Communication, Podcast

The Art of (Actually) Apologizing

Today we explored 8 aspects of truly apologizing to your spouse! It’s not easy saying you’re sorry. It’s even harder apologizing in a way that leads to deep, lasting reconciliation (even during small conflicts). Listen in to discover and learn the Art of Apologizing. We hope it blesses you!

Transcript Shownotes

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Full Episode Transcript

Ryan:
Okay, I contend that it is possible to say the words, “I’m sorry,” without actually apologizing to each other. [Chuckles]

Selena:
I think that’s true.

Ryan:
Oh, absolutely! It’s some of our bigger [Selena laughs] arguments [Ryan chuckles] have been like—

Selena:
Have been around that!

Ryan:
“That was not an apology! What in the world was that?”

Selena:
“I’m sorry you felt [Both laughing] hurt.”

Ryan:
“I’m sorry you’re such an idiot.” [Selena laughs] “I’m sorry that you felt that way.”

Selena:
No.

Ryan:
Right? Those don’t sound like apologies.

Selena:
I’m not laughing. No. Those are— Yeah! No, we’ve definitely had those types of conversations.

Ryan:
Or, “I’m sorry that—”

Selena:
We’ll get into that!

Ryan:
We’ll get into that.

So, we’re looking at—What we’re calling this is “The Art of the Apology,” and it’s not as intuitive as one might think. God’s word is clear in terms of how we can have repentant, contrite hearts, but I think where we need to focus on is where our offenses actually do fall, finally. And it’s not necessarily on our spouse, although there’s parts of that, but it’s primarily on we offend God and so our hearts need to be oriented in a way that is repentant toward Him and therefore obedient to Him.

Anyway. We’re going to get into that, and we’ll apply it to marriage. Thank you for joining us. We will see you on the other side!

[00:01:00]

<Intro Sequence>

[00:01:30]
Ryan:
Okay, so I saw this tweet come through; that’s where this prompt came from. It’s a tweet and it basically lays out how apologies should look.

Selena:
Right. There’s eight ways.

Ryan:
I’m not going to give it away, ‘cause we’re going to go through it. [Both laugh] You got to stick around!

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
But it gives us kind of eight ways or eight—What are they? Eight ways that apologies should look or can—

Selena:
Yeah. They’re specific. We’ll give you examples. Don’t you worry! It’s good. It’s eight ways we can apologize and should apologize. What apology looks like! ‘Cause, again, you can say you’re sorry, right? [Pauses] But do you mean it and is it really an apology if you’re just going through the motions and saying the words?

Ryan:
So, I think a lot of times an apology can just be a way to shut someone up [Ryan laughs] if you don’t actually mean it. It’s like, “Okay, fine. I’m sorry.”

Selena:
This is true! Yep.

Ryan:
Like, just “Shut up already.” [Both laugh] Or, “Just get past it or get beyond it or stop feeling the way you’re feeling. ‘Cause I don’t actually want to deal with this thing, I just want to move past it.”

Selena:
Or, “I thought we dealt with this, but you’re not actually—”

Ryan:
Or, “I haven’t actually been reconciled to you.”

Selena:
Owning it. Right, right! So—

Ryan:
And there hasn’t been a resolution brought.

Selena:
There’s a lot, I think, involved around the whole apology and extending forgiveness, receiving forgiveness cycle that we’ll get into, but first let’s start with our housekeeping!

Ryan:
Mm’kay!

Selena:
Before we get too far into it—

Ryan:
You want to give it a shot today?

Selena:
I’ll try.

Ryan:
Okay!

Selena:
Alright. Thank you to our listeners, raters, and reviewers! We are so grateful for your comments, for your rates, for your [Both chuckle]—

Ryan:
Giving them rates!

Selena:
Giving them rates. For your encouragement and for your criticalness [Ryan laughs] at times. [Both laugh] I’m trying to be grateful for it. No. It’s good to have some clarity around maybe how we’re communicating things. We don’t want to be in a vacuum. We definitely want to share God’s word very clearly and in a way that brings glory to Him and illuminates hope and light in your marriage. So, thank you for that! If you haven’t done that, please do it. Also, this is a new one. I’m going to do it!

Ryan:
Okay.

Selena:
I’ve put it in the notes. Tag us on your Instagram stories @FierceMarriage. Hashtag—

Ryan:
Oh yeah! Taking screenshots.

Selena:
Yeah, take some screenshots. Tag us. We’re going to try to start adding those to our stories way more. If you want to support this podcast, you can do so via Patreon. P-A-T-R-E-O-N.com/FierceMarriage. And that just basically enables us to be able to do this podcast without ads, and to be able to partner with you, people who are on mission with us to see marriages glorify God! [Laughs] I always forget our mission. [Laughing]

Ryan:
Okay, here’s the caveat. Selena is thirty-six weeks pregnant right now. [Laughs]

Selena:
Yup! I always forget most things right now. [Laughs]

Ryan:
But yeah, there’s a lot of stuff happening. [Laughs]

Selena:
Point couples to Christ and to…

Ryan:
Commission.

Selena:
Commission! [Laughs] Just for the gospel. Guys, I got to try to remember lots of other stuff, okay?

Ryan:
Is this a testament to my leadership as a husband? [Laughs]

Selena:
No, it’s not! [Laughing]

Ryan:
Okay.

Selena:
It’s a testament to my baby brain right now. So, anyways. If you want to partner with us, please do so. Pray about it; talk to your spouse; get on the same page; and we would love to have your support and partnership!

Ryan:
Awesome!

Selena:
If you hear anything that prompts a question, please ask us. Don’t sit there and just wonder. [Laughs] Ask us a question! You can do that by calling or texting 971-333-1120. You can go on FierceMarriage.com/podcast and there’s a form you can fill out, I think, there, or a button you can push or something!

Ryan:
Yeah! [Chuckles] It’s a button.

Selena:
Just look around. You’ll find it.

Ryan:
Cool.

Selena:
“Ctrl+F”.

[00:04:57]
Ryan:
If we have time [Selena laughs] today, I have a question that I think we might get into. It’s a pretty—I think it will be a fun question to answer.

Selena:
From a listener?

Ryan:
Yeah, it’s from a listener.

Selena:
Mm’kay.

Ryan:
If we have some time today. We haven’t done questions the last few episodes simply because we’ve gotten a lot of really good questions, but they’re really in depth. And so, we want to do justice to those, so what we end up doing is kind of compiling them all into–

Selena:
A Q&A session.

Ryan:
A Q&A session where we spend time studying and thinking through answers, not just spouting off, which is really easy to do. [Selena chuckles]

So, diving into this topic, I want to look at—Okay, so think through any time, if you’ve been watching the news, the news cycle or whatever, and somebody kind of has a public blunder, right? Where they’re caught—

Selena:
Blunder.

Ryan:
Or they’re caught when they’ve offended either a great—We have identity politics, right? So, this [Ryan chuckles while speaking] happens all the time. [Selena chuckles] It’s daily! There’s outrage daily. So, you kind of got to sift through that and see, okay, when has there been a moment when someone’s actually, you know, they’ve, in the public eye, they’ve offended a great number of people. And then that person typically deals with some sort of fallout. There’s outrage on Twitter, there’s—The news cycle, you know, gets ahold of them and they are given a decision. Either they’re going to entrench themselves and what they did and their actions and justify themselves, or they’re going to turn and they’re going to repent. Now here’s the thing, is people have looked like they’re turning and repenting, but all the while, they’ve actually entrenched themselves. So, I’m trying to think of an example. But anytime you see someone who they’re like, “I’m sorry that I offended these people,” or, “I’m sorry that they felt offended,” it’s putting any—We put it on the party that’s offended or hurt.

