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Posts tagged ‘Anger’

How to Fight Fair.

Joe Beam

Every husband and wife fight, but that is okay. In fact, healthy conflict in marriage can strengthen a marital bond. Unhealthy conflict, on the other hand, can hurt a marriage.

When couples use sarcastic humor, criticize each other, and fail to resolve arguments in a mature and calm manner, they begin to build up a wall in between the two of them. They each hide on their respective sides of “the wall” so that the other person can no longer hurt them. This kind of conflict will destroy a marriage.

On the other hand, healthy conflict seeks to understand your spouse and resolve issues in a way that respects each other. Understand that healthy conflict does not mean perfect conflict. There will be days where you and your spouse fire the opening canons in World War III, but that does not mean you have failed.

Not only is healthy conflict achievable in every marriage, it is crucial for a lifetime of love with your spouse. These five tips teach you how to fight fair.

First: Breathe

Don’t underestimate the power of self-control.

Think of the way you feel when you start to become angry, whether it is because someone cut you off in traffic or your spouse left dirty underwear on the floor for the fifth time this week. Your blood pressure rises, you feel your muscles start to tense, and your voice amplifies. Everything in your body prepares to defend itself, and you inform your spouse of their disgusting habits with the use of choice words.

And why shouldn’t you? Since the days of Freud we have been told that repressing your emotions is harmful. Therefore, if you feel angry, you should not let it build up inside, right?


At the peak of your anger, you should take a step back and breathe. Remove yourself from the situation, physically or mentally. In the heat of the moment, you can say words or behave in ways that you will later regret. Take some time to cool down. A few hours later, assess the situation and consider the most mature way to handle the situation.

Second: Watch Your Words

Words are the most harmful of all weapons.

As mentioned in the first tip, in the heat of the moment most people speak words that they later regret. In marriages, one spouse may even threaten divorce in the middle of a fight! Once you say something, you cannot take it back. Furthermore, your spouse may always remember the hurtful words you said which may lead to damaged trust and intimacy in your relationship. A moment of fleeting satisfaction is not worth the years of pain that may follow.

Third: Repair the Damage

If both couples are in the middle of a never-ending, downward spiral fight, it will only worsen if they continue. A repair attempt needs to occur. Repair attempts are when one spouse notices damaging conflict and strives to move towards healthy conflict. Apologizing is one of the most commonly recognized repair attempts. However, creative attempts exist such as the delicate use of humor, yielding to the other’s wishes or wants, or taking a time-out from the disagreement and setting a time to come back and finish the discussion when both parties are calm.

Fourth: Compromise

When couples fight, they rarely argue about what really upsets them. Buried under the mask of conflict lies a core issue. A spouse may feel extremely disrespected in many ways, such as when financial decisions occur without their knowledge or when the majority of household chores are left to one spouse. The issue is not the money or the chores; it’s respect. During Marriage Helper’s workshop for marriages in crisis, one method we teach couples to find the core issue is to ask, “What really hurts?”

After identifying core issues, take time to compromise. One solution could be placing a hamper right next to the bed for dirty underwear, having monthly budget meetings, or assigning household chores. Preventing the sources of conflict before a fight can occur leads to a healthier and happier marriage. Be creative and compose a plan that works for you, your spouse, and your specific conflict.

Fifth: Recover

Fights can be mentally and emotionally draining. You may be sensitive in the hours or even days following intense conflict. It is important to take time to recover from the fight. Things will not automatically go back to normal, and a short readjustment period follows. Engage in calming activities. Go for a run, take a bubble bath, or do something that will clear your mind and regulate your emotions. Make sure your spouse understands that you are no longer angry, but just need some time for yourself.

Fights with your spouse are no fun, but remembering these five tips will teach both of you how to fight fair and perhaps fight less.

Joe Beam is the Chairman of We can help if your marriage is struggling. Find out more information on our workshop for troubled marriages.

Publication date: October 18, 2013

Ron Carpenter: My Wife Does Not Need Your Wrath.


Ron and Hope Carpenter
Ron and Hope Carpenter (Facebook)

Ron Carpenter Jr. may not have his mind set onreconciling with his wife, but he said repeatedly in a Sunday message that he loves her.

