The Importance of a Sincere Apology

“He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but whoso confesseth and forsaketh them shall have mercy.” Proverbs 28:13

Apologizing is not easy. It takes a good dose of humility, and a heart full of conviction. You’ve probably experienced the classic scenario before. The mother leans down and tells her child, “Now, you say you’re sorry!” And the child says grouchily with a rebellious heart, “I’m sorry,” to the child he just took a toy away from. It makes me laugh to think about it, but the truth of the matter is that children struggle with apologizing. It’s our sin nature at its best. As parents we have to teach them the importance of a sincere apology, and how it relates to God’s relationship with us.

When parents teach, leading by example is always the best way, and the same applies for teaching your children to say “I’m sorry.” I am a sinner just like my crazy kiddos, and not a day goes by that I don’t say or do something I shouldn’t. Maybe I raise my voice at one of them, maybe their father and I share a moment of disagreement and I roll my eyes, or maybe I slam the cabinet door in the kitchen when I burn the cupcakes I’ve just spent time mixing and baking. I know none of you do these things, right? {wink} It’s those moments that offer a truly powerful teaching opportunity. They are watching me, and by offering an apology to them or my husband, I am showing them what humility looks like, and the importance of a good ‘ole “I’m sorry. I shouldn’t have done that.”

angie-april

When it comes to apologizing, children struggle with two main things – pride and deceit. It all boils down to having the right attitude, and being truly sorry. To be sincere in our apology, we must admit that we’ve done wrong, to those we’ve hurt and to ourselves, and do our best to mend the situation. Children are infamous for always blaming others. It’s important to teach them that confessing your sins to those you’ve wronged can have a liberating effect. In the case of confessing to God, I like to explain this to my children as a form of apology. God already knows what you’ve done, but coming to him with humility and being honest about the mistakes you’ve made allows him to comfort you and help prepare you to be victorious when facing those same temptations in the future.

A sincere apology can mend almost any wrong, and teaching your children to apologize with a sincere heart when they are young will help them have successful relationships throughout their life. Explore lessons on apologizing and honesty with the I Will Tell the Truth DVD from Max Lucado and Tommy Nelson. Teach your children that their words can have a profound effect, good and bad, on those around them.


Angie is a Christian homeschooling mom of four active children ranging in age from 4 to 11. She’s been married to her husband, Jeremy, for fourteen years as they’ve learned to live God’s way, and grown together in His love. Her family is very active in their church, where they’ve attend for the past fourteen years. Angie has recently left the world of diaper bags and babies, and is cautiously approaching life with tweens. She is the creator of My Four Monkeys and you can find her on Twitter at @MyFourMonkeys.