Selena:
Right. There’s no real ownership.

Ryan:
It’s not, “Hey, I’m sorry that I made this bad decision,” or—

Selena:
Or “I said these things,” right.

Ryan:
“I said this thing that came from a place in my heart that is wrong.” You’re not going to hear that really on the public forum.

Selena:
Mm-mm.

Ryan:
You’re going to hear, you know, you might hear something like, “There’s no excuse,” or there’s things like that, but if—actually owning the character flaw, I would contend that you very rarely, if ever, hear that. Where you hear someone who has wronged someone, either by a racial thing they’ve said or, you know, some sort of sexual thing they’ve done or said, they’re not going to say, “There is a part of my heart that is flawed and wrong, and I need help.”

Selena:
Right. Well, because—

Ryan:
Very rarely will you hear that.

Selena:
Because we all struggle to some degree with pride. We struggle with our fear. We struggle with frustration about something. There’s just things that we— It requires a lot to be apologetic. You have to be transparent. You have to understand love, right? And you have to understand kindn—I mean, we’re talking about marriage. You know? The real issue is have we created a culture of repentance within our marriage? Have we done evil to—because, I mean, we talk politics, and yeah, nobody wants to admit that to millions of people. And even when the apology seems sincere, it’s like, “Okay. Well, I don’t really know you, though, right?” Like, “I don’t know what you’re doing at night or what you’re—I don’t know you as a person.”

Ryan:
Yeah. Mm.

Selena:
I see this façade. But when it comes to our marriage and our spouse, ideally, we know each other. Ideally, we know when they’re really being transparent and they’re really trying to love us through this by coming to us and apologizing. But that’s not always the case, and that’s why I think it’s so hard for people to really understand what apologizing means, what it—and especially in terms of the Biblical platform, right?

Ryan:
Yes.

Selena:
And the foundation of where we’re at. And, so—

Ryan:
So, I want to address the elephant in the room here. This is not in part of our outline, but it just hit me; that everything we’re talking about today is presupposed, right? It’s preempted by one big thing. And that is our understanding of right and wrong.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Our understanding of what is true and good and worth pursuing versus our understanding of what is bad and false and worth avoiding. Sin versus holiness. We have to have a grounded view of that! Okay.

Everybody listening to this, you know, it’s a Christian marriage podcast. We talk about the Bible a lot. We talk about Jesus a lot. There’s a good chance that you are on the same page in terms of Biblical ethics.

Selena:
Right. What you believe and morale. [Inaudible]

Ryan:
Okay, but there are lots of—Welcome to the new folks, maybe, if you’re just here for the first time. There are a lot of folks that think that they know, okay?

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Mm-kay? And so, this isn’t to talk down to them. I’m just saying let’s talk through this a little bit, because we can think that we have a right view of morality, when, in reality, it’s not right. It’s not Biblically ground; It’s culturally grounded and Biblically informed, but not Biblically grounded, meaning that we think because culture says, “Oh, I’m a good person,” right, and Jesus says to love your neighbor, then I’m going to heaven! I’m good! Right?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Because I haven’t killed anyone. I haven’t done too many bad things. [Selena chuckles] I haven’t stole too much. I haven’t abused anyone or taken advantage of anyone. But the thing is if we look at the Bible as our standard of morality, this will always come back to our identity in Christ, right?

Selena:
Yeah.
[00:09:54]
Ryan:
‘Cause if we look at the Bible, and we say, “Okay. Can we stand with God? Can we be in God’s holiness? Are we worthy of being called God’s own? Have we in any way fallen short of His [Pauses] holiness?” And if we look at the Bible, the answer’s unequivocally yes, we have fallen short.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
If we hear a conviction—Romans 1 talks about that we know all are without excuse, but we suppress the truth and unrighteousness, right?

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
So, God’s general revelation, the who He is is known. It’s in the hearts of men and women. But we suppress the truth and unrighteousness in that we kind of want to deny the fact that we fall short of that. But we need Jesus! We need God’s special revelation to show us Christ. And so, what that does, that reveals in us this fact that we are not the authority. So, a few weeks back, we talked about who’s the authority in your marriage. This answers that question. If God is our authority, and the Holy Scripture’s our authority, then we can say, “I have to apologize, because I’ve objectively done something wrong and sinful toward you, toward God.” If we don’t actually agree on that, then you’re not going to ever feel the need to apologize, and so, all of this is going to be a moot point because I don’t have to go back to you ‘cause I didn’t sin against you, ‘cause I just did what I wanted to do, and that’s your problem that you don’t like it.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And obviously there’s all kinds of degrees to that, but one clear example is the whole pornography thing. If we don’t agree that God said that— that Jesus says that lust is bad and therefore pornography’s bad and it’s degrading to women and degrading to society in general, and it’s not holy for people made in God’s image to participate in that or support that in any way, if we don’t agree on that, if you’re of the camp that says, “Hey, it doesn’t hurt anyone. I’m just looking at a screen,” you’re never going to apologize or repent when it comes to that!

Selena:
Right, right.

Ryan:
And so, we have to have this solid foundation. So—

Selena:
Absolutely!

Ryan:
With that said—

Selena:
Absolutely. I think that’s a big one! Almost missed that one! [Laughs]

Ryan:
Well, it just occurred to me ‘cause we can assume. We just assume that, “Oh yeah! Well, right and wrong.” But in reality, we have to have that same understanding. Otherwise, we’re talking different languages.

Selena:
Right. And, well, if we assume, then we won’t apologize where we should, I think.

Ryan:
Right. We’ll miss the mark.

Selena:
And that, yeah, we’ll miss the mark in every way. Right. So, I think that’s incredibly well said. Good job, bud!

Ryan:
It specifically—

Selena:
Way to go.

Ryan:
Good in marriage too, ‘cause you bring into it all your marriage baggage.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Your family of origin, how you were raised, how you assume a husband or a wife should function within marriage. And so we think if one wife is, say you, as my wife, you think that it’s wrong for me to expect certain things from you, but I think it’s right for me to expect those things from you based on where I came from.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
That’s our foundation for morality in a sense, because I know I’m not going to apologize for certain things because—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
I’m entitled to those things.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And you’re going to say, “You are disrespecting me, and you’re not loving me.”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Okay, so, should we apologize? [Laughs]

Selena:
Right. Right! When do we apologize, and what does that—

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
Look like and why is that—

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
Important for our marriage? Because you do. You have this collision of worlds, the family of origins, right? And you’ve got these—

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
All of these themes of your life, the culture and everything that’s influenced you up to this point. And so, [Clears throat] those are battlefields of whether or not, if we’re believing the right thing or the same thing, and basically are we believing God’s word, are we trusting God’s word, are we willing to be transparent because of His word? That’s the only time that we can really understand and say, “Okay. I am wrong in this, and I need to apologize for this, and this is how I’m going to do it.” It’s a very loving thing to do! When we talked about—We always talk about Biblical love and how it’s very contrary to the world, and it’s selfless. It’s not self-seeking. Confessing sin is not something I’m super excited about doing. [Both laugh] It’s not the thing I wake up saying, “Oh man, I can’t wait to tell Ryan how sorry I am about making him feel this way and doing this because I thought this.” No. But it is one way that we can walk in love and how God instructs us to come back to our covenant, come back to loving each other, come back to understanding who we are. I think apologizing, the repentance and acknowledgment of a wrong-doing or sin to your spouse and against God, and the seeking out of forgiveness from them is what ultimately apologizing is. Functionally, it reminds us that we need a savior. It reminds us of who we are and who God is.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
It can be very disarming to our spouse—

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
When we apologize. I know you’ve done that many times, and I’ve just been like, “Of course I forgive you!”

