ANGER: what?

repost  03.30.11

For the past several weeks I have been getting a flood of questions about dealing with anger in our children. It seems that the more we look at this issue from a Biblical perspective, the more we need to relearn.

Much of what we have learned apart from the Scriptures has to do with either suppressing or excusing anger in our children. Yet the Bible does neither. For the next few weeks we are going to take a look into the Word of God to examine the Who, What, Why, When, Where, and How of dealing with anger in our children… and ourselves.

I would suggest that every mother/woman/parent take some time to look up the Scriptures quoted, perhaps writing them out on a 3x5 card, in order to readjust the way you think and feel and believe about the very real problem of anger.


Galatians 5:19,20,22,23 in the Amplified Bible describes the difference between a person who is acting in the flesh (or naturally) and a person who is living a life filled full of God’s Spirit. I’ve edited the verse down to include just the parts about anger, but you’d be wise to look up the whole passage:

Now the doings (practices) of the flesh are clear—obvious:

They are… strife, jealousy, anger (ill temper), selfishness…

But the fruit of the Spirit (the work which His presence accomplishes)—

is love, joy(gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), goodness (benevolence), faithfulness; (meekness, humility), gentleness, self-control (self-restraint, continence)…

Notice that last word, self-control. It is also translated as self-restraint and, get this, continence. What a strange word! I’m sure you’re thinking just what I am: Depends commercials! And leeky diapers and messiness and putrid odors…

To be an incontinent Christian, or an incontinent mother, or an incontinent child is to be one who leaks out all over the place… at the most inconvenient and embarrassing of times!

We have got to teach our children to control themselves lest they be categorized as one of these angry people to be avoided at all cost.

When anger “leaks” out in an incontinent moment it takes various forms:

  • Bitterness
  • Self-pity
  • Explosions
  • Over-reactions
  • Jabbing
  • Emotional withdrawal
  • Hitting- others, oneself, or an object

Again, the Amplified Bible expounds on the breadth of the original language:

Let all bitterness and indignations and wrath (passion, rage, bad temper)

and resentment (anger, animosity) and quarreling (brawling, clamor, contentions)

and slander (evilspeaking, abusive or blasphemous language) be banished from you,

with all malice (spite, ill will or baseness of any kind).

Ephesians 4:31

Do you see how seriously God takes anger? He calls it just as it is, never excusing it or hoping it will go away. Though anger is most definitelycommon in families and between siblings, it is by no meansnormalaccording to God’s definition. Therefore, just as you would never dream of simply rolling your eyes at behaviors such as lying and stealing and setting fire to the living room sofa, you must never take any form of anger lightly. It is a destructive sin that will not simply disappear with maturity.

The really good news is that Jesus paid for all that anger on the Cross, and He has given you and your family everything you need to overcome the sin of anger.

From my heart,


Check out these verses:

2 Peter 1:1-8

Galatians 5:13-26 (see vs. 15 for siblings who pick on each other)

2 Corinthians 9:8

Genesis 4:1-10 (especially vs. 5-7)