“Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.” Ephesians 4:31-32
A spirit of anger seems to infiltrate our family at times. I am convinced it strongly dwells in the backseat of my car. The invisible line never seems to keep my children from “poking” or “prodding” at each other, ending in a berate of screaming he/she touched me! Then either myself of my husband begins screaming for them to stop it and before too long there is crying and name calling and well…let the circus begin.
I’ve never really been that cognizant or concerned about anger until the tragedy occurred this past Friday. I couldn’t help but think about how much anger and hatred had to be dwelling in the young man’s heart who took so many lives? What made him so angry? What makes me angry? What makes my children angry? What makes my husband angry? And I began to realize how big of a price tag anger carries.
Anger wounds relationships. Builds walls. Isolates . Buries. And ultimately, it destructs.
Never has there been a more important time for us to shield our families and ourselves from a spirit of anger.
Anger can spring forth for so many reasons. Unfortunately we cannot control everything that will happen in our lives. Things will happen that make us angry. And it is okay and normal to feel angry for a moment. However we must not let it grow into sin and bitterness. It is our job as parents to teach our children how to cope with anger so that explosive energy goes not build up. Even more it is our job as a family to live transformed. We were set free that we might be undone of anger, we don’t just have to learn to cope with it, we can be set free from it.
Because of the destructive nature of anger, we have decided to pray against a spirit of anger in our family. It hasn’t disappeared yet, but I know it’s on its way out. Perhaps the most difficult struggle will be for my son. He has a lot that he could choose to be angry about. He struggles in school, he stutters, he is diagnosed with intellectual disability, possibly Asperger’s, and sometimes people aren’t very nice to him. But he has a choice, and as his parents we also have a choice. We can choose to watch the anger grow in him or we can teach him how to be a leader despite his circumstances.
Knitting our family tight into the word of God and close into each other is the greatest weapon we have against the anger behind things such as the tragedy last Friday. Would you like to join me? Let’s pray against the stronghold of anger in our family, our friends, and our country. We were made for more than “managing” our anger. God holds us with His righteous right hand above anger and offers forgiveness that anger may not just be managed, but that we might be set free.