In an emotional service at Redemption World Outreach Center in Greenville, S.C., he warned the church it wasn’t going to be a pleasant conversation and invited people to dismiss themselves before he revealed that his wife had more than one affair and had voluntarily admitted herself into rehabilitation center for psychiatric treatment.

“Right now Hope does not need your wrath. She does not need your anger. I have been around sin all my life. If this were just sin, I would not tell you this. I am telling you I have lived a 10-year nightmare,” Carpenter said.

“And I have almost totally been exhausted and my health is bad … shingles … and I can’t even tell you the health problems from trying to cover, believing behind the scenes that God was going to fix it. But after 10 years I cannot fix it.

“She does not need wrath, anger; she needs prayer, she needs support and she needs miracles.”

Carpenter went on to tell the church that he was so embarrassed he could hardly look them in the eyes. He said they don’t deserve to have to defend the leadership.

“If you are here—and I mean this from the depth of my heart because people feel like they get cruelly ostracized if they leave a church—if you are here and you don’t want to be under leadership that has had to fight these kind of battles at home, I do understand. I understand. You can leave without guilt or without anything else. I understand.”

But nobody got up and walked out. Instead, he got a standing ovation.


Parenting: It’s Never an Interruption.

Parenting is all about living by the principle of prepared spontaneity. You don’t really know what’s going to happen next. You don’t really know when you’ll have enforce a command, intervene in an argument, confront a wrong, holdout for a better way, remind someone of a truth, call for forgiveness, lead someone to confession, point to Jesus, restore peace, hold someone accountable, explain a wisdom principle, give a hug of love, laugh in the face of adversity, help someone complete a task, mediate an argument, stop with someone and pray, assist someone to see their heart, or talk once again about what it means to live together in a community of love.

What you do know is that Scripture gives you the wisdom that you need and your always-present Messiah gives you the grace that you need to be ready to respond to the moments of opportunity he will give you. Along with this, you and I must remember that our Lord loves our children more than we ever could and his commitment to their growth and change is more faithful and persevering than ours could ever be. Because of this, in his grace and love, he will manufacture moments that expose the needy hearts of our children to us. He will faithfully employ the little moments of everyday life to expose to us and our children their need of rescuing and forgiving grace. And he will not do this only at the moments which you feel are appropriate and when you feel most prepared.

Let me give you an example. We had planned a day at a local theme park with our children. I was anticipating a day of familial amusement park bliss. You know, I was hoping that on this day my children would be self-parenting and if God could throw in a fully sanctified wife that would be cool! Well, we get down to the park and are getting out of the van and one of my children said, “Dad, may we have something to drink before we go into the park?” It didn’t seem like a dangerous request. I opened the cooler, which was full of soft drinks, and all of my children sighted in on the one can of soda that they all knew was the best. Immediately, global nuclear war broke out. They were pushing and shoving, grabbing and pulling, throwing ice at one another, saying unkind things and hitting one another’s hands out of the way. I couldn’t believe it, we’re not in the park yet and my day was already ruined!

So, I jumped in and said, “Do you want to fight? We don’t have to pay all this money for you to fight. I’ll take you home, put a cooler in the backyard with one can of soda in it and you can fight for ever!” Soon my children aren’t fighting anymore because they’re watching the crowd gather as I lose it in the parking lot of the theme park.

Let’s analyze what’s going on in this moment and what’s happening inside of me. What’s going on is that a God of grace is taking a mundane moment of daily family life and using it to do something wonderful for my children and for me. He’s making the condition of their hearts visible in order to produce concern in me that would hopefully result in awareness and a desire to change in them. But I’m not at all encouraged in this moment with what God is doing. You see, I’m not angry in the parking lot because my children are sinners. No, I’m angry that God has exposed their sin, and because he has, I have to forsake my agenda for the day and parent them! It all seemed a huge imposition; a hassle that I just didn’t want to deal with.

