Last month I shared how I have struggled with anger. Not fits of rage, yelling, or other demonstrations of anger usually considered forbidden for Christians, but at times a spirit of irritation was heard in my voice.
How I hate that tone. I had heard it for most of my childhood years, and now, as a parent, I had the same irritated tone. If something displeased me, I would have an edge on my voice that my family knew all too well.
Anger Should Not Be Accepted
Have you noticed that certain levels of anger seem to be acceptable in the church? Nearly any Sunday you can observe a parent “communicating” with their child. The face is tight, and the eyes are boring holes in the child. Even if you can’t hear the threatening tone, it is obvious the parent is not happy and is doing their best to evoke a change in the child’s behavior.
However, if a parent were to raise their voice at the child, it would generally be frowned upon, and others would feel they had “crossed the line.” That characterizes my experience with anger. As long as I avoided raising my voice, I could accept my response and not feel the need to confess it.
Last month after my Dad’s Corner, we received an e-mail from someone who said they had struggled with anger and that a message by Dr. S. M. Davis called Freedom from the Spirit of Anger had really helped them. We had listened to another message by Pastor S. M. Davis on anger, and it was excellent. Since we had heard the one, I felt no urgency in ordering it and listening to it. After all, I didn’t have a problem with anger, just an irritated tone.
The next week Teri and I were in Peoria, Illinois, giving workshops at the APACHE homeschool conference. Pastor Davis was also giving some workshops at the conference and had a table with audio and videotapes. It was wonderful; I was able to visit with him and purchase a number of resources.
Soon after Teri and I arrived home, I popped the audio called Freedom from the Spirit of Anger into the player. Within fifteen minutes, God had broken my heart and convicted me that my “tone” was really a spirit of anger, and I knew it had to be dealt with. To my relief, Pastor Davis shared, during the remainder of the tape, how I could have victory. Isn’t the Lord Jesus so merciful? He will deal with sin in my life if I let Him. I have been rejoicing over finally having some relief from my spirit of anger. It is such a new experience for me. When something has been a way of life for years, a period of adjustment is necessary to overcome it. First, I’ve found that there are times when I am not aware of it. Then there are times when I’m correcting a child, and I’m not even sure how to speak to them. I feel like a child having to learn new behavior, but it is wonderful.
Today as I was pulling the van out of the garage, I had an opportunity to respond peacefully. Without thinking, one of the children picked up the garage door opener (yes, the opener is actually a closer as well) and pushed the button before we were all the way out of the garage. We managed to clear the door in time before it came down on the van, but it was close. Then, I began hearing a torrid of reasons why it wasn’t her fault. What makes it worse is, I have told the children never to pick the opener up while we are in the garage. I was trying to get her to stop and listen to me when I heard an angry tone in my voice. As soon as I recognized it, God gave me peace. I was able to calmly explain again, they are not to touch the “closer.” Later, she told her mother she thought I was really going to be angry and was surprised to find I wasn’t. Isn’t God good?
Unfortunately, I realize I have quite a long road ahead as I will have daily opportunities to yield my anger to the Lord. If He wants to get angry over something, then that is His business.
What about you? Have you been a “good Christian father” and attempted to control the angry outbursts and throttled your anger back to angry tones and searing looks? Praise God there is hope in the Lord Jesus. I will not attempt to share here what dear Brother Davis has done so powerfully.
Maybe I am the only one on the Corner list who has struggled with this. If not, you may be interested in knowing how to purchase a copy of the audio.
My spirit of anger had infected our family just as any father’s spirit of anger will infect his family. If a spirit of anger is a problem in your life, you might give them a call. May God bless and enable us to be the gentle, meek fathers He desires us to be.