Swish, swoosh, splish, splash, splash...
In less than a twinkling-of-the-eye, the tropical fruit drink I prepared for dinner had drenched everything in the dining room.
A collective gasp was heard as the scarlet liquid trickled from the ceiling onto the table.
Personally, I thought it sounded like a drum roll.
Small rivulets cascaded over the edge of the table, forming sticky puddles on the floor. Ruby-red stains dotted the walls and seeped into our clothing.
At first, the bewildered look on my husband’s face was funny, but the hilarity faded fast. He saw no humor in the situation, and flying fruit drink was not the source of his crimson face.
He glowered at me. "How on earth did that happen?"
The kids scattered, I stifled my laughter, and the cat cowered under the couch.
"Did you happen to check the lid before you shook the container?" I bit my lip to keep from saying anything more. I knew it was my fault, but I refused to admit that I had accidentally left the lid unfastened. Instead of confessing, I braced myself for battle.
"What do you mean, 'Did I check the lid?' Why should I have to check the lid?" He hollered.
Our anger escalated to a feverous pitch. Heated words dripped with sarcasm, and before long my husband retreated to the door.
"I'm out of here!" He shouted.
"Stop!" I cried. "This situation is totally out of control. Are you going to let this silly argument get the best of you? Seriously. Are you going to walk out on your family because of spilled Kool-aid? Come on now, take a breath. This is not the end of the world."
My husband paused at the door, ready to leave, but willing to reconsider his actions. He turned toward me and said, "You know..."
"What?" I growled.
"You're right," he said, "we shouldn't fight like this in front of the kids. To tell you the truth, I honestly don't know what came over me."
His tone softened. I cautiously grinned and teased, "Yeah, I am right."
My husband playfully rolled his eyes. "Wait a minute," he added, "I know what made me so mad."
He gestured toward the sticky mess. "I absolutely detest uncontrolled liquid!"
"Duh," I responded.
He gathered me into arms and kissed my cheek. "Mmmm, you taste like tropical punch."
I handed him the mop. "Let's clean up."
We cleaned for almost an hour, but in the end, we certainly learned a lot. To this day, I always remember to tighten lids, and he always checks before he shakes.
This situation happened 25 years ago.
As a counseling tool, I often recount this story to women who struggle with marital discord. It seems to help to them understand how arguments escalate, and how something as silly as spilled Kool-aid can turn into a blazing forest fire.
Human anger is a powerful, all-consuming emotion. It lacks righteousness and is void of love. God recognizes the destructive force of human anger and warns us to master our anger before it masters us.
The fruit of uncontrolled anger tends to be severed relationships. It's true that we occasionally argue with one another, but if we can recognize the damaging effects of angry behavior, we may learn that God's way is much better.
Ephesians 4:26: “In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.
John 13:34-35: “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”
James 1:19-20: My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, because human anger does not produce the righteousness that God desires.
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