I think there’s more to it than this.
For me to tell my husband “I’m sorry” is SO much easier than saying why I’m sorry AND then asking him for forgiveness. For the longest time I has such a hard time with this!
One child – Say what you’re sorry about and ask for forgiveness:
Can I tell you how much fun we all had?!!
Thank God, with plenty of prayer and “Let’s-break-it-down” conversations, they matured. They got it. Having opportunities to be on both sides of forgiveness, children begin to experience that in genuine reconciliation, they both have to participate – every time. Each person needs to say something, to give something – whether they feel like it or not.
Jesus taught, “And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive him, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins.” (Mark 11.25) Through all those years of “practice”, God was working, growing their hearts to value reconciliation – with people and with Him.
The heart of the verbal exchange is being willing to communicate and make the effort to be humble. Forgiveness is a decision. “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble…Humble yourselves before the Lord and he will exalt you.” (James 4.6,10)