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Six-Step Apology

Financial stress is a leading cause of marriage conflicts.

Years ago, Ann and I attended a newlywed Bible study and were encouraged to memorize Ephesians 4:32: “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.” You can have a financially healthy marriage, but unless you learn to apologize and forgive, it will fall short of what God intends. We’re to forgive as He forgives. Or think of it this way: we forgive because He forgives. Ford Taylor developed the Six-Step Apology that he says saves marriages and relationships – even those that appear beyond repair. Listen closely. 

1. State the offense.  Whatever you said, or they said you said, repeat it back.

2. Admit your error. “You’re right. I did that. I was wrong.”

3. Apologize. “I am sorry.” Or, “I apologize.”

4. Seek forgiveness. “Will you forgive me?” Or, “When you can, will you forgive me?”

5. Grant accountability. “I give you permission to hold me accountable not to behave this way anymore.”

6. Ask if there’s something else. “Is there anything else that I’ve done that I need to apologize for?”

Saying the words in each step is key. The process will change your behavior and impact your relationships. Learn and use these 6 steps. Model and teach them to your children. See what happens. Let me repeat them for you: State the offense. Admit your error. Apologize. Seek forgiveness. Grant accountability. Ask if there’s more. It takes humility to take the first step and to seek whole and healthy relationships. 

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