ANGER: where?

repost 05.4.11

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.


Where did all that anger come from?

Have you asked yourself this question at some point of your child’s growth? And maybe you started the blame game. You know how that goes… “This has gotta be from your side of the family… none of us ever lost our tempers like that!” Or maybe you believed that all too pervasive teaching that says that sin is somehow passed down in our DNA, an unavoidable consequence of our forefathers’ mistakes[1]. But that is not what the Bible teaches. Scripture is crystal clear on this question of…


Anger is rooted in the soul. It begins and grows and murmurs in that part of us that makes up our mind, our will, and our emotions. Jesus put it this way:

“The mouth speaks out of that which fills the heart.”

Yet at the same time, anger can and does have physical manifestations, such as lashing out or what the Bible calls a “fallen countenance”.

‘Then the Lord said to Cain, “Why are you angry? And why is your countenance fallen?”

Genesis 4:6

It is important for us, as parents, to remember that the physical triggers are never theroot of anger. That’s why we deal wisely with theheart rather than simply punishing the behavior.

All too often, the secular viewpoint focuses on how to express anger rather than how to get to the root issues of where all that rage is erupting from. Such teachings can give us strategies on howto control angry behavior but they miss the disease that causes it in the first place.

Knowing that your child’s heart is harboring anger will enable you to dig deeper, to pray for wisdom, and to help him to root it out.

How do you do that?

  1. Pray for wisdom- James 1:5 is your go-to verse. Ask God for wisdom and then wait for it with the confident expectation that He cares intimately about this problem in your child’s heart. He will bring His wisdom for your uniquely crafted child.
  2. Seek counsel- One of the key ways God gives wisdom is through the wise counsel of godly men and women. This is not the same as going around asking anyone and everyone to weigh in on what they think you ought to do. Look for people who are wise in the Word and are willing to be honest enough to tell you what you may not want to hear. Read Proverbs 15:5.
  3. Ask questions- Wisdom in Scripture is linked with understanding. Not excusing, mind you, but an honest attempt to discover how God made your child. Proverbs 22:6 ---- encourages parents to train their child according to the way they should go. That phrase could be more literally translated, according to their bent. Each and every created person reflects facets of God’s character. Ask questions- both of yourself and of your child to investigate that bent. What pushes his buttons? What begins her meltdown? What is she willing to sin to get? What motivates him?
  4. Watch closely- God watches us. Not as an impossible to please task master, but as a loving Father whose ultimate desire for us is that by walking in His ways and knowing His heart we would become who we were always meant to be. Proverbs 5:21 says that our ways always before His eyes and “He watches all his paths.” Watch your little boy or girl. Watch prayerfully. Notice and observe him.
  5. Dig deeper- As a parent whose foremost desire for your child is to see him or her envelop his life in God, you are going to need to personally dig deep into God’s Word to find parallels and principles that apply to your child. Don’t wait for someone to spoon-feed you- this is your calling. As you cry out in prayer for your angry child, ask God to lead you to examples in Scripture that will open your understanding and enrich your approach to training your child.

Remember, God knows and loves your child. He sees who He designed him to be and He will never give up on him. And He assignedyouto train him and He has given you all you need to fulfill that task. Next week we’ll begin to take a closer look at howto train your child to conquer anger and live peaceably.

From my heart,


Scriptures for your study:

2 Peter 1:2-8

Ecclesiastes 7:9

Colossians 3:8-10

Proverbs 4:7-14

[1] An unfortunate misinterpretation of Exodus 34:7