I explained how I felt about what this child had done. My husband set the punishment, which resulted in something being taken away for several days. I really wanted this child to say two simple words (or three without it being a contraction :) ). I wanted them to say, "I'm sorry." But I've never made our children say I'm sorry. I wanted them to say it without being forced, but with honesty and sincerity. One of my children say it soon....as soon as they've done something. Another one is quick with apologies, as well. But the other two? Well.....I'll just say it doesn't come easy for them to admit they are wrong in that area. Of course, children aren't the only ones who have trouble with that phrase. Many adults can't say it, either.
So, I'll admit I was a little bit disappointed that "I'm sorry" didn't come. But then it did come! A few hours later this child came to me and said they were sorry!!! I was so excited and told them that was the best thing they could have done. The child knew it and said, "It's the hardest thing." A HUGE MILESTONE.
Saying sorry comes easier for some than others, but it's important for us to say, "I'm sorry". It clears the air. It makes things okay again. Of course, saying, "I'm sorry" only works if the person apologizing actually changes. It will not work if "I'm sorry" is sad over and over and over just trying to cover the "offense". Saying I'm sorry is only sincere if there is a true desire and effort to change. It is not repeating the same offense over and over again.
This makes me think of repentance and our relationship with God. Sin seperates us from God. Repentance brings us back to Him. We can't continue in sin as Christians and expect His grace to just cover everything without doing our part. Walking in the light means striving to live a life of holiness. When we mess up, we must confess that sin and ask Him for repentance. He will forgive us, but He wants us to acknowledge our mistakes. And we will forget. There will be times we won't realize we have sinned or we won't remember every wrong. His grace is sufficient. Praise Him for that!
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We are those who have died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Romans 6:1-2
Saying, "I'm sorry". It is a huge milestone. Have you attained it? Can you say it? Who needs to hear it from you?
...yet now I am happy, not because you were made sorry, but because your sorrow led you to repentance. For you became sorrowful as God intended and so were not harmed in any way by us. Godly sorrow brings repentance that leads to salvation and leaves no regret, but worldly sorrow brings death. 2 Corinthians 7:9-10