But the reality is that if your eyes ever see, or your ears ever hear the sin, weakness, rebellion or failure of your children, it’s never an imposition. It’s never an interruption. It’s never a hassle. It’s always grace. God loves your children; he’s put them in a family of faith, and in relentless grace he will reveal their need to you again and again so that you can be his tool of awareness, conviction, repentance, faith and change. And because in these moments he asks you to forsake your agenda for his, this opportunity of grace is not just for your children, it’s for you as well.

But my problem is that there are moments when I tend to love my little kingdom of one more than I love his. So I’m impatient, discouraged or irritated, not because my children have broken the laws of God’s kingdom, but the laws of mine. In my kingdom there shall be no parenting on family vacation days, or when I am reading the paper on my iPad, or after ten o’clock at night, or during a good meal, or… And when I’m angry about interruptions to my kingdom plan there are four things I tend to do.

1. I tend to turn a God-given moment of ministry into a moment of anger.

2. I do this because I’ve personalized what isn’t personal. (Before we left for the amusement park that day, my children didn’t plot to drive me crazy in the parking lot).

3. Because I’ve personalized what isn’t personal, I am adversarial in my response. (It’s not me acting for my children, but acting against them because they are in the way of what I want).

4. So I end up settling for situational solutions that don’t really get to the heart of the matter. (I bark and order, I instill guilt, I threaten a punishment and walk away, and my children are utterly unchanged by the encounter).

There’s a better way. It begins with praying that God would give you new eyes; eyes that are more focused on his eternal work of grace than on your momentary plans for you. This better way also includes seeking God for a flexible and willing heart; ready to abandon your agenda for God’s greater plan. And it lives with the confidence that God is in you, with you, and for you, and will give you what you need so that you can face, with courage and grace, the parenting moment that you didn’t know was coming.

Paul Tripp

President of Paul Tripp Ministries

Being set free…

By Pastor Bobby Schuller

“If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness.”
-John 1:9

When guilt comes, we must confess. There must be reform in our lives. All of the things that we have done in our lives that we regret – the ways we have hurt those around us or the sins that we’ve committed – they’re like a wound.

For example, you go into a hospital because you’ve been in a terrible car accident. Let’s say your arm has been badly injured your limb is now a bloody, awful mess. Then there’s another man who’s also been in a car accident, and he’s been wounded, but all the bleeding is on the inside. You ask a doctor, “Which one of us is better off? Is it the man who has the wound on the outside or the man who has the wound on the inside?”

This is what our grievances, our sins are like. Our sin is like a wound. Is it better to have a wound on the inside or the outside? It’s better on the outside because then the healer can fix it.

For those of us who have sinned, we must confess our sin and build into our lives a life of reform where we choose actively to say, “I’m no longer going to do those things.” “I’m not going to live a life of anger.” “I’m not going to yell at my spouse.” “I’m not going to be unkind.” “I’m not going to lie.” “I’m not going to steal.” “I’m going to deal with my unhealthy compulsive behaviors.” “I’m going to get help for my substance abuse.”

When we admit our sin, we can now say, “I’m going to do good things to those who are around me and really focus on a life of change.” That’s when the healing begins.

Prayer: Dear Lord, forgive me for my sins. Help me to change my bad behavior for good behavior. Heal me. Amen.

Reflection: Describe the most dramatic transformation that you’ve experienced when you’ve identified a sin, asked forgiveness of others and of God, and been healed.

A peacemaker’s heart…

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called children of God.”
Matthew 5:9

You know what? I am too blessed to be angry. Life is too good to spend one moment being angry. I don’t need to be angry. I don’t need to be a victim. I am too blessed to be a victim. I am alive. God has given me so much. I’ve got my family, my friends, and my church. I live in Southern California. I don’t need to be angry.

Of course, all of us have things that we can be angry about, or cause us to feel like victims. However, my friends, I’m admonishing you. Let it go. You don’t need to be angry. You can be a peaceful person. You can smile. You can let your shoulders drop and you don’t have to worry about getting back at people.

When someone says something bad about you, say something good about him or her. If someone cuts you off, just let them go. If someone cuts in front of you in line or someone e-mails you something bitter, just let it go. Just smile. And, if you need to confront someone, if you need to deal with someone, do it, but don’t be angry. Have a peacemaker’s heart and live in the easy yoke of Jesus. Don’t worry, don’t stress out, don’t freak out, just smile and rest in Him and let the Lord be angry.

