“A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention.” Proverbs 15:18
By: Gretchen Speer
A few weeks ago we moved into a new house. Along with a play room and a man cave, we now have an intercom system. How to work this intercom system is still a bit of a mystery to me. We looked up the manual online, but I’m not much for reading manuals. I’m more of a mess with it until you figure it out kind of person. About a week after we moved in I decided to break it in; I mean, really-I broke it in. My kids were upstairs fighting. My littles were screaming every two minutes. I could hear them running all over the place up there-which is a big no-no at our house. I intervened several times, but the chaos continued. The more they screamed and tattled, the more frustrated I got that they were screaming and tattling. So, I got up and stomped over to the intercom and pushed the talk button. Only, I didn’t start talking. I think barking and growling would be more accurate descriptions of what I did. I went on and on…and on. There was some laying down of laws, some threatening of coming punishments, and plenty expressing of frustrations. When I was done, there was silence for a whole two minutes, and I reveled in it.
Later that day I was upstairs putting away laundry in my older DS’s room. I needed my younger DD to come up stairs so I hopped on my trusty intercom and called her up. My DS giggled to himself. “What are you laughing at?” I asked him. “You know that’s really loud outside don’t you?” he says. As all the things I said earlier are running though my mind. I called for my husband to go outside and listen as I said something over the intercom. Sure enough, it was fog horn loud. It was also beautiful outside, and many of my neighbors were in their back yards grilling and such. Ugghh.
In that moment my puffed up pride and self-indignation just deflated. Knowing that many of my brand new neighbors likely heard my rant certainly brought some perspective. I think this is why accountability is so important, because without it I find that I get caught feeling I own the right to be angry sometimes. I had quite a bit of accountability that day, and it brought me a much needed check!
I find it no coincidence that in the two weeks following this instance I have heard both my Pastor and Michelle Duggar talk about anger. It was also covered in the bible study that I’m going though right now.(Beth Moore’s James study). Each of their messages came from different perspectives, but carried similar themes. Here are a few things that stuck out to me:
- Anger clouds your judgement. (Proverbs 16:32)
- Anger is a secondary emotion. When you find you are feeling angry a lot, ask God to reveal to you what is at the core of the problem. (ex: guilt, lust, jealousy, pride…)
- Anger-An inward alarm system revealing personal rights which we have either not given to God or have taken back from Him. (See Ephesians 4:26,31.) *This definition was offered by Michelle Duggar.
What I’m finding more and more in conversations with other moms is that anger is a pretty common struggle, yet we don’t talk about it. It’s shameful to admit that we yell at our kids. I was more than a little embarrassed when I realized that my neighbors most likely heard me, but I was also thankful that I could tell several moms about this and not be judged. They met me with grace and understanding…and a little laughter:)
My prayer for you today is that God will bring someone into your life whom you can be open with about the things that you struggle with. A person who offers you grace and accountability and not judgement. And as always, we would love to pray for you! Leave us a message if you wish for your prayer request to be left private, or a comment if you want it to be public.