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
It just makes me want to forgive you. And it’s also a huge act of trusting God, again, and trusting in His instructions and His word and His authority, and that He is saying these things for reasons we may not understand, know, or experience in the moment, but we’ve got to trust it because He’s God and this is His word.

Ryan:
So, you’re laying out kind of a vision of what apologizing accomplishes, and why—

Selena:
How it functions—Yeah.

Ryan:
It’s necessary.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

[00:15:00]
Ryan:
I love that because at a very root level it puts us on the same playing field as children of God, as people redeemed by Christ—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And people who need the righteousness of Christ to cover us.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
We need Him. We need the Holy Spirit’s help. And by apologizing to you—We’ll talk through this, like when is it appropriate to apologize? Do I have to apologize—

Selena:
Like, every single thing.

Ryan:
Like, intensely for every little thing?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Well, there’s some things to look at scripturally. Like, maybe not! Maybe not. But the thing is that by going to you, the aim is to be reconciled to you.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
If there’s a fraction [Ryan laughs]—if there’s a fracture [Selena chuckles] in our [Ryan chuckles] relationship, then I’m going to want to see that fracture mended—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And repenting and apologizing goes to you as a person made in God’s image—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And I’m saying, “I’m not perfect.”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
“We both need a savior.” If done correctly, this is going to point us to Christ.

Selena:
Right. Well, and that’s the thing too is that when we are confessing first to God, and we are reconciling ourselves back to Him—I don’t want to say that out of step, but Jesus made the way for us to be able to do this.

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
So, when we’re reconciled back to God, ideally our other relationships would start falling into place, right? And so, then we are able to then extend and apologize and ask for forgiveness. And I think to the extent that we can do it within our marriage and create that kind of culture and familiarity around not being afraid to do this, not being ashamed to do this, or just facing those fears and shames anyways because God calls us to. You bet there’s always—

Ryan:
I think there’s always going to be a sense of fear and shame where there’s sin.

Selena:
Totally. And I think that’s good, right? Because that’s where God is like, “I’m going to work in this and through this!”

Ryan:
It’s in those moments that we see Him—

Selena:
Which is so good.

Ryan:
Working so graciously when we need His forgiveness and we receive it. That’s—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
That’s the beauty of it.

Selena:
And I think doing this, practicing this, within our marriage empowers us to be able to take it out from there, right? To extend it to our children, to extend it to our communities and our neighbors and whatnot, because that’s very contrary to the world, to apologize, right?

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
It’s very contrary to back down and to own something and [Both laugh] lovingly—

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
And kindly say, “You know what? I really messed up here.” [Chuckles]

Ryan:
Well, the world—Okay, so I’m thinking of in church or a neighbor or a friend—if somebody’s offended, what’s the usual way to handle that is you either avoid it—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
You either disown that person or you wait for it to kind of dissipate.

Selena:
Right? [Laughs]

Ryan:
Disown or dissipate. You don’t actually deal with the issue and—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Say, “Hey, I was wrong. I need you to acknowledge—

Selena:
Deal with this one.

Ryan:
That I was wrong and acknowledge how you felt. Now tell me that you forgive me. I need your forgiveness.” Obviously, they have to choose to give forgiveness [Chuckles].

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
But that’s the worldly way of doing things.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Either disown that person; stop seeing them; stop hanging out with them. I’m done with them.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Or just wait until it dissipates and dissolves…

Selena:
Right. [Laughs] Let’s let some time pass. Ignore it.

Ryan:
And so, we’re saying deal with it directly.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
To use another “D” word. [Laughs]

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
[Laughing while speaking] Deal with it directly. And so, what are those instances? Should we start with answering this question’s “When do we apologize?” Should we start with Psalm 51?

Selena:
Yeah! Yeah.

Ryan:
Okay. So, Selena chose this passage to go through, and then I was like—

Selena:
It kind of came up, came to light in my study.

Ryan:
It came to light [Both chuckle] in her study… The Spirit illumined your heart.

Selena:
I was just [Laughs] flipping through the pages, and I was like—

Ryan:
Yeah. [Laughs]

Selena:
“Landed on Psalm 51!”

Ryan:
Bible roulette. [Selena laughs] It’s the “Create in me a clean heart, O God…” That’s Psalm 51.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And I was like, “Did you read the little side bar author’s note thing at the beginning? It says—”

Selena:
[Chuckles] Nope.

Ryan:
“To the choirmaster. A Psalm of David, when Nathan the prophet went to him, after David had gone in to Bathsheba.”

[Exhales sharply] Okay, so, [Laughs] you guys know the story of David and Bathsheba—

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
Right? She’s bathing on a roof.

Selena:
He’s like, “Wowwie!”

Ryan:
He sees her.

Selena:
He basically has her husband killed so that he can have—

Ryan:
Correct.

Selena:
Sex with her.

Ryan:
Yeah, and then gets her pregnant and it brings all kinds of shame and consequence, and it’s a horrible thing. So, he—

Selena:
So, Nathan the prophet, the man of God, is going to David right after this. And this is David’s response, right?

Ryan:
Yeah. And you can see the contrition in his heart. But can you imagine? [Laughs] I can’t.

Selena:
Uh, no.

Ryan:
I mean, we’ve talked with couples where there’s been infidelity. But can you imagine, you layer on top of that the fact that infidelity in itself is horrific and it’s shattering! But layer on top of that murder. [Chuckles] And…

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
The amount of regret and shame and just despair that David would feel in this moment.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Okay, so here—

Selena:
Well, and how that affects generations, right?

Ryan:
Yes. ‘Cause God did say there’s a generational result of this, and it’s going to be not good.

Selena:
You’re right.

Ryan:
So, let’s read it. He says, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy blot out my transgressions.”

That’s a plead right there.

Selena:
That’s a plea right there for sure.

Ryan:
Please, just erase them! Era—I cannot—The effects of this are too big, too overwhelming, and too hard.

[00:20:06]
Selena:
And I love that he—

Ryan:
Blot them out.

Selena:
He’s like, “Have mercy on me, O God, according to your steadfast love; according to your abundant mercy…” Like—

Ryan:
Wow.

Selena:
He knows that it’s only because of God that he could be extended mercy, and he’d be extended forgiveness.

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
And pur—not purity, but yeah.

Ryan:
So, I’m going to read—

Selena:
[Inaudible] You’re going to read all 19 verses?

Ryan:
I’m going to read all 19 verses because—

Selena:
Oh, baby.

Ryan:
I think it’s always good to read more than less, right? [Chuckles]

Selena:
[Inaudible]

Ryan:
Better to read more than less.

Selena:
When it comes to the Bible, yes!

Ryan:
“…blot out my transgressions.” This is verse two, “Wash me thoroughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin! For I know my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me. Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you may be justified in your words and blameless in your judgment. Behold, I was brought forth in iniquity, and in sin did my mother conceive me. Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart. Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow. Let me hear joy and gladness; let the bones that you have broken rejoice. Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit. Then I will teach transgressors your ways, and sinners will return to you. Deliver me from bloodguiltiness, O God, O God of my salvation, and my tongue will sing aloud of your righteousness. O Lord, open my lips, and my mouth will declare your praise. For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, will you not despise. Do good to Zion in your good pleasure; build up the walls of Jerusalem; then will you delight in right sacrifices, in burnt offerings and whole burnt offerings; then bulls will be offered on your altar.”