Prayer: Dear Lord, help me not to be so easily offended. Help me not to be burdened with revenge or anger or bitterness. I give it all to you. Amen.

Reflection: What makes you angry? Is that something that you can release to God?


How to Eliminate the Cancerous Emotion of Anger.

Angry man
(Stock Images)

My ability to become angry amazes me.

Someone or something trivial will trigger it. It’s my reaction to feeling thwarted in some way, however serious or ridiculous.

I trip over my wife’s heels on the way to the closet. Ugh! Somebody cuts in front of me on the freeway. Really? My schedule or plan gets interrupted or redirected. You’ve got to be kidding me. I get asked to do something I didn’t plan on doing. What? A project takes way too long because I am not the one in charge of it. This is ridiculous. I get a no when I thought for sure I would get a yes to my request.Unbelievable.

Sensations, words and feelings seize my body in those moments. Before I even have a second to think about things, there it is. I am “hot” about someone, somebody or something.

Anger in this sense is not bad, not a sin and functioning the way it should. I am being alerted to an obstruction of my willThe problem is that all anger contains some level of malice. It’s this aspect of anger that can act like an aggressive cancer and spread quickly because it includes an intent to harm.

All anger is harmful, which is why we don’t like it when we know people are angry with us. At some level they want some kind of correction or harm to befall us. Again, the abiding and unseen presence of anger in any relationship is a cancer and, once spotted, has to be radiated quickly.

In history’s greatest message ever given on life and relationships, Jesus Himself chooses to address the issue of anger as the No. 1 personal issue men must be aware of and address internally as it arises (Matt. 5:21-22). More specifically, He teaches men to recognize it and place limits on it in their lives where it exists at the attitude level versus the action level.

This is a consistent theme of Scripture because it is the one emotion behind so much pain and evil. Men are called by the Bible to learn how to “lay aside anger” (Col. 3:8) because to retain and cultivate it is to give the devil a perfect entry point in your life to start wreaking havoc in your relationships (Eph. 4:26-27).

Evil suggestions are welcomed by an angry man more eagerly than one who is settled within. Our anger attracts his presence, as he also knows anger leads to contempt and contempt seeks to degrade, exclude, push away and isolate others. If anger is the knife that can cut into healthy relationships, contempt is the powerful hand driving it deep into the soul of another.

Cutting words, phrases, gestures, looks or acts that are intended to harm scar relationships. In our culture men do not have to act outwardly mad to be mean. Few men physically murder others, but millions are killing the souls of others through anger, contempt and verbal stabbings.

To eliminate the cancer of anger and contempt, here are a few suggestions:

  • Treasure the preciousness of people around you.
  • See people as God’s creations designed for eternal purposes.
  • See yourself in others so that you can be kind to others.
  • Seek personal transformations that improve relationships.
  • Personally connect to God’s love for you so that you can give away that same love in your relationships.
  • Intervene and interject God’s truth into moments of anger. A good first step is to memorize James 1:19-20 and speak it when you feel anger rising.
  • Meet weekly with a group of men to process your “stuff,” ask for prayer and be accountable to love people.
  • Talk to God daily and on a moment-by-moment basis to aspirate negative feelings and thoughts you may have toward others.

Anger, like cancer, has to be aggressively isolated, treated and eliminated. You won’t have your hair fall out, but hopefully your pride will whither. Remember, all men will be triggered and experience anger. But receiving, indulging, retaining and expressing it is a choice.


Kenny Luck is the founder of Every Man Ministries and the men’s pastor at Saddleback Church. His 20th book, Sleeping Giant: No Movement of God Without Men of Godis the proven blueprint for men’s ministries and was recently released through B&H Publishing. Watch and read more of Kenny’s teaching at Follow Every Man Ministries now on FacebookTwitter(@everymm) and YouTube.

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Is There Such Thing as Holy Frustration?.

Anger and frustration
(Artur84/Free Digital Photos)

You could almost hear the ticking—the countdown before the eruption of uncontrollable outrage. John attempted to suppress it, but it just kept building and growing until the sweat on his forehead, the clenched jaw and his narrowing eyes foretold the upcoming explosion.

