This may seem like a silly question. Most people want to do something about the anger they are feeling, but there are some who just don’t care. They keep going through life, oblivious to the damage which their anger is causing. If you are bothered by your angry attitude toward your kids, that is a very healthy sign. Searching for help and answers shows that you have a sincere desire to change your attitude and act in loving ways toward your children again. Let’s look at some good reasons to work on overcoming our anger. (Remember that having angry feelings at times is normal, but we sin when we choose to act in wrong ways because of our anger.)
· Our children see us as their example. Kids really learn a lot from us. I can tell when I’m not dealing with anger well, because I see my kids acting much more aggressively with each other. It’s a signal to me that I need to stop and get it under control. We can’t be perfect, but we need to strive to be consistent. We can’t tell our kids to “STOP SCREAMING!” when they hear us yell at them when we’re frustrated. Practice what you preach.
· Unchecked, it can turn to rage and violence. In the book When Anger Hits Home, Gary Oliver and H. Norman Wright point out that “When people don’t understand, listen to, and learn from their anger, the anger can become more intense and turn into rage. At this point the person faces a much more difficult problem. The energy of rage is much more powerful and much more difficult to direct than the energy of anger. If anger is 10,000 volts of energy, then rage is 100,000 volts. When rage isn’t dealt with it can easily turn into aggression and then to violence.” This is something that really bothered me during that time of anger I went through. I was really worried that I was going to go “over the edge” and hurt Erin. I felt like I was going crazy, and I didn’t know if I needed professional help or not. Don’t ignore those feelings of anger. Welcome them as a sign that something is wrong in your life, and then work to resolve those feelings.
· The Bible tells us to get rid of it. Colossians 3:8 says, “But now you must rid yourselves of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander, and filthy language from your lips. James 1:19,20 admonishes: “My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
· We want our kids to have happy memories of home. Let’s try to leave our kids with mostly happy memories of their childhood. Kids are very resilient and they will be able to forgive us when we blow it, especially if they see us trying to act in right ways most of the time. If we do react poorly or treat them badly, we must apologize – it won’t lessen the respect they have for us, they’ll respect us more.
I hope that these reasons for overcoming anger can help all of us as we deal with angry feelings at times. One of the best incentives for becoming more mature and acting right is the hope of having a good, loving relationship with our children. The extra work you put into that relationship today will pay great dividends when you enjoy a great relationship with them when they are adults.
© Robyn Mulder 1998, therobynsnest.org