proof of your affection.

Love truly does mean saying I'm sorry.  


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