So, there’s a lot happening there, as always. But, man, what a beautiful picture of contrition and this call and response, this sense of like, “my whole existence is covered in iniquity. Please, God, help me. I’ve sinned against you and you alone,” he says, and “you…”—

Selena:
There’s two verses in particular that have kind of stood out, is verse four, “Against you, you only, have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight…” And ultimately all of our sin is against God. I mean, we may—it impacts our spouse and how we’re treating them, if we have wronged them. But we are first sinning against God and then sinning against someone else.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
And I think that’s an important order to understand when we we’re talking about when we should apologize. And then verse six is, “Behold, you delight in truth in the inward being, and you teach me wisdom in the secret heart.” And that is where God is—He desires us to have truth within ourselves. We should seek forgiveness from Him for every sin, because He desires truth within us, and unconfessed sin—I can’t think of what I’m – Unconfessed sin compromises our hearts. There it is!

Ryan:
There it is! There—Boom! [Selena laughs] So, two verses stuck out to me, and I got hung up on them because they hit me wrong. [Ryan laughs] And so, what is verse 16 and 17? This is, again, Psalm 51. It says, “For you will not delight in sacrifice, or I would give it; you will not be pleased with a burnt offering.” I read that and I was like, “Am I reading that right?” ‘Cause I thought this was the whole Old Testament thing. It says how they’re supposed to do it, and then he says, “You do not delight in sacrifices, or I would give it.” It says, “The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, will you not despise.” And so, there’s this attitude of contrition.

Selena:
Can I—Well, he’s like, “Can I just go through the motions of—” He understands that I can’t just burn a sacrifice.

Ryan:
Well, yes.

Selena:
And I can’t just say the things.

Ryan:
So good!

Selena:
I can’t just give You whatever and pay the payment, right, or do whatever? I can’t just do those things without my spirit and heart being broken and contrite, and God knows that, right? He sees everything. He sees our actions—

Ryan:
Wow.

Selena:
Our flesh.

Ryan:
Wow. Yeah.

Selena:
It’s—what is it in Hebrews? His word is—It splits, like—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Marrow and bone, [Both laughing] joints and all that. I’m sorry. I think the word picture here is that He sees every single layer of everything, and so that’s why, and David obviously understands this. You won’t delight in a sacrifice or I would give it. Whatever you want, God, is what I will give You, and this is all that I can, and this is what I know You would take—

[00:25:09]
Ryan:
Man…

Selena:
Because I know You.

Ryan:
I love that because this goes all the way back to what we talked about with that root of morality. I love what you said, that I can’t just go through the motions and just solve this, because there’s a deeper morality that I’m missing. Right? And so, listen to me here. So, what I’m saying is it’s not just about not breaking the law, like man’s law. We have to uphold man’s law, those are the magisterium, the magistrates that God has given us, and we’re to honor our legislators and all of that kind of stuff. And we’re not lawbreakers and rebels, okay? That’s not how we’re called to see transformation come about. But those things, they’re not the rubric by which our repentance is gauged. Right? So, if you break the law and you get a ticket, you go to court. They’re like, “Pay the fine.” Alright, pay the fine. Done. [Chuckles] Or “Pay higher insurance [Laughing] ‘cause you got a ticket on your record now.” Or if you do something worse, it’s like “Pay the bail or do the community service. Your debt to society is paid!”

Selena:
Pay the bail or go to jail.

Ryan:
Okay. God doesn’t need anything that society needs. God doesn’t care about our debt in the sense that—I don’t want to say He doesn’t care. I want to attribute God’s [Inaudible]—

Selena:
He cares about our heart and what that—

Ryan:
Yes.

Selena:
What that effect of—

Ryan:
That’s what he’s saying.

Selena:
The debt would do to our hearts.

Ryan:
God is only concerned with His holiness and His glory as a result of His holiness. So, there’s not a debt—there’s not any way we can repay a debt other than a contrite heart and trusting in Him. That’s why Jesus came. And so, this idea of repentance and apologizing and forgiveness and contrition and being actually—

Selena:
It’s really fostering that idea of a broken spirit and a broken and contrite heart. Like, when we are apologizing, when we are owning these things—

Ryan:
And it goes all the way—

Selena:
You have to be broken. You have to be…

Ryan:
And it goes all the way down to—Sorry. This was a revelation just now. It goes all the way down to God’s baseline morality, which is we have sinned against Him.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
We have broken His code of holiness. We have sinned against Him ultimately. So, that is the baseline of our brokenness.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
“God, I am [Laughs]—I have no hope outside of you!”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
“There’s nothing I can do to repay this debt.” But Matthew 17, is that where he talks about, “There’s nothing I can do. This debt is so massive. I need You to wipe it clean. I need you to blot it out”?

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
And, interestingly we say that usually you associate ink with blotting. [Selena chuckles] Well, you also associate blood with blotting. Which, what did Jesus’ blood do other than, if not—

Selena:
Blot out our transgressions.

Ryan:
Blot out our transgressions. [Chuckles] Yeah.

Selena:
Yeah. So good. So, getting back to kind of our discussion. I feel like this has been super foundational, but when, getting a little bit tangible—Like, when do we apologize?

Ryan:
Good. Yeah.

Selena:
Because… Again, ultimately, every sin that we commit is first and foremost against God. And we need, I think, understand that when we confess and apologize to God, again, we’re recognizing who He is.

Ryan:
Yep.

Selena:
King and Savior. And who we are. We are sinners in need of a savior to blot out, right? And to forgive us and to extend that grace. So, if you look at who the sin is impacting, right, that should, from what we’re understanding in our studies is the extent of the apology for sin should match the extent of the impact of the sin.

Ryan:
Okay, so, this is a quote. Like, did you say that? It’s from—

Selena:
So, yeah. No. This is coming from gotquestions.org, talking about should we confess sin all the time. Everybody, we’ll put a link in the show notes if you want to check it out. It’s a great article.

Ryan:
It’s a really good example that he uses here.

Selena:
Yeah, go ahead!

Ryan:
He says, “If a man looks with lust at a woman, the question is should he go, then, since that woman has been part of his sin, not that she was complicit, but should he go and confess his sin to her?” And he’s saying, “No. That sin is between man and God only.” He’s committed lust against her, but he’s not told her, touched her, done anything, you know, committed a sin with her. And he says it would be inappropriate to actually—What does he say? He said, “It would not be needed or appropriate to confess that sin to the woman.”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
“That sin is between the man and the Lord. However—” Okay, there’s always caveats. “However, if a man breaks a promise or does something that directly impacts the woman, he must confess to her and seek her forgiveness. If sin involves a large number of people, such as a church, a man or woman must then extend the confession to the members of the church or to the body of people who they’ve wronged.” I’m thinking if you’re a leader of an organization or a leader of a church, like he said. So, “The confession and apology should match the impact. Those impacted by the sin should hear the confession.”

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
So that’s good.

Selena:
That brings a lot of clarity, I think, around it.

Ryan:
It really does. ‘Cause in marriage—I mean, what are some—

Selena:
In marriage—

Ryan:
Examples within marriage? We had talked—Like if, as a husband, I’m struggling, or a wife, if you’re struggling with pornography, I’m lusting against another person, but it has an impact on my wife.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
So, I need to confess that you. I need to confess it to the Lord and need to confess it to you.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And vice versa if you’re the offending party. There’s another one where—

Selena:
Where you’re talking about if you—

[00:30:02]
Ryan:
I’m at work…

Selena:
Clocked out early, yeah, from being at work, and yet you, you know—

Ryan:
I billed for eight hours, but I clocked out at seven.

