9. Explosive anger One of the most dangerous ingredients in each of these communication problems is anger. Mix explosive anger into any of the previous issues and your communication will become even more futile. Scripture warns us many times that an angry man never solves problems. He only creates more problems. Proverbs 29:22 warns us, “An angry man stirs up strife, and a furious man abounds in transgression.” Is there transgression abounding in your marriage? Explosive anger may be at the root of it. Have you ever felt like you would rather live by yourself than with your mate? Solomon knew the reason. “Better to dwell in the wilderness, than with a contentious and angry woman” (Prov. 21:19). This text could also easily be applied to a contentious and angry man.
In your relationship, are you the person with an explosive temper? If this is your weakness, are you willing to admit it and deal with this deficiency? If you will learn to control your explosive temper many of your communication problems will automatically disappear. Are you wondering, How can I learn to control my anger?
You must begin by understanding that anger itself is not evil or sinful. Scripture commands us to “Be angry and sin not” (Eph. 4:26). Therefore, it is possible to be angry and not sin against God or your mate. Jesus was angry and, of course, did not sin (Mark 3:5). It is important to remember that it is only the way you express your anger that causes you to sin. Anger can be expressed in a constructive way or a destructive way, it’s your choice. Controlling your anger and allowing it to motivate you to constructive action can be done several ways.
First, you must make a choice. Choose to “not let sin reign in your mortal body, that you should obey it in its lusts” (Rom. 6:12). When you allow sinful anger and resentment to smolder in your heart, an explosion is inevitable. Therefore, make this choice today: my anger will not continue to dominate me anymore.
Next, choose to surrender yourself to the Holy Spirit and allow Him to quench the fire of anger inside with a big bucket of His living water (John 7:37-39). His Spirit is more powerful than the passions of sinful anger. He can control you if you will just surrender to Him.
To aid in your control, be sure to deal with the small issues before they build resentment in your heart. Jesus said that we should deal with conflict “quickly” before it gets out of control (Matt. 5:25). Paul also taught that we should solve each problem before the sun goes down every day (Eph. 4:26). Dealing with the little issues promptly helps you to stop the boiling volcanic eruptions of rage, before they occur.
Finally, choose to listen before you speak. Most of us need to grow in our listening skills. Usually we are more ready to speak than we are to hear what others are saying. Notice the connection that the apostle James makes between listening, speaking, and wrath. “So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath” (James 1:19). How willing are you to hear and understand what your spouse has to say before you speak? If you don’t want to explode in anger, ask God to help you to “zip” your lips and listen. When you are slow to speak you will be slow to wrath.
If you would like to study some examples of constructive actions which were motivated by anger consider these passages: Numbers 16:15; Nehemiah 5:6-7; 1 Samuel 11:6.
Beloved communication is the key to your marriage relationship. Don’t miss the great blessing God has in store for you and your spouse as you enjoy sweet communion with each other. Deal with those issues which can destroy your oneness and take every opportunity to draw near to one another.
Click here if you missed What Causes Communication Breakdown? Part III
If you would like more information on the marriage ministry of Pastor Steve Carr or his book Married and How To Stay That Way, please come and visit us at www.covenantkeepers.org
Excerpt republished with permission from Covenant Keepers by Pastor Steve Carr, Copyright 2013.