John’s anger had caused damage to personal possessions and included fights with strangers and broken relationships with loved ones. Society, with all of its checks and balances, began to resist his reputation of rage. Family members began to isolate themselves from his temper tantrums. His sudden outbursts had caused so much pain, they simply didn’t want to have anything to do with him.

John’s co-workers no longer made excuses for his outbursts. His tenure on jobs became more and more short-term. Once, he was considered a high producer, but now his increasingly volatile temper was causing his productivity to plummet. He even began to blame potential customers for his inability to make the sale on their “ignorance.”

John’s face began to reflect his anger. His eyes had yellowed. His mouth turned in a constant frown. His brow wrinkled with forceful intensity. He was no longer a young man fighting for a better future; he was an embittered old man frustrated with his life.

Anger is usually caused by unmet expectations. You see it commonly displayed in the checkout line of the local grocery store. Children burst out in childish rage, hoping to get the attention of their distracted parents. They want something, and they want it now.

Unfortunately, a lot of men never grow out of the tactic of clenched fists and stomping feet. As adults, their intimidation no longer works, and their anger boils.

“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” (Eph. 4:26-27, NIV).

Do not allow the day to pass without ridding yourself of anger.

Going to sleep while angry can cause delusions. Our nemesis will use anger to get a foothold on us through unchecked emotion. Anger digs deep into the soul of a man. It can draw out buried emotion from years past in an instant. It is very important that we distinguish the different types of anger and extinguish the harmful emotions it brings.

The Four Faces of Anger

  • Rage is an anger that causes us to flurry about with over-expressed gestures, clenched jaws and boisterous words, even calling down curses. This kind of anger typically comes from frustrated expectations. Expressing rage causes people around us to stare in disbelief, confusion or embarrassment.
  • Fury is a stronger type of rage. This destructive form of rage often leads to a depraved mind and delusional violence. Fury is motivated by evil. Fury often results in physical harm to others, sometimes even in murder.
  • Indignation is a righteous anger caused by witnessing or experiencing injustice, shame or evil done to innocence. It is the correct use of the emotion of anger. Indignation motivates us to protect and risk our lives for the cause of others.
  • Wrath is the godliest form of anger. It is an anger that responds to evil with pure judgment. Wrath is what causes men to correct a wrong and to rid the earth of evil.

Some men have been taught to sequester their anger, to be stoic in their emotions. Yet anger does have a role to play in our lives if our motivations are pure and our response is disciplined.

“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” (James 1:19-20).

Many of our problems with anger arise from a lack of communication. We fail to listen and then fail to express what is causing this pent-up frustration. Our inability to communicate becomes a weakness to express our emotions.

Paul explains this frustration in Romans 8 when he talks about the frustration of birth pains the earth is suffering. Out of its inability to communicate, the earth quakes, trembles and suffers violence. It is awaiting its redemption from decay, longing for the “sons of God” to be revealed.

In the same way, we ourselves groan inwardly when we see the world with its “unmet expectations.” Frustration builds, and our weakness is revealed. We do not know what to say or how to respond.

Paul says, “The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans” (Rom. 8:26). This is a holy frustration. It is a frustration that causes us to pray for God’s purpose to be revealed upon the earth.

As men, we must realize that the help of the Holy Spirit can correct our lack of communication. It is only then that we can actually see the will of God work “all things for the good” (v. 28).

Getting involved in the process of establishing God’s will on the earth, especially in our lives, our families and our careers, will allow us to properly direct those things that frustrate us. We will properly manage those frustrations, actually understanding that it may just be a holy frustration, prompting us to pray.

So, the next time that you find yourself building up anger, ask the Holy Spirit to help you in your weakness to pray to the perfect will of God so that His purpose can be fulfilled upon the earth.



FivestarMan was founded in 2008 by Neil KennedyKennedy has passionately promoted God’s Word for 25-plus years of ministry. He is known for practically applying biblical principles that elevate people to a new level of living. As a business, church, ministry and life consultant, Kennedy has helped others strategize the necessary steps to reach their full potential.

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