There have been countless times in my life where I have been angry. Often, I know I am in the wrong, but there are those times that I try to justify my anger. I want to be right. What I found out in marriage is that when I am angry at Nancy, it is never good because I do not handle it well. The Bible tells us, “to be angry and not sin.” I think I used that verse as a free ticket to be angry and justify it. I would just disregard the ‘do not sin’ part because I was ‘right’. So, however I made my point or won the argument was justified.
What that did to my marriage was devastating. Fights became win/lose battles and I wanted to always win. What I saw over time was that when I won, my marriage lost, and it was crumbling around my self-righteous anger. I do believe God gave us anger. There are Scriptures that speak of God’s anger and of Jesus’ anger. The problem is that their anger, unlike mine, is righteous. Theirs never involve sin. Mine always does. If I am to use anger in my life and in my marriage the way God intended, I need to see it as a warning that something is not right. Then I need to take that to God and let Him help me figure it out so that I do not react in sin.
If I get upset at Nancy, I need to give myself a ‘time-out’ to think it through and ask myself some questions: Why am I really angry? How do I need to respond? What does God want me to learn from this? Through this process I can be angry and not sin.
For me, what needs surrendering is not necessarily the anger, because I can see how God can use it in my life. What needs surrendering is my sinful response--the kind that feels so good for a short time then I realize it is damaging my marriage and is never worth it. So, again, I raise my ‘white flag’ as I lay my sinful angry responses down at the feet of God.
How do you handle anger? How does it affect you and your marriage? What do you need to lay at the feet of God?