Previous Challenge Entry (Level 3 - Advanced)
Topic: Anger (01/24/05)
TITLE: A Lesson in Anger
By Beth Meeks
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I felt my whole body tense and fought to hold down the anger that threatened to bubble over from within. How could my husband have said that to me? Why did he so often choose words so sharp that they seemed to cut me into?
I quickly walked away from him and tried to hide what I was feeling. We were in a public situation and I knew it was not the time or the place to tell him how I was really feeling. I would wait until we were in private and then I would really let him have it. No way was I going to let him get away without him hearing how I really felt. As soon as we were alone he would know.
After we finally arrived home I was still boiling on the inside. I had made sure he was aware that something was brewing by giving him only short answers on the ride home to his questions. As soon as the kids were in bed I planned to really let him have it.
While my husband took a shower and prepared for bed I quickly began getting the kids ready for bed as well. As I returned from my youngest son’s bedroom with his pajamas, I heard a cry that I knew meant only one thing. A fight was brewing in the living room between my 4 year old and my 8 year old son. I quickly walked in to see if I could settle the dispute but stopped at the door as I surveyed to scene in front of me.
My four year old was standing there, fist tight with his whole body tense with anger. He stomped his foot and screamed at my 8 year old who looked shocked at the anger that was being directed his way.
“Joshua! Stop it right now. This is not how we act in this house when we’re mad at someone.” But as the words slipped from my mouth I suddenly saw something else. I saw myself in the face of my four year old. Wasn’t I acting the same way to my husband? Hadn’t I let my anger get the best of me as well? And even though I would never physically hit my husband, weren’t the words that I was planning to let loose on him just as painful and destructive?
Later, when my husband and I were alone, I took a deep breath and instead of letting him have it as I had planned I gently told him how he had hurt me by is sharp remark earlier. “I’m sorry” he replied. “I didn’t mean for it to sound that way. I’m glad you told me. I knew you were upset and I wondered what I had done.”
I smiled as he reached out to hug me and I couldn’t help but realize how differently this night would have been if I had lased out at him as I’d planned too. And although I knew there would be other times that anger would raise it’s ugly head within me, I knew God had used my own child to teach me a very important lesson. A verse suddenly came to mind. “A soft answer turneth away wrath: but grievous words stir up anger” (Proverbs 15:1). “Thank you God.” I thought to myself, “for once again letting me see the truths held within Your word.”
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