Anger is such an issue in my home. I see it in me and in my children. So this week we have been talking about anger in our family devotions. Like I have said before this blog is for me....for me to remember what God is showing me. And right now it is about the issue of anger.
We have been reading in James. And James 1:19 reads, "My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry..." That has been our memory verse this week. We all know the saying: "God gave us one mouth and two ears, because he wants us to listen more than we talk." It is so hard not to speak. I see my 8 yr old struggle with this. His favorite saying is, "But mom..." As I am correcting him, it is like the finger should be pointing back at me. I am constantly saying, "But God..." But God, why are my children fighting....But God, why isn't my husband talking more to me.....and the list goes on and on. I don't want to just listen, I want to be listened to. I want to be understood....because then everyone would know I am right, right?! But being understood and everyone agreeing with me are two different things. As I told my children in the car this morning....If I put a bowl of broccoli in the middle of this car do ya'll understand this is broccoli....they all said yes....then I said but do we all agree it tastes good....and as you can imagine I got a couple of no's! : ) I told my son today.....Son, I understand exactly what happened with your sister, BUT I don't agree with how you handled it.
We have also been talking about being slow to become angry. One reason we get angry is because of our "rights." I have the right to be listened to....the right to tell my children what to do....the right to eat my breakfast in silence....and that list goes on and on also. My only "right" is hell and an eternity separated from God. Nothing more. But our Savior came and died to give me the privilege of heaven.
Another reason we quickly get angry is our selfishness. We don't want to put someone else's needs first or let them get something better, so we get angry. My children don't want their sibling to get to pick out the movie, or go first in a game, or have the last packet of mini muffins. But I am the same. I can get angry if I think Matt gets more time to himself than I do, or if my children interrupt my movie time. I am SO very thankful that Christ put me before himself when he DIED on the cross.....and I don't think I can pause my movie.....seriously?!
We have also been talking about Proverbs 15:1, "A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." How hard it is for us to not try to get the last word, or strike back in our anger. But the Lord gave me a great example for my children as I was ironing my daughters pants. So I ask them, "How long does it take for an iron to heat up?" "Not long," they answer. Then I ask, "How long does it take to cool down?" They understood where I was heading because they didn't answer right away. : ) That is what happens when we stir up anger.....things around us do not cool down very quickly!
I am so thankful that the Holy Spirit helps us with our anger.....if we let him. I am also thankful that He is working in the hearts of my children, so that we can become different than the world around us.....we can put others before ourselves, give up our so called rights, and have gentle answers. This is not to "look good" but to point others to Christ.