Marriage Vocabulary: 3 Words X 3 Words

marriage vocabulary
Three Words

Three words. So hard to say, but necessary to do. Especially in marriage, and especially when we’re out of sorts with each other. Ask me how I know!

Those three words, I’ve discovered, are followed by two other sets of three words. All of them are necessary in healthy relationships, and all of them must be spoken by both parties for reconciliation and peace. Use any of those three words in sincerity, and the others are bound to follow.

I am sorry

These three words admit that what happened was wrong or painful. My heart has been soothed many times when I tell Dave something that distresses me or causes pain from someone else. “I’m so sorry” brings an instant balm because he recognizes the pain and is sorry for that pain and my hurt. Too often we fail to acknowledge pain in our spouse caused by someone else. We can’t fix it and we might not have answers, but we are indeed so sorry for this pain.

I am sorry are also three words that recognize our own failure with our spouse. Sometimes it’s the sin of commission, and other times it’s omission that causes pain. At times, our disagreement stems more from striving to  be right than from dealing with the issue at hand. In any of those times, these three words, “I am sorry” pave the way for acknowledgement of our actions or words. They pave the way for restoration, if we are truly sorry.

three wordsI was wrong

These words go deeper than I am sorry. We can be sorry that our spouse is angry or upset with us, and we can say “I am sorry.” But going deeper and admitting that was wrong recognizes the pain inflicted because of my words, actions, or lack of actions. We’re excuse-making people and we get it honestly, from that first family all the way back to that Garden.  Eve excused herself because of the serpent; Adam excused himself because of his wife. Neither of them was ready to say to their Creator God, “I was wrong.”  When we are not willing to say “I was wrong”, we are lost. Our marriage cannot be real if one of us is never willing to say those words because we are sinners, and all of us are wrong at sometime. If we are never wrong, then we are living a farce.

Please forgive me

When we ask forgiveness, we acknowledge our wrong and our need to be absolved of that wrong. It’s not because we deserve it or because we are always the only one wrong in a discord. We ask forgiveness because we must acknowledge our wrong and our desire to be right with God. If the person refuses to forgive, we are cleared because we acknowledged our wrong and our need of forgiveness. Forgiveness is not conditional and it does not automatically reinstate trust. Forgiveness clears the slate before God and our spouse.

Meaning what we say

Marriage is not only what we do, it is also what we say. Both go hand-in-hand. What we do shows the sincerity of our words. What we say shows what is in our hearts. We are not responsible for our spouse’s words, actions, nor responses. We are responsible, before God, for ours.

God hates pride, and we should, too. Don’t let pride keep you from saying those three words. Truly be sorry. Admit your wrong. Ask forgiveness. Then you can experience peace.

Pinterest 3 Words


A note from Gert: I recognize that in an abusive marriage, no matter how many times you apologize for something, it does not change your marriage. No matter how often you apologize for things you never did, there is no peace. I am so sorry. This blog post is for women (and men) who are in a marriage that is growing and not abusive. It is for those of us who need help recognizing pride that keeps us from admitting our own failures. If you are in an abusive marriage, don’t allow yourself to feel guilty for the sins of your spouse.

Photo credits: pixabay.com


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