This week in Life Group we talked about anger. To be honest, I really sort of dreaded this one. I joke and say that I didn’t know I had an anger problem till I had kids. I really didn’t get angry much before kids. It’s amazing how your kids can bring out the best and worst in you. Sacred Parenting, the book we are using in Life Group, talks a lot about anger and how to deal with it. One of the biggest things I took away from last night was that it’s okay to get angry, all of us do, you just need to look at your motives for being angry and learn how to use that anger in a positive way.
Motives are a big thing for me. I often find that when I am angry at the kids for something it is usually because there is some underlying thing that is making me angry, not really them. Often it has to do with some physical need I have neglected. I find myself being snappy with them and intolerant and I think to myself, “what is wrong with me?”. Usually it’s that I haven’t eaten recently, or slept well, or it might be that I am hurt by someone else’s actions. I usually am more snappy with my kids when it’s a certain time of year that is hard for me, such as the anniversary of one of my miscarriages, for example. When I realize what is really causing my anger it’s easier to deal with it.
There are those times when it’s just the kids misbehaving that is getting to me. I then have to take a minute to collect myself and think whether what I am angry about it worth the effort. My mom tells me all the time you have to pick your battles. That is so true. It’s not worth getting angry about everything, but there are some things you should get angry about.
There are times when I find myself angry at a particular cause. Lately, I have been reading a lot about orphans. That makes me angry. The treatment of orphans around the world is appalling. I can sit and stew in my anger or I can use that anger to do something about it. I choose to do something. God has given us anger as a motivator to change. Sometimes we need to change ourselves and we should get angry with ourselves. I have done that many times. My own mistakes make me angry. If we don’t allow ourselves to be angry with ourselves then we will not be motivated to change.
Anger is a hard emotion to control. And often we find ourselves being angry with those closest to us. We cannot have close relationships with others without getting angry with those we love sometimes. But we also need to practice forgiveness for ourselves and those around us.