May we give a soft answer, which turns away wrath, and avoid harsh words, which stir up anger. ~ Proverbs 15:1
A couple months ago I attended a Women’s Conference with other ladies from my church. One of the ladies in attendance has, in the past, been difficult for me to love (my sinful heart speaking here). I was anticipating the weekend being hard. On the other hand, I know God can transform hearts and I was looking forward to what God was going to do in me as he transformed me more into His image.
Within moments of arriving at the conference this sister in Christ spoke harshly to me and then said hurtful things two more times in the next day. Needless to say I was hurting and feeling vulnerable.
MY FIRST MISTAKE
When she asked to talk to me the next day I was defensive and expecting more of what I’d experienced the previous few days. Assuming what she was going to say instead of letting God work was my first mistake. The conversation started out on a sour note because I conveyed I was hurting and had tried talking to her about it earlier without any success. She adamantly denied my position and I felt she wasn’t letting me talk so I spat out, “Shut up and let me talk,” which only added fuel to the fire of misunderstanding and hurt.
I found out later she was trying to apologize for how she’d hurt me over the weekend. Because I let anger rule my heart instead of grace I damaged a precious friendship. We have since reconciled and are moving forward relying on God to help us love each other as He loves us!
God has been convicting me of my harsh words many times, particularly in the last couple years. I’ve prayed, asking him to help me speak peacefully to my kids and my friends. I’ve read books on anger. I’ve asked friends to pray for me and hold me accountable. But I really didn’t want to change! I enjoyed feeling hurt and reacting in anger. When a friend or one of my kids hurt me or inconvenienced me it felt good to yell at them or hurt them in return. Due to struggles with migraines and anemia I was tired A LOT and I blamed my anger on that. I felt entitled to being angry or to speak harshly because my family should know I’m feeling bad. They should treat me special and cater to me.
I really don’t think that’s how God wants me to act and think. His Son, Jesus, set the example for me to serve not BE served. When He was oppressed He didn’t open his mouth (Isaiah 53:7). That’s how I should respond when I’m hurt or tired and am tempted to get angry–with humility, with calmness, and a quiet answer. I still speak harshly to my children or my husband or my friends on occasion but the Holy Spirit strengthens me and empowers me to treat my friends and family with respect, quietness, and grace.
WHAT ABOUT YOU?
Have you ever experienced times when you just didn’t care if your emotions were under control?! I’d love to hear your story! My dear sisters, you are being prayed for today as you battle anger in yourself or in your children.
Throughout the day, pray the ten scripture prayers found at the end of the Anger chapter in Praying for Boys!
Jen is an “over the hill” home school mom to 4 elementary age kids ages 6-12 and the wife to a California dude for almost 16 years. She grew up in Southwest Virginia and loves living in the Blue Ridge Mountains. In addition to her “jobs” as mom, wife, daughter, and friend, she also works very part time as a Nurse Sonographer at the local pregnancy center. Her hobbies include reading, playing with her 4 blessings, and quilting. She also blogs at http://blessedwithfour.weebly.com/.
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Oh Yeah, I certainly get angry, and this hit home. I am up a lot every night with our boys who have separation issues from being abandoned and neglect as part their history before we adopted them. I need to serve instead of being served when I am tired and stressed from them being tired and stressed, and acting out.
Oh, wow – this was so on time. I have struggled, and am still struggling with this. It feels good to read about someone that is like me, especially this sentence: “When a friend or one of my kids hurt me or inconvenienced me it felt good to yell at them or hurt them in return.” I struggle a lot with the guilt of this, because I yelled terribly at my little 3-year-old daughter one day, and that night she passed away, and I cannot make it right. I know she forgave me, and she asked me to hold her in her final minutes, but I still get dragged down by the memory of that needless anger. I am making a conscious effort to control my temper and act in love, and I know God led me here to read this and become part of the MOB society to help me in loving my little boy, who is still my gift from God even as I mourn the absence of my little girl.
Thank you for being so honest. Anger is something I struggle with everyday. My dad grew up wjth an abusive father, and while my dad did incredibly better than his own father…I am learning that his behavior as well as my mom’s way of dealing with anger was (and still is on occasion) abusive. I am attempting to continue to break the cycle with the help of my own husband and my in laws. We encourage our boys to use their words, give them words for their emotions (which gets a lot of eye rolling from my own parents), and ‘fess up to the boys and ask for forgiveness when we mess up. I was in a car accident two months ago, and I was orginally diagnosed with a sprained wrist, but I still have not healed and the injured wrist is my dominate hand/ arm. I ran out of paid leave and have not recieved a pay check in a month so we had to discontinue our paid child care. Most days I am in significant pain and our youngest is 10 months old. My oldest tries his hardest but I find myself getting frustrated with typical 4 year old boy behaviors and while on a cognitive level I understand this pain is not his fault, emotionally he has been on the receiving end of my frustration. Thank you for sharing your story, it is a reminder to take a breath and then react and to react as Jesus would.
I’m having issues w my oldest son, 58. He’s been divorced for many years. The company he works for has jobs away from home and he’s gone for months. He has been staying in same State. So, when he’s here Close, he comes and stays w me on weekends. For over a year now, he reacts to most anything I say or do and really says hurtful things to me! We really get into it and I’ve gotten to where I’m afraid of him and that he might hurt me! I go over n beyond for him and can’t figure out why he is always on edge w me?!?! I’ve been praying a lot, and guess that’s why Im upset that he doesn’t change his attitude… He had COVID in June, so he really just started back on light duty…and has been working locally, so is staying here a lot!