Selena:
Yeah. Yeah.

Ryan:
Then I’ve stolen hours.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Now I know there’s a lot of grey there in terms of if you work extra hours. We’re not talking about that. We’re talking about you just stole money [Chuckles while speaking] from your company or stole time.

Selena:
[Laughs] Right. And you’re an hourly worker. Hourly paid worker.

Ryan:
And you lied.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Okay, and I get home and I’m convicted on Saturday. I’m thinking, “Man, I shouldn’t have cut out early on Friday.”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
“I feel like I’ve done something wrong.” The Holy Spirit does convict us, right?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
We can quench that, or we can respond to that. Okay. Now, do I need to repent to my wife? “Hey, I’m sorry that I clocked out early.”

Selena:
Right. It’s not a direct—

Ryan:
“I apologize.” [Snickers]

Selena:
Impasse.

Ryan:
He doesn’t—You’re like, “Don’t apologize to me! Go say sorry to your boss!”

Selena:
Right. But I think that character [Pauses] flaw is something that we as married couples can have the opportunity to, again, foster that culture of apologizing, repenting, being transparent, being honest, trusting that God’s way is the higher way. I mean, I’ve had to apologize at work sometimes, and I’m like, “This person probably thinks I’m really stupid. But I feel convicted about this! And I want to—

Ryan:
Or if you’re disrespectful or, yeah.

Selena:
Be clear. Yes! Yes. So…

Ryan:
I think a good, clear example for the family is for the family. It is—

Selena:
Mm-hm

Ryan:
For the family.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Like, as a father, if I… Say, we get in a fight and I say things to you that our kids overhear. [Selena chuckles] And I say them in a tone that is not—

Selena:
Yeah. It’s more me that does that I think [Laughs] than you!

Ryan:
[Chuckles] Okay.

Selena:
Let’s just be honest, but—

Ryan:
But, either way—

Selena:
I like you using yourself [Both chuckling] as an example.

Ryan:
If I, you know—I don’t call you names, but say I did call you a name—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
In front of our kids—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And I said something I regretted; I would need to repent to you. Repent to God because you’re the wife He’s given me. You’re His daughter first, my wife second. Right? So, I had to repent to Him. Okay. Repent to you, genuinely. Not, “Hey, I’m sorry that word hurt your feelings.” [Both laugh] Okay? That’s not—

Selena:
We’ll get there. We’ll get there.

Ryan:
We’ll get to what an apology actually should—

Selena:
Almost there! [Laughing]

Ryan:
Look like. But I would also repent to our kids, and say, “Hey, listen. Dad’s not perfect. I’m sorry I said this to or about your mom in a way that is not respectful. You need to know that I was wrong, and you need to know that I’m sorry.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And God is working on that part of my heart.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And then they can now respond. Now they have been reconciled. I’ve been reconciled with you and I’ve been reconciled with God. In an ultimate sense, I’m always reconciled with God because of Christ—

Selena:
Right. Which, there’s just one more quote I do want to jump in there and say—

Ryan:
Sure.

Selena:
Because I felt like it was very clarifying about talking about our relationship and how forgiveness is not like climbing the ladder here.

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
It says, “While our forgiveness with God is not dependent on our confessing our sins to others and/or their forgiving us, God does call us to be honest and forthcoming with others regarding our failings, especially when our mistakes involve them. When we have offended, hurt, or sinned against others, we should seek to offer a sincere apology and confession and ask for forgiveness. Whether the forgiveness is granted is up to those who were confessed to. Our responsibility is to genuinely repent, confess the sin, and ask for forgiveness.” And I will say that’s one—

Ryan:
Wow.

Selena:
Thing that my mom, I think, ingrained in us. It was never just like, “I’m sorry.” It was always, “I’m sorry.” What else? “Please forgive me.” [Laughs] Which is what we are instilling in our children.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
I think the next step that I take it to with them and am trying to help them understand and be able to speak—

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
Very fluently in is owning what are you apologizing for. What are you sorry for?

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
What are you asking for forgiveness for? Because I think that’s the hardest part, is—I used to think, “Why did I always have to ask for forgiveness?” Why can’t I just say I’m sorry? Right? [Inhales] And so you start understanding that as a person and an adult, and then going into kids, it’s like you’ve got to teach them to name it, because I feel there’s much more of your heart is involved in that.

Ryan:
Yeah. What I thought was interesting about that, the way he said it was, “Whether the forgiveness is granted is up to those who are confessed to.” It’s funny how scripture addresses both sides of this equation separately. [Selena laughs] Because God is—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
The “offendee.” Is that right?

Selena:
Always.

Ryan:
The offended.

Selena:
He’s the alwa—Yeah.

Ryan:
We are the offenders. He’s always the greatest offendee, meaning—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
That we’ve always—It’s everything that we do that’s unrighteous, isn’t it? It’s an afront to His righteousness.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And so, even if in our unforgiveness—It’s Matthew 18. If you ever want conviction around this [Selena laughs], just read Matthew 18. Start at verse 21.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Right? And that’s the whole unforgiving servant parable, and Peter asks, “How many times should I forgive my brother?” and Jesus says, “Seventy times seven.” Basically, don’t keep count [Selena laughs] because you have been forgiven so much. It’s the whole thing.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Those who have been loved much are forgiven much love much.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And so, it’s not up to me to make them forgive me.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
That’s a your heart issue.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Or if I’m being repented to, it’s my heart issue.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Now, and this is one thing I guess we’ll talk about at greater length in just a second, is that the forgiveness or the repentance and the apology and the forgiveness doesn’t necessarily mean all of the pain and hurt and fall out goes away—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Instantaneously.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Are we talking about that later?

Selena:
Yeah, we’re going to jump into these eight ways of apologizing, because once we kind of walk through those, I feel like that really sets the stage for—

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
Why we would choose to apologize like this and the effects of it, and understanding that, again, like you said, apology is not just like a quick fix. It’s—

[00:35:00]
Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
Sometimes it’s just the beginning of some things. So, these eight ways; we will keep you in suspense no longer, listener. [Ryan laughs, followed by Selena laughing]

Ryan:
Okay.

Selena:
But, and they’re pretty quick, but we can just walk through how to apologize. And we got—you got this from a tweet from…

Ryan:
Duke Kwon. So…

Selena:
Duke Kwon.

Ryan:
I’m not super familiar with—He’s a pastor. I’m not super familiar with him, but he is published on the Gospel Coalition, so that tells me that he’s probably a solid guy. Yeah.

Selena:
Awesome.

Ryan:
So, he tweeted this out, and I thought, “You know, this is perfect. Let’s talk about—”

Selena:
[Chuckling] Especially for marriage!

Ryan:
“On this podcast.”

Selena:
Totally.

Ryan:
I follow him on Twitter. I find his stuff uplifting and encouraging.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And insightful. So, the first one is, “Express sorrow.” So, it’s everything we’ve talked about. Saying, “I’m sorry.” Literally expressing this—I feel the effects of my sin against you. Either I feel them because I see you and I see how they’re affecting you, and I’m just expressing that.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Like, very candidly. “I am sorry.”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
I think that’s different from saying, “I’m sorry you feel this way.” [Selena chuckles and then inhales] Right? That to me is the most backhanded way [Ryan laughs]—

Selena:
We have arguments about this, so…

Ryan:
And I’ll be like, “You know what? Until you—”

Selena:
Which we’re not there yet, ‘cause that’s [Ryan laughs] actually part of—That’s like number five or something like that.

