Anger is an emotion and emotions serve a purpose for good if we submit them to God. Anger can find solutions to a problem or it can add destruction to a problem. For example, if you are angry at a certain behavior in your child that needs to be corrected, anger is an emotion that is telling you something is not right. Anger is not the problem. How anger is allowed to manifest is the real issue. Anger can be useful or hurtful.
Not long ago, I lost my temper with one of my children. I allowed anger to determine an unhealthy way of handling the problem. I started out calm enough, and my correction seemed to be going okay. Then something happen that caused me to raise my voice.
At that moment, whether I want to admit it or not, I lost my influence for good and turned into the old fallen man that doesn’t reflect the long suffering of God, nor his patient love. In my heated moment, I forgot that it is the goodness of God that leads us to repentance.
The more I allowed my angry to run out of control the more it consumed all the grace, mercy and reflection of God away from my child. I could see the fire of anger burning but instead of throwing water on the fire, I just threw more gas. The frustrations of my adult world that I should take to God in prayer and leave at His feet found their way out and projected onto my child.
My anger had become harmful instead of constructive and redemptive. I’ve heard it said before, and I believe it to be true, “Anger becomes harmful when you don’t regard it as a signal to fix the cause.” The bible declares in Ephesians 4:26, “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,”
I got the second part of that verses right. Before the sun went down, I had apologized to my child. The next time I want to get the first part of the verse right. In my anger, I don’t want to sin. When I honestly think about what I did, I concluded I was exceedingly mad at myself more than what my child was doing. I had some unresolved stress in my own life that I had allowed to come out in the form of anger and onto my child. I had failed to protect my child from me.
If you have ever had a similar experience and need to apologize, here are a few tips.
1. Leave your pride at the door.
2. Just say you were wrong. Don’t include any excuses.
3. Look your child in the eyes and say I’m sorry.
4. Ask for forgiveness. Let them decided if they want to give it. Don’t demand it.