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THE OFFENDER AND THE OFFENDED

Last night was one of the lowest moments of my entire day. What happened? I humiliated my wife in front of my son. The incident happened so fast that I have said something that really hurt my wife’s feelings. I saw how my wife’s face changed from a happy to a sad state. It seems like everything went into slow motion and I was full of regret and wanting to bring back the words I have spoken. Words are like water coming from a faucet. Once you open it, you cannot catch it with your bare hands.

What’s done is already done but I can still fix it by admitting the wrong thing I’ve done and apologize for my mistake.

And that was exactly what I did but she had no reaction. Sort of her saying, “Talk to my lawyer or talk to my hand.” In other words, she was ignoring me, stone walling or in lay man’s term: “DEAD MA.”

My son approached me and asked me several questions:
Jethro: “Did you say sorry to mama?”
Me: “Yes.”
Jethro: “How come she was not talking to you?”
Me: “Mam got hurt with what I said. I just need to give her time.”
Jethro: “You’re really tight.”

What my son meant was that I really understood what my wife was going through.

I really thank God for the Holy Spirit in my life for rebuking and correcting me immediately for my wrong behavior.

The earlier you admit that you are wrong, the faster the conflict will be resolved. Never try to justify yourself for your wrong behavior.

“I would not have behaved like this, if you did not provoke me. It is your fault, you started this! Next time, be more sensitive.”
“I would not have become unfaithful if you just gave me more attention. This is all your fault!”
“This would not have happened if you never pressured me to do this. My life is a mess because of you!”

“Wow, ikaw na nga ang nagkamali, ikaw pa ang may ganang magalit!”
“Wow, ikaw pa ang na-pressure, kaya naging ganito ang buhay mo.”
“Kapal naman!”

There is a tendency for some people to turn the table around and use it as a battering ram to hit back really hard just to justify their wrong doing.

Once you’ve already asked for forgiveness and if they are not yet ready to have a dialogue, you just need to respect their feelings and give them enough space to recover and heal. Once a person forgives, we cannot expect the person to immediately heal.

Let us not allow pride to set in and avoid entertaining wrong ideas like “Nagso-sorry na ayaw pang tanggapin. What else do you want me to do?”

It should be under THEIR terms, not OURS.
We are the OFFENDER not the OFFENDED.
We cannot create our own terms and ask the offended to follow.
We just need to be patient and be humble to accept any consequence it might bring.

That is the reason many relationships ended up broken and shattered because of anger and pride.

THINGS I LEARNED FROM THIS EXPERIENCE:

“In your anger do not sin. Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” Ephesians 4:26, 27

TO THE OFFENDER: NEVER SPEAK WHEN YOU ARE ANGRY
It is a proven fact that there is a tendency for us to say and do something wrong when we are emotionally upset and unstable. That was exactly what happened to me. I was frustrated and upset with one of my staff and reprimanded him for his bad attitude. So when my wife asked me why I did not look for her immediately, I told her I need to go to the rest room to take a leak. (But with matching high pitch equal to Jed Madela) That really sounded bad, specially coming from a non-singer like me.

Tip for women: After a long, busy and stressful day caused by traffic or work, men need space to recover or recharge. They need to go to their man cave to recharge. Ask them if they are open for conversation or do they need time for themselves.

Tip for men: Just in case your spouse forgets, be polite and ask for a time out so that you can settle down and recharge for a few minutes. Once you’re ready, please initiate and inform your spouse that you are ready.

Men should be sensitive and understand where your spouses are coming from. After a long day of dealing with household chores and your kids’ “kakulitan”, they also need to vent out and speak to someone who can listen to them and their frustrations.

TO THE OFFENDED: LEARN HOW TO FORGIVE

It is just right for any person to be given time and space for them to recover so that they can heal.
But do not allow the offense to linger that long. Once you nurture it, you are feeding it unintentionally. What you feed becomes stronger and what you starve becomes weaker.

If you are feeding the feeling of unforgiveness, resentment and injustice, it will soon take root. From it will then grow into bitterness. Once it is fully conceived, your heart will become hard and you will have a hard time to forgive to move on. Do not wait for the feelings to come before you forgive. What if the feelings never come? Does it mean to say that you will remain that way?

We just need to be reminded of what God has to say about our hearts.
The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it? (Jeremiah 17:9)

Do not allow the sin of pride and unforgivenss to brew in your heart and mind. The longer it takes, the longer it will take root.

Let us see what wrong desires can do?

Then, after desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, gives birth to death. James 1:15

THINK. REFLECT. APPLY.

TO THE OFFENDER
Have you offended anyone or your spouse lately?
Have you admitted without blaming and asked for an apology?

TO THE OFFENDED
Have you already forgiven your spouse?
Do you still have a hidden offense that you are keeping for a long time?
What are you planning to do with it?

AS OF POSTING TIME: My wife already forgave me. Thank you God and I hope those who are still offended will find the time to forgive.

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