Ryan:
Okay. Okay.

Selena:
So, express sorrow. Say, “I’m sorry.” Number two is “own guilt.” Own the guilt. “I was wrong, so I’m sorry. I was wrong.” Ooh. Those are hard.

Ryan:
And that’s the part that we were talking about, where there’s very rarely in the public form do you see someone say, “There’s a spot in me, this blemish [Selena chuckles] in my character.”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Usually, it’s you apologize to save face, and what he’s saying is that when you apologize, you’re acknowledging—

Selena:
Loose your face. [Laughs]

Ryan:
That you should lose some face. You need to own your guilt.

Selena:
Sorry. Just that—

Ryan:
Lose your face.

Selena:
Sounds funny.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Lose your face! [Selena chuckles] [Ryan inhales]

Ryan:
Okay, the third one is “name specific wrongs.” So…

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
“I did X.”

Selena:
“I did this.”

Ryan:
“I sinned against you in this specific way.”

Selena:
Yes. [Pauses] “Name the impact,” which is a little bit different, is “I hurt you in this way.” So, it’s more of, I think, in empathy.

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
An understanding of how you hurt them.

Ryan:
So, with the pornography addiction example, “I hurt you. I’ve damaged your trust in this way,” or “I’ve hurt your trust in this way,” or “I’ve betrayed your trust in this way, and that makes you feel unloved.” Right?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
That would be a way to articulate that impact.

Selena:
Absolutely.

Ryan:
Alright. Number fo—

Selena:
There’s “no ifs.” I’ll say this one. “Sorry if I…” [Selena laughs] ‘Cause that’s how I apologize [Ryan laughs] a lot of times, or I try to apologize. Ryan doesn’t take it ever. He’s like—

Ryan:
I’m like—

Selena:
“That’s not an apology.”

Ryan:
That’s not—That doesn’t work. [Selena inhales] Try again. [Ryan laughs]

Selena:
And I’m like, “Well, I’m sorry if I—what you,” the whole try again thing just like irks me even more, so… [Both laugh] It’s never really helpful.

Ryan:
Well, that’s partly why I say it [Both chuckle] in that moment, ‘cause I’m already irked. [Both chuckle] And then I need to repent to you. [Ryan laughs]

Selena:
Yep. [Selena laughs] “Don’t blame shift or defend.” “But you…” And again—

Ryan:
Ooh.

Selena:
I have my name next to these because [Both chuckle] it’s so me. This is just the epitome. I’m like, “Yeah, I’m sorry if I bluh-bluh, but you did this!” [Selena snickers] You know? So, we— [Ryan laughs] That’s not part of true apologetic—Not apologetics. That’s not a part of truly apologizing to somebody.

Ryan:
Because you’re acknowledging your sin, and it’s up to the other person to acknowledge their own.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And that’s where you need to be in a marriage that’s honoring to God, and you’re subscribing to this same morality of scripture—

Selena:
Yes…

Ryan:
Because then I can say to myself, “Oh, you know what? I’m actually in the wrong too here.”

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
“We’re both wrong together. Let’s love each other and look to Jesus.” [Chuckles]

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
“Let’s work through this together.”

Selena:
Right. There’s—Number seven is “no passive voice.” Like, “I’m sorry you were offended.” [Laughs]

Ryan:
Mm. That’s the worst! I hate that one! [Chuckles]

Selena:
“Sorry if I offended you with my friendship.” [Both chuckle]

Ryan:
“Sorry you were annoyed by my friendship.”

Selena:
“Annoyed by my friendship.” [Laughs] Poor Andy.

Ryan:
Last one.

Selena:
Is “make amends”. “What can I do?” And I think that is so disarming. And, again, these eight ways are not—We can go through them real quick again if you want, but they’re not—They require transparency. They require us being vulnerable. That contrite heart, that broken spirit that God wants. That is what it requires, but that requires trust, right? Trust in God’s word that when He says “These are things that I want from you,” not so He can damage that even more or break apart our spirit more, but because He wants to restore it, and He wants to bring healing, and He wants to bring the reconciliation into that—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Into that space of our hearts. So, quick recap.

Ryan:
Well, I want one thing, is that they’re all—Just notice this as we go through them again, is they’re all very focused on the other person and the impact on the other person.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
Whereas most false apologies are focused on me.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
Focused on why I’m justified, why the problem is really with you, meaning like [Selena laughs] how you’re feeling.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
It’s not with what I’ve done and how that’s affected you—

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
Directly. And so just think through and as you apologize in your own relationship, I know that I won’t be able to forget these anytime soon. [Chuckles]

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And so, as you think through that, think, “Am I doing this from a place of just trying to get past this or am I trying to get closer to my spouse?”

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
“Am I just trying to get over this hump or am I trying to [Chuckles] get closer to my spouse?”

Selena:
Well, and I think that’s what these eight filters—

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
Kind of—they kind of deal with.

Ryan:
Exactly.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
So, let’s recap them all. You want to do them real fast?

Selena:
Go forth.

[00:39:56]
Ryan:
Okay, so number one is “express sorrow.” Namely, “I’m sorry.” Number two is “own your guilt.” And the way you would say that is “I was wrong by X, Y, Z.” The third one is “name specific wrongs.” “I’m sorry I did X and it hurt you.” That’s the “name the impact.” That’s the fourth one, is “name impact.” “I hurt you in this way or that way.” Number five is “no ifs.” Don’t say “Sorry if I…” ‘cause all your doing is, again, you’re blame shifting in that way, which is number six, [Selena chuckles] “Don’t blame shift.” “But you did this…” So, “I’m sorry if I hurt you, but you did this.”

Selena:
Right. [Ryan laughs]

Ryan:
[Laughing as he speaks] Like that’s just the worst! Okay. Number seven—

Selena:
We get it. It’s the worst. [Both snicker] I’m just saying that ‘cause it’s me, and he’s laughing.

Ryan:
[Laughing] I’m sorry. Number seven is “no—” You know, I didn’t even pay attention to your name being there, so that’s—Sorry.

Selena:
I put that there. I’m owning my sin, okay?

Ryan:
Okay. [Selena laughs] Okay. You’re forgiven. Number seven is “No passive voice.” So, “I’m sorry you were offended.” [Selena chuckles] And number eight is, “Make amends!” Actually take the next step of saying, “What can I do to make this right? How can I start rebuilding trust? How can I repay this debt that I’ve incurred? Whether it’s, you know, actual debt or if I’ve broken your window—”

Selena:
Right. [Laughs]

Ryan:
“Let me fix your window!” [Laughs]

Selena:
Right. And I don’t mean to laugh about the no passive voice. I laugh because I’m laughing really at myself and how many times I’ve done that and how ridiculous it sounds when you say it and you, in the moment, you’re like, “This is what I’m feeling and this is truth, and this is where I’m at.” [Selena laughs] But, like, in the whole grand scheme of things it’s like I’m just being passive about this and I’m not actually facing it head on.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
And so, I’m not laughing at the situation.

Ryan:
It’s—Yeah.

Selena:
In general, I’m laughing at myself inside the situation. [Laughs]

Ryan:
So, one—

Selena:
Because I’ve been guilty of it so many times.

Ryan:
So, one big distinguisher in these, to me, if you put them in a table, one of them is trying to get around the issue.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
The other one is going through it. I think there’s no way to the other side of an apology, to reconciliation, than through repentance.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Through contrition, actually feeling that. So, I just—I don’t know. That a helpful inward picture for me.

