You can feel it. It’s about to happen again.
That burning inside. The fuse is lit and you can feel your blood pressure rise. Anger is about to kill another relationship or at least place a huge wedge in the middle. The monster inside is about to show up and you’re not sure what is going to happen.
Ever been there?
I know how you feel.
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My wife and I used to fight terribly. We did not know how to “fight right” but that is another story. The problem is that we are both stubborn, hard-headed and we both like to be right. A house with two of the oldest kids and both type A personalities. A true struggle in the making. Not to mention at the time we were both not living in the will of God. A recipe for disaster.
Marriage is tough to start with.
Reason being, you are mixing two completely different people together, with different personalities and making them live together. Conflicts are bound to happen and unless you have it together they are sure to blow.
I remember the last time I truly “lost my temper and went Hulk in the house”. We look back at it and laugh now but not that night.
What I remember.
She was “nagging me” (or so it felt at the time) about how we do not communicate anymore. That we never talk and spend time together anymore.
“I mean come on woman, we spend every night together, on the couch, watching tv together. This is spending time together, right?”
She persisted. It did not sit well with me, it was late at night and I was not in the mood. My fuse got lit and I could feel myself turning green inside about to Hulk as she continued. As my temperature began to rise, I snatched the blankets off of me, clutched my pillow and barked,“I am going to sleep in the living room!”
And it happened.
She snapped back with some snide smart remark as I walked out of the room. I threw my stuff on the floor, marched back into the bedroom to set her straight. I was the man of the house and God says the woman is to submit to her husband. Tonight, she was going to submit, whether she liked it or not.
The language that was exchanged was in a very ugly manner and BOOM, like a grenade, I went off. I Hulked and snapped. I could feel my veins enlarge as the blood engulfed in my veins. My vision turned red, as I stormed out of the bedroom and placed my fist successfully thru the dining room wall. Mission accomplished. I have shown her.
Why did I let myself get to this level?
How could I not control the monster inside of me?
Is this normal?
All valid questions you have asked yourself if you have ever dealt with anger issues.
Why do I become angry?
Anger is actually a natural reaction we were born with. There is a good anger and a bad anger. The challenge is to find out which anger you have and why?
- Good Anger is when you get angry at the right things and act appropriately. Anger due to sinful actions, that defile a person or principle is a form of good anger. We should be angry with those injustices to others. One example is Jesus becoming angry with the way the temple was being defiled (John 2:13-18). Jesus became angry for the correct reason and responded accordingly.
13 And the Jews’ passover was at hand, and Jesus went up to Jerusalem,
14 And found in the temple those that sold oxen and sheep and doves, and the changers of money sitting:
15 And when he had made a scourge of small cords, he drove them all out of the temple, and the sheep, and the oxen; and poured out the changers’ money, and overthrew the tables;
16 And said unto them that sold doves, Take these things hence; make not my Father’s house an house of merchandise.
17 And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house hath eaten me up.
18 Then answered the Jews and said unto him, What sign shewest thou unto us, seeing that thou doest these things? – John 2:13-18 KJV
- Bad Anger is when you become angry because something was said and it hurt your pride. In the example given above. My wife was not doing anything sinful or not committing a crime toward God. She just aggravated me. My pride step up and took action in the wrong manner. We were both in the wrong but it could have been handled differently. Pride is what causes us to fail and turn anger into a sin. When we let our pride take over we will sin every time. Pride and anger mixed together is a recipe for disaster 100% of the time. The Bible refers to persons who “hulk out” like I did a fool (Proverbs 29:11). And my actions were foolish and caused me to now have to fix the hole in the wall.
11 A fool uttereth all his mind: but a wise man keepeth it in till afterwards. – Proverbs 29:11 KJV
How can I control my anger?
Controlling your anger starts with recognizing you can not control it on your strength alone. We are instinctually given anger but we are selfish, sinful beings standing on our own merits of pride. When we begin to recognize our prideful anger as sin, confess our sin to God, as well as the persons we showed anger towards, then we can begin to make progress towards controlling our anger.
Sinful anger is evil.
A weapon used by Satan, to drive wedges in between families and friends, destroying homes and ruining lasting memories, to further his assault on humanity. Lingered anger and pride is what drove Cain to kill his brother (Genesis 4:5-8).
5 But unto Cain and to his offering he had not respect. And Cain was very wroth, and his countenance fell.
6 And the LORD said unto Cain, Why art thou wroth? and why is thy countenance fallen?
7 If thou doest well, shalt thou not be accepted? and if thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. And unto thee shall be his desire, and thou shalt rule over him.
8 And Cain talked with Abel his brother: and it came to pass, when they were in the field, that Cain rose up against Abel his brother, and slew him. – Genesis 4:5-8 KJV
Turn your anger into love. The reason you are angry is not because “of that person” but“because of some action”. You love your wife and the reason you are angry is not of her but the something that happened (Ephesians 4:29-32).
29Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
30And grieve not the holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
31Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
32And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you. – Ephesians 4:29-32 KJV
If I had not just reacted immediately to my wife’s comments and figured out why she was feeling the way she did, things would have been different (Proverbs 16:32). I would have been drinking my coffee, watching the news the next morning, instead of repairing a hole in the dining room wall.
32He that is slow to anger is better than the mighty; and he that ruleth his spirit than he that taketh a city. – Proverbs 16:32 KJV
What should I do the next time I get angry?
Yes, I said it guys. You have to communicate with others without losing your temper. It is hard. Trust me I am speaking to myself and from experience. I am not the best communicator with my wife (or others who I am in conflict with) but I work at it every day. I make a conscious effort to understand that my pride leads to my anger. To see my anger, as the sin it is and to ask God for the strength to fulfill his purpose in my life every day. It truly is the only way to resolve an issue without the sinful anger monster coming out.
Controlling anger is a big deal and is not an overnight fix.
Our sinful nature is hard to suppress but with the correct actions, prayer, being right with God and having an action plan for the next time you start seeing red, you can start seeing improvement in your life.
So Here is what to do the next time you are at the moment. The monster is about to break out of its cage, do these five things and in this order:
- Stop the knee-jerk reactions.
- Swallow your pride.
- Truly listen to what the person has to say.
- Determine if the confrontation is an injustice to God.
- Communicate with love.
My wife and I still fight, as we will as long as we are married, but now we fight the correct way. We can disagree, while still show each other love and compassion. You can conquer your anger monster but you have to work at it. Know that it is not an overnight change but a change you have will have to work at. God can and is willing to help you through the struggle if you will let Him. Pray as I do, every day:
“God, please allow me to show others the love and compassion you have shown me today. Give me the patience, understanding, and wisdom to deals with others today without my pride getting in the way. Please help me to keep my fleshy monster caged. Amen.”
- Where and when has your monster uncaged?
- What worked or did not work to deal with that anger?
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