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Sunday, November 16, 2014
Avoid PA by working on your marriage!
If we are going to have true intimacy in our marriages, we have to disarm the issues that hinder it. One of those is anger. Anger can be destructive in a marriage.
The first thing I want you to know is that anger is inevitable. It's a normal response. You will never be so spiritual that you don't get angry. Jesus even got angry. Great marriages still have anger.
Anger that occurs today is manageable. There's nothing wrong with it. But yesterday's anger is a very dangerous thing. Ephesians 4:26-27 says, "Be angry, and do not sin: Do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil."
What that passage means is that anger, if it is not dealt with, can become toxic and destructive. It can harden hearts. It has to be resolved in righteous way. If it is not dealt with—if you let the sun "go down" on it—then it builds in intensity for the next time.
God never designed us to be a repository for anger. We are made for anger to enter for a brief time, and then leave. Never to stay. That's why the Bible is so insistent on forgiveness, because we can't endure it. Unforgiveness and pent-up anger are corrosive on every level.
Anger leads to a whole system of thoughts—fear, accusations, pride—that can create a destructive barrier between you and your spouse. Every time anger arrives and you don't deal with it, that wall grows higher.
So we must resolve anger in marriage. How should we do it?
First, we need to choose the right setting. Don't do it around the kids. Your children need to watch you relate and talk things out, but serious issues should be handled in private when your emotions are under control.
Second, begin every confrontation with affirmation. Research indicates that a conversation never rises above the level of the first three minutes. The way you start talking to each other dictates how the conversation will end. If you begin with threats, you've already set a negative tone for the conversation.
Instead, begin by saying, "I love you and I'm glad that we're married, but I need to talk to you about something." We're made in God's image, and Psalm 100 says we enter His courts with praise—with positive words.
Finally, communicate your complaint without fixed judgments or interpretations. There's a difference between complaining and criticizing. Complaining is talking about me and my feelings, but without interpreting it—because I don't know what's in your heart.
Criticizing is an attack. It's me telling you how you're feeling and interpreting your motives. It makes the other person defensive. Complaints should be about a specific issue ("You said this and it made me feel stressed out") rather than a global one ("You never do anything around here").
Don't go to bed angry. Create in your marriage a habit pattern of dealing with it every day. When you do deal with conflict, do it the right way: respectfully, with kindness and a tender heart.
You won't be able to avoid anger, but you can avoid its destructive qualities by never letting it fester. Don't let the sun go down on your anger.
Taking time to enjoy each other and all the blessings that God gives us. Love you Baby :)