Selena:
Yeah. So, again, each of these eight ways requires transparency. It requires being vulnerable and trusting God in how He’s laid out this process and the purposes for it. And as we were going to mention a little bit, we’ll just talk about it briefly, because I think we might have time for the question that you wanted to go through…

Ryan:
Oh yeah.

Selena:
Is apologizing is not – it’s often not an end-all, be-all. It’s not the fix, right? Especially if the wound is deep. And maybe we should have said something like this at the beginning, because I think that we, you know, as kids, I watch my daughters apologize to each other, and they’re like, “I’m sorry! Please forgive me for hitting you or something or [Both chuckling] throwing a Lego at your face.” And it’s like the feelings aren’t there. We’re trying to train them. We’re trying to prod their hearts, right? And help them understand what is actually happening, but apologizing’s typically the first step towards—

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
Reconciliation for them. You know? And if the wound is deep, if there is infidelity, there’s addictions, there’s things that are just so big that it’s like one quick apology—Or apologies should not be quick was we’re learning. But, apologizing might, and repenting might, have to happen more than once. But trusting again and knowing that God’s put this cycle in place for our good and for His glory, and walking that out and not, I think, putting too much weight where it shouldn’t be. So, the apology is often the, again, the first step towards real reconciliation.

Ryan:
That’s good! That’s good. Okay, so, I was trying to find the question while you were doing that.

Selena:
Okay. Do you want to do couple’s challenge real quick?

Ryan:
Yeah. Do that.

Selena:
So, the couple’s challenge, I think, is probably pretty obvious. Apologize to your spouse [Ryan snickers] face-to-face [Selena snickers] using the eight steps above. [Selena laughs]

Ryan:
Just generally speaking, this, “I’m sorry—”

Selena:
No. [Chuckles] No. Because—

Ryan:
“For what?” “I’m just sorry.” [Both chuckling]

Selena:
“I’m just sorry.” No. I’m pretty sure there’s something that, at least, maybe not today but tomorrow you’re going to have to apologize for, right? So, look at [Selena snickers] your life right now. Reflect on your life, your marriage [Ryan chuckles] relationship, and ask the Holy Spirit to show you where you need to apologize and walk through these eight steps. I think you’ll probably try to post those in the show notes or something so that they can see it.

Ryan:
Sure. Sure.

Selena:
We all have something we need to apologize for, so let’s own it, let’s do it, and let’s trust God in it.

Ryan:
Okay! I think I found the question.

Selena:
Awesome.

Ryan:
After much searching. Okay, [Selena chuckles] so, I love this because it kind of strikes the balance between a lot of things that I’m very—I have a lot of stake in these things. So, business and in marriage and [Both chuckling] in life, okay? Big fan of life.

Selena:
[Chuckling] Not in that order, I hope.

Ryan:
A big— [Chuckling]

Selena:
Nah, I’m just kidding [Chuckling].

Ryan:
I’m a big fan of marriage, a big fan of—eh, not as big a fan of business. It’s more of a means to an end. [Inhales deeply] Anyway. So, this couple, so this comes from “Stacia,” I think is how you say the name, or “Staysha.” “Stacia.” [Laughs] I don’t know. Sorry for butchering your name.

Selena:
Maybe it’s “Anon”. [Both chuckle]

Ryan:
Yeah, it’s “Anon” if all you— [Both chuckling] Only a few podcast listeners will get that. So…

“I love your podcast and your books!” Thank you so much for saying that. “Thank you for honoring Jesus through all you do! I have so many questions.” Alright, here we go. “My husband and I are both currently working day jobs and are working toward creating a business so we can work from home. We desire this time and freedom to be together more, and to be with our future children more.” Which, by the way, is one of the main reasons that we—I actually was a web developer before we started Fierce Marriage, and I still do that on the side to kind of make ends meet. And it’s because we wanted to have kind of the freedom to be together more.

[00:45:37]
Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And I didn’t really know the—I wouldn’t have articulated that ten years ago when I started this journey.

Selena:
But it’s definitely a heart’s desire, I think.

Ryan:
Yeah. Yeah, so I think it’s a worthy pursuit. I’ll just say that. So…

“Since we both workday jobs and we’re both trying to create a remote lifestyle so we can quit our day jobs, how do we schedule our time together when apart from these things? What boundaries do we set in our business goals and our life as a couple? What goals do we set in our business, financially, et cetera, to avoid putting ourselves in a trap of prosperity gospel, which is not the gospel at all?”

Can I get an amen?

Selena:
Amen!

Ryan:
“How do we look to Jesus when working toward these desires, and honor Him through them? And I feel there are many couples out there that desire to quit their day jobs and work remotely, and I would love to hear your thoughts on this topic—” [Inhales deeply] Okay. “On the podcast.”

So, thank you for writing in!

Selena:
I think those questions disappear too quickly.

Ryan:
Yeah. They’re right there.

Selena:
I felt there was a lot of them.

Ryan:
They’re right there. [Selena inhales] So, setting goals together. Okay. So, the first thing is how do you kind of get – and I’m just going to speak to this quickly— is you’re trying to get from A to B. A being that you’re both working kind of what would be kind of nine to five—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Jobs, where you’re employed, and you’re trying to transition from being employed in a nine to five scenario into being self-employed in a more flexible, either your time and location.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Right? So, getting from A to B is what the goals are meant to help accomplish. The first goal is getting on the same page, just about—I don’t see a difference, really, between life and work. I think work is a gift from God. It’s a blessing from God to do anything that produces any sort of value in your own life and in the lives of others.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And so, just try and separate those. I think can’t it, at the foundation, I think it’s a little bit—I think it’s misaligning to try and separate those.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
However, there are boundaries that need to be set in place because you can’t work all the time and you can’t play all the time. You need to have a balance of these things—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And boundaries are all about balance. They’re all about keeping work things at work, meaning in that space in your life.

Selena:
Yeah. We don’t talk about Fierce Marriage all the time.

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
Although it does consume, I think, a lot of our conversation, just by the nature of what it is. [Inhales deeply]

Ryan:
But what I want to say, and that’s so true, but Fierce Marriage is not separate in the sense—It’s just a separate set of tasks, really.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
What we’re doing, Fierce Marriage, because we’re on mission as a family—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And God has called us—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
To this, and we’re on mission in that. Whether or not we’re talking about Fierce Marriage doesn’t change the fact that we’re on mission—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Together.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
So, I would encourage you to go through a family vision statement. We have, I think, if you could go to FierceMarriage.com/vision, or just search on our website for “family vision,” here’s a way you can download that. And that’s a great place to start! It helps you articulate what really matters to you in light of the gospel, right? As Christians, we can agree that the gospel is ultimate.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
That we’re called to make disciples of all nations, and we are called to love God—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Love each other.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And—

Selena:
Those have been foundational and super “formational”? [Laughs]

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
They formed a lot of, and made decisions for us, of how we can transition from A to B, while still fulfilling this mission, right?

Ryan:
Right.

Selena:
And so, we’re not always sacrificing to do one or the other. It’s like, “Okay, God, this is what this decision looks like in this season because—”

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
“We are taking the next step, and this is the next step and the next step and—[Inhales] I think it’s—yeah! I think it’s great. And I think the one other thing that I would add to this is that it’s—you got to understand that there’s going to be a season, I think, of acknowledgement—

Ryan:
A sprint. Yeah.

Selena:
While getting on the same page first, getting that family vision in place, a season of transition, right? So, you might be working two jobs kind of thing! And that might be a season you both have to be in agreement and okay and set the boundaries around that. That might be a little flexible and that’s okay. But, again, it’s a season. There should not be too many unknowns—

Ryan:
Mm-hm.

