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7 Marks of a Good Apology (and 8 Marks of a Bad One)

Repentance is an essential part of the Christian life, relational health, and maintaining an accurate view of the world. Repentance is when we quit trying to make our dysfunction “work” and embrace the life-giving alternative to our sin that God offers.When we direct repentance towards a person we have offended we often call it an apology. For this reason, Christians should be better at apologizing than anyone else.In the context of offense (when we are the offended party), it can be difficult to be objective about whether an apology is good or bad, healthy or unhealthy, genuine or obligatory. Motives are subjective and rarely all good or all bad.In this post, I pull from several previous posts and resources in order to try to identify the markers of a good (i.e., God-honoring) apology and markers of a bad apology (i.e., one that fails to accomplish God’s redemptive agenda after an offense). I hope these help us repent well when are the offending party and discern wisely when we are the offended party in a conflict.7 Marks of a Good ApologyKen Sande in Peacemaking for Families, his excellent book on conflict resolution, describes seven elements of repentance (bold text only). This outline is developed in the order that words of repentance would typically be spoken in conversation. Explanations and applications will be provided for each point.*This material is an abbreviated excerpt from the mentoring manual for the Creating a Gospel-Centered Marriage: Communication seminar (unit 5), so while in places it has a marital focus it is applicable to any relational context.Photo Credit:©Getty Images/dragana991

10 Ways to Avoid Crazy In-Law Interactions

In-law “horror” stories abound. I’ll be honest; I used to laugh at in-law jokes. But not anymore. I believe God can use in-law relationships to bless and encourage us, and also to rub off rough edges in our personalities. Looking at in-laws through Jesus’ eyes, I now hope for “honor” stories.Sometimes, in spite of doing all the right things, in-law relationships can fall apart. We cannot “fix” other people, but the Lord can change us and fix relationship messes in His own time and way. In the meantime, we can choose to love others—even the unlovable—as Jesus would.Given that disclaimer, there are powerful steps we can take to create healthy in-law interactions.
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/fizkes

What Does the Bible Actually Teach about Sex?

Sex - It’s often thought about, but rarely talked about, especially within Christian circles. Yes, we’re going there. Let’s talk about sex. I’ve been in enough youth group meetings, women’s small groups and hushed conversations with friends to know that the topic of sex is one that most of us desperately need clarity on.

8 Surprising Things about You That Are Attractive to Your Husband

Before my family landed into ministry, we were livestock farmers. We raised cattle and pigs.I had a garden and a coop full of hens laying fresh eggs each day. Along with the daily work of farming, my children were showing livestock at the county and state fairs. In the months leading up to the shows there were cattle and pigs that we had to wash and walk daily.One day, I was at the barn with my son. While he was leading his heifer around the corral, I was cleaning up the manure in the barn. Now, this was an icky job with nothing pretty about it. When I turned the corner, I found my husband standing there with a gleam in his eye, and he tells me that what I was doing was the sexiest thing he ever saw.At that moment, I thought he had lost his mind.Have you ever wondered what makes your husband tick or get that gleam in his eyes? After a little research, I found eight surprising things that your husband finds attractive about you.Photo Credit: ©GettyImages/XiXinXing

5 Aspects of True Love towards Your Spouse

Love is not just something to make us feel good; it's an action that is centered around the other person's thoughts and feelings. Here are 5 characteristics that I have learned about true, agape love:

4 Ways the Foolish Woman Tears Down Her House

The thought of a woman tearing down her house with her bare knuckles sounds outrageous. Aren't we all striving to build great families? We aspire to have thriving marriages and raise God-fearing, responsible children - the salt of the earth. So when we catch wind of someone who deliberately demolishes their house to the ground, we gasp in shock. Something has to be totally out of place with such a woman, and the Bible is clear on the problem- she is wrapped up in folly.“The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.”(Proverbs 14:1)It takes wisdom to build a home. And while the wise woman is on a building spree, the foolish one exerts her energy to demolish her home. But how does she do that, you may ask? Here are four ways in which she goes about it.
Photo credit: Anthony Tran/Unsplash

5 Ways to Be a Supportive Husband

In years past, roles within a marriage and family were clearly defined. Women were expected to run a household and raise their children. While these aspects are still an integral part of a marriage, women are taking on other roles, such as working outside the home and ministering in their churches. Yet, in many homes, a wife is still expected to complete tasks and be their children's main caregiver. Although roles are changing, husbands can demonstrate their support in significant ways. Here are five ways a husband can be supportive of his wife:
Photo credit: ©Getty Images/PeopleImages

5 Ways to Go from Stuck to Thriving in Your Marriage

When you feel stuck in your marriage, there is a tendency to think your condition is permanent. Perspective is an important tool when diagnosing marriage problems. Are you really stuck, or is this temporary setback setting you up for greater awareness in your relationship?

6 Reasons Why Counseling Is a Saving Grace for a Troubled Marriage

When spouses cannot communicate with each other and trust is broken, they can be deceived into thinking it is easier to break up than it is to persevere. A counselor can give practical tips and strategies for each spouse to communicate and ways the other person can understand.

7 Ways to Make Sure Your Spouse Doesn't Become Just a Roommate

It's easy to justify going to bed without praying together or without giving each other a good night kiss. Sometimes, even leaving your spouse to clean up the dishes from dinner and retreating to bed without an "I love you" or "Thank you for doing the dishes tonight" can lead to further roommate status when you don't have that time to connect (or the reverse is true in the morning).

Do Christians Have to Get Married in a Church?

We arethe church, so true believers always get married “in” the church no matter the location of the ceremony (assuming a Christian couple would not choose a questionable site). Weddings performed in a church setting, however, have a special nature about them because it’s where the church gathers every week to worship the Lord.

6 Great Date Night Ideas for Valentine’s Day

Showing you love someone doesn't have to be expensive or routine. Valentine's Day can be a great way to show each other love in a way that deepens the bond between you. With a little creativity, you can make your Valentine's Day extra special and spend a fun day or evening together.

3 Sneaky Ways Satan Tries to Harm Christian Marriages

Marriage and family are meant to be a picture of God’s love for us. Because these relationships were designed to glorify God, they have always been subject to the enemy’s attack. Way back in Genesis, we see Satan bringing separation in marriage. The story hasn’t changed despite the passing of years; our marriages are still targets for the enemy. Here are three ways Satan tempts us away from God’s best for us.Photo credit: ©GettyImages/PeopleImages


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