Monday, 30 May 2016

Anger Management in the Home

If you are a normal household, which I am assuming we all are, there will, at times, be periods where there is anger in the home.

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But what wisdom does the Bible and Christianity have to offer about anger?  
Is it wrong to become angry? 
Is it ever okay?
What is God's anger like? 
How do we manage anger within the home? 

These are the questions I would like to answer, because I believe that if we can get our anger management right, then we can, often times, avoid a full blown civil war within our homes and restore a well-balanced peace.

What is God's anger like?

The LORD God, Yahweh has a very, very, very long fuse. He is slow to become angry. He is long-suffering and patient.

"You are a forgiving God, gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love." Neh 9:17 (see also Ex 34:6; Ps 103:8; Na 1:3; Ps 86:15; Jonah 4:2)
His anger lasts only a moment. It is short lived. It doesn't rage on and on, seething in vileness.
"For his anger lasts only a moment, but his favour lasts a lifetime." Ps 30:5

It is controlled.
 "Time after time he restrained his anger and did not stir up his full wrath." Ps 78:38

It is pure and just and undefiled.
We are told to be like Him.

How do I manage my own anger?

We are not to curse, swear  or use bad language when we are angry.
"But you must rid yourself of all such things as these: anger, rage, malice, slander and filthy language from your lips." Col 3:8 (see also Eph 5:4,5; Eph 4:29)
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We are not to sin in our anger e.g. murder, steal, slander, destroy, commit adultery.
"In your anger do not sin." Eph 4:26
We are not to let our anger last a long time.
"Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry and do not give the devil a foothold." Eph 4:27
We are not to be easily angered.
"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, is is not easily angered..." 1 Cor 13:4,5 
"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." James 1:19
"A quick-tempered man does foolish things, and a crafty man is hated." Prov 14:17 
(See also Prov 14:29; Prov 15:18; Prov 16:32; Prov 19:11; Prov 25;15; Ecc 7:9)
We are not to give full vent to our anger or lose control.
"A fool gives full vent to his anger, but a wise man keeps himself under control." Prov 29:11 
"A wise man fears the LORD and shuns evil, but a fool is hotheaded and reckless." Prov 14:16 

How do I manager other people's anger?

Stay away from angry people. Don't be friends or associates with easily angered people or their bad habits will rub off onto you. You become like those you hang around with.
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"Do not make friends with a hot-tempered man, do not associate with one easily angered, or you may learn his ways and get yourself ensnared." Prov 22:24
Respond to their hot-tempered, angry behaviour with patience, calmness and gentleness.
"Through patience a ruler can be persuaded, and a gentle tongue can break a bone." Prov 25:15
"A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger." Prov 15:1 
"A hot-tempered man stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel." Prov 15:18 
"If a ruler's anger rises up against you, do not leave your post; calmness can lay great errors to rest." Ecc 10:4 

Other Practical Suggestions:

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Solitude - Tired, angry and cranky children or parents need space, rest and sleep. Ensure that each person of the household routinely has time alone to themselves to chill out and restore their soul. When our children were younger we gave them a daily 'time out' after lunch for quiet play, alone in their room. This also works for older children and mums and dads. As a homeschool mum, I like to take about 30 minutes after lunch to myself, alone in my bedroom. I have learned I need that time, to restore myself, before the afternoon rush.

Illness/Diet - Habitual anger can be the result of illness or an unbalanced diet. Angry mood swings can be linked to blood sugar levels, thyroid problems, liver problems, spleen problems, worms/ parasites or simply not enough vegetables.  It is worth chatting to your preferred medical practitioner.
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Essential Oils - We have successfully used 100% organic essential oils and perfumes to bring calmness and patience to members of our household time and time again.  Essential oils like chamomile, bergamot, frankincense, lavender, myrtle, petitgrain and ylang ylang have all historically been used to minimise anger. Of course, which oil you use and the degree to which you find relief, will be completely dependant on each individual person's needs and the situation at the time. 

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