Selena:
I think. [Inhales] Like, “we’re going to shoot to reevaluate in January,” or something like that. So, there’s got to be—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
Some markers there, I think, for everybody’s [Inhales] sanity. [Exhales] And for the [Chuckling] health of your marriage. And then, understand that when that season is come, it’s going to look different than your nine to five, right? I think—

Ryan:
It’s going to be nine to ten, not nine—

Selena:
Twenty-four, seven. [Laughs]

Ryan:
Yeah. It’s going to be nine to nine. [Laughs]

Selena:
[Chuckling] Nine to nine.

Ryan:
Nine A.M. to nine A.M. [Laughs]

Selena:
[Chuckles] No. But—

Ryan:
Yeah, no. I’m kidding.

Selena:
I think—I mean, the best example I can give is like homeschooling. So many times, people jump into it thinking, “Okay, well, I’m going to just duplicate what they do at school, so they’re goin—Kids are going to be in school—We’re going to be sitting at the table for seven hours a day,” right? And it’s like, well, no. [Laughs]

Ryan:
They don’t do that in school. [Laughs]

[00:50:00]
Selena:
That’s not—Yeah, well, they don’t really do that in school. There’s a lot of transition time. [Inhales] But, also, that’s not what we have—Our goals were here. Our goals were to have, like what they said in here, to have some freedom, have some flexibility, have some time together. So, if I’m just trying to duplicate what I came out of, because I think that is the way towards success or whatever [Laughs], then it’s going to inhibit what we’re actually trying to accomplish, or what God’s put in our hearts to fulfill. Sorry, I’m thinking family vision. Fulfill.

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
So—

Ryan:
So, at the core, the motivation here is you don’t work—you don’t live to work, you work to live. Like, working is a means to an end. It’s not the end in itself.

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
However, as people designed to cultivate the earth—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
And given that commissioning—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Into what God is doing here on earth, in this place, for this time—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Your work is a good thing, and so Dorothy Sayers has an incredible essay called “Why Work?” I’d encourage you to check that out. It’s intense. But she was a contemporary of G. K. Chesterton, C. S. Lewis, Tolkien. Amazing thinker! And she basically said this—She said, “We need to, as Christians, we need to be about the business of doing work well that’s well worth doing.”

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
Like, put your hand to the plow. Do things that are worth doing. Just do it on mission!

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Don’t do it for its own sake but do it as an act of worship to God as it’s an end in itself because worshipping God is an end in itself. Right?

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Right. It’s an act of worship.

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
And so, do work well that’s well worth doing. Again, Dorothy Sayers.

Selena:
Yeah. She’s a beast. Her and C. S. Lewis were buddies.

Ryan:
Yeah. Yeah.

Selena:
Yeah. So, remembering stewardship. Getting family vision aligned and clear, because I think we can assume that these are things we want and we may not know, “Okay, why do we want them, though?” Are they truly—You got to put them through the fire. Are they truly desires that are—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
From God, or is it just ‘cause I hate my job?” Like—

Ryan:
Yeah.

Selena:
[Inhales] You got to—God’s really got to—

Ryan:
That’s good.

Selena:
Bring those into [Ryan laughs] clarity—

Ryan:
That’s really good. [Laughing]

Selena:
And make them foundational for you, so…

Ryan:
We’ll have to assume that it comes from a heart orientation that is not just, again, not running from something but running toward God’s vision.

Selena:
Yeah.

Ryan:
And not just—

Selena:
Absolutely.

Ryan:
Running away something you don’t like.

Selena:
Absolutely.

Ryan:
I want to end with this: Don’t do it alone!

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
Get a mentor couple around you! Whether that’s a business couple or not doesn’t really matter, but somebody who’s going to look out for you and your marriage so that you can be partners on mission and not just people trying to make money—

Selena:
Mm-hm.

Ryan:
In the same household, okay? So, and make sure they’re gospel centered. They’re mentoring you. If you don’t have those friendships that are going to ask you hard—

Selena:
Right.

Ryan:
Questions, find them.

Selena:
And pray for them.

Ryan:
And spend time building those—

Selena:
Yeah. Pray them into your life.

Ryan:
Far more than you build any business or endeavor.

Selena:
Absolutely.

Ryan:
Okay. That’s—I think this has been a full episode. So…

Selena:
[Chuckle] It’s very full!

Ryan:
[Inhales] Should I pray?

Selena:
Yes!

Ryan:
Okay.

Lord, I thank you for this time. I thank you for Your word that is always revealing parts in our hearts that need to be submitted to You and aligned with Your authority, with Your truth. God, I thank you for Your grace as we learn as a people. Thank you for loving us as Your bride. Jesus, thank you for being so kind and so loving to us.

I pray for the husbands and wives listening to this, feeling through this topic of apologizing. I pray that You would give them a heart of wisdom, that You would help them, and Holy Spirit, convict them. Convict us where we need to be corrected in these areas of really learning how to repent first to You, and come first to You as the ultimate authority and our ultimate target of our affection, but also how to repent to each other, and how to live lives that are integrous in this way and genuine in this way.

Father, again, thank you for Your amazing word, and Holy Spirit for making it come to life in our hearts.

In Jesus’ Name,
Amen.

Selena:
Amen.

Ryan:
Alright! Ladies and gentlemen, thank you once again for listening to the Fierce Marriage podcast. Oh! I wanted to mention Patreon, because we’ve had an amazing Patreon community developing, and thank you guys for sticking around. It’s been so fun to watch that grow! We’re actually about 20 patreons away from hitting our next goal of 250 patreons.

Selena:
Wow.

Ryan:
And so, please do consider praying for that.

Selena:
Mm.

Ryan:
Praying being a part of that. If God leads you, go to patreon.com/fiercemarriage. When we hit that 250 mark, we have some fun stuff we’re going to really put the fire underneath. Is that the right—We’re going to put the gas pedal on! [Ryan laughs and Selena chuckles] My analogies are mixed up!

Selena:
See, he’s about pregnant as I am. [Laughs]

Ryan:
Some really cool endeavors that we’re hoping to start lining up and that 250 mark is kind of our trigger point. So, check that out!

Selena:
Woo hoo!

Ryan:
Anyway. Oh, also, we just past two million downloads!

Selena:
Oh man!

Ryan:
So, we can now say—

Selena:
Woah…

Ryan:
Millions of downloads on the–

Selena:
Millions of downloads. [Laughing]

Ryan:
[Laughing] Fierce Marriage podcast! [Selena laughs] So that’s because of you wonderful listeners! Thank you! Thank you, thank you.

Selena:
Yes.

Ryan:
And once again, we’ll see you in about seven days, and until then—

Selena:
Oh, my goodness!

Ryan:
Oh, this episode is in—[Laughing]

Selena:
In the can!

Ryan:
OH! I got a head of myself.

Selena:
The only way we can get two million more listeners is if [Ryan laughing] we’re consistent. Goodness sakes!

Ryan:
Okay. I’m sorry.

Selena:
This guy…

Ryan:
You know, I’m genuinely sorry. I’m sorry that I forgot to say that. [Chuckling]

Selena:
What else?

Ryan:
[Ryan still chuckling] I’m just looking at the check list. [Selena chuckles]

Selena:
What else?

Ryan:
Alright. This episode is…

Selena:
In the can.

Ryan:
Alright. We’ll see you in about seven days. Until next time…

Selena:
Stay fierce.

[00:55:05]

<Ending Sequence>

[00:55:23]

Podcast ends.

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