Anger & Relationships
Topic: Sunday Message Verse: Ephesians 6:1–6:4
Anger & Relationships 6.12.16
Week seven in a series to help us better understand our anger and how to deal with it from God's perspective
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Anger and Relationships
When it comes to anger, why is it that we’ll stay silent with a obnoxious co-worker who’s continually annoying us with their rude behavior, and yet we’ll immediately pounce on a spouse… a child… a close friend… over the smallest annoyance? You think it would be the other way around, but sadly, our biggest struggles with anger often have to do with the people closest to us. Three of the closest relationship where our anger struggles can be the most challenging are: (1) Marriage Relationships; (2) Committed Relationships; (3) Family Relationships.
Anger & Marriage Relationships
As shocking as it may sound, every good marriage needs a little anger in it. While destructive explosions of anger cannot be tolerated, constructive expressions of anger must be allowed.
Anger & Marriage Relationships (4 action steps)
1. Address your anger sooner than later (“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold. Ephesians 4:26-27).
2. Explain don’t accuse. (Not “You messed up and made me angry,” but “When you did _______, I felt _______.”)
3. Listen don’t react. (Push for clarity before you respond. “Help me understand…” also James 1:19-20)
4. Don’t express your anger if you can’t affirm your love. (“I love you. I believe the best in you. And I’m not going anywhere.”)
Anger & Committed Relationships
A committed relationship is defined here as an exclusive relationship that's like marriage, but is not marriage, where two grown adults are romantically and physically involved, and likely living together. While many of the issues with anger are the same here as in a marriage, this can be much more challenging. Without mutual marriage promises, anger often goes unaddressed as a way to keep the relationship intact. Why risk bringing up a sensitive subject if the other person might flee? Married couples often endure tough times not just because of the promises they make to each other, but also because of the promises they've made to God.
Ephesians 6:1-4 NIV
1 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother”—which is the first commandment with a promise— 3 “so that it may go well with you and that you may enjoy long life on the earth.” 4 Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.
Anger & Family Relationships
Allow your children to express their anger while also apologizing for your own anger. One of the most important things a parent needs to teach their child is how to handle their anger in a healthy way. But that can't happen if parents never give their kids a chance to do so. Likewise, parents need to model appropriate expressions of anger and apologize when they blow it. Otherwise they create double standards in the home that kids will pick up on quickly and resent them for it.