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Any Practical Advice on Controlling My Anger
Posted by Barbara Smith (BWSmith)
This message was originally posted on
Christian Homeschool Fellowship on the Web

You ask for "any practical advice on controlling my anger." You have gotten some good advice, esp. Kate's comment about considering what your "feed your heart — the word of God is a balm and a restraint for an angry heart. Obviously, you are not alone with angry feelings — so many of us struggle with short fuses!

Controlling *my* anger has become easier in the sense that God has shown me some "triggers." When I have learned what God's word says about anger — this knowledge has shamed me, but strengthened me — and no, I haven't mastered the emotional outbursts — but when I submit, He triumphs — so here goes:

  1. Your heartfelt request for prayer is paramount — angry emotions are bridled by purposeful, and persistent prayer. So I pray that for the remainder of the evening — and for as long as God grants us life, that we both yield to HIS restraining Holy Spirit.

  2. My husband had to speak to the child with whom I "tangled" frequently and warned: "You will be held responsible for provoking your mom to anger. No, she should not be losing it, true enough — but if you are disrespectful, disobedient or lazy — and provoke her to ‘wrath,' I will hold you accountable!"

  3. And YES, my husband chided me -- with respect and kindness -- for flying off the handle more than once — but he also counseled me from Scripture and prayed for me and gave me passages to read and think about — and yes, this was embarrassing. Our child was almost 13 when this happened.

  4. I, too, grieved and wasted time making up for the damage I did losing my temper — and I have been helped in restraining my temper by remembering very time I loose my temper — it is a lash across my Savior's back — or a thorn driven into His precious brow.

  5. You have to stand over the kids? — Well, until mine realized that if they took up my time as referee or warden, it would cost *them* time. Ask God to show you how to pick a "punishment to fit the crime."

  6. My husband organized and enforced the "chore chart" — very simple chores, too — and signed up for his turn and got the kids moving. If you didn't check off your chore, you lost a privilege — and he told the kids that mom wasn't expected to do these chores because she did so many other things for the family.

  7. About raising your voice — my husband raised his much less than I did — I think because they knew their ol' pussycat of a daddy — ENFORCED what he said when he said it. He kept it simple and did what he said he was gonna do. I still struggle with threatening, and failing to follow through — Is this a female thing?

  8. Being laid back is not always better — but maybe ask God to show you what is making you uptight? Is it because HIS law is being broken or YOUR personal peace and comfort is being rattled?

  9. About liking who you are becoming — by God's grace you and I are becoming like Jesus. Don't get discouraged if HE is whittling off rough edges, but keep looking into the word and your hymnal and focus on what HE looks like — Remember Jesus loves you, warts and all — He's just getting rid of them and that stings.

  10. "Stress" usually means I am not trusting my Savior to lead and guide and provide the day's needs -- Maybe try to verbalize what is worrying you?

  11. If you have lost their respect, ask God and your children for forgiveness — and their prayers and understand that there are consequences for adult temper tantrums that will take time to heal — THAT knowledge has slowed me down on more than one occasion.

  12. Nagging will wreck relationships — you know that Lyn — I know that too — and God tells me when I start scolding — I remember what too much produces: "For the churning of milk produces butter, and pressing the nose brings forth blood; so the churning of anger produces strife. (Prov 30:33)

  13. How do I get out of this horrible habit without losing my mind or my children? I have considered that the understanding I gain from Scripture slows my fuse: (She) who is slow to anger has great understanding, but (she) who is quick-tempered exalts folly. (Prov 14:29)

It is really true: modulating my mouth muscles and lowering my voice helps: A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. (Prov 15:1)

Also, my attitude does set the tone in the house — and I gotta remember that I am the grown-up and if I don't get my way, my Father knows best ;0): A hot-tempered (woman) stirs up strife, but the slow to anger pacifies contention. (Prov 15:18)

Counting to ten is the first step to mighty deeds: (She) who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and (she) who rules (her) spirit, than she who captures a city. (Prov 16:32)

When my loved ones drive me nuts — I am learning that part of the privilege of bearing the name of "Christian" is overlooking transgressions — My Savior willingly "suffered" the same slings and arrows of "misfortune" that provoke me to wrath: A (woman's) discretion makes her slow to anger, and it is her glory to overlook a transgression. (Prov 19:11)

I want to be a wise woman — and I pray that you will become wise too — and that we will pray one for another, Lyn: Do not be eager in your heart to be angry, for anger resides in the bosom of fools. (Eccl 7:9)


© Barbara W. Smith 1998, all rights reserved
Permission is given to reprint any of Barbara's articles in non-profit publications as long as the article is reprinted in full and contains the copyright information and Web site address.

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