A great sin tendency for me is anger.
For some reason it makes me feel in control, but is never good!
Can you relate?
Each time I fail to tame my tongue, choose to roll my eyes, scowl, breathe heavy, go to bed with my back to my husband (I am sure I could keep this embarrassing list going, but you get the idea)… It never, ever satisfies my spirit like I must believe it will in the moment.
As you can imagine, anger was my greatest struggle when I learned that my husband had been in an adulterous relationship. It is my greatest fight when anything reminds me of his sin. It is the greatest frustration I have with myself every time I have a wonderful opportunity to act as his supportive and suitable helper, but instead fly off the handle. I really believe that the root of the issue is the fear that I talked about last week in “An Un-Canonized Psalm of Battling Fear.”
Romans 8 reminds me that when I act like this my mind is set on the flesh (my worldly security) and not the spirit (our walks with Christ). This is death, but if my mind is set on the spirit it brings life and peace. That sounds a whole lot more enticing! Why is it so hard?
When I sin in my anger, it does not only affect my husband’s spirit or even my spirit. I am being hostile toward God! He calls me to be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger (James 1:19).
I do want to be clear about one thing, however. It does not take away my Biblical responsibility to rebuke my husband when I find him to be sinning. In Proverbs 27:5 it says “Better is open rebuke than hidden love.”
Interestingly enough, in that same Proverb verses 15-16 says that “A quarrelsome wife is like the dripping of a leaky roof in a rainstorm, restraining her is like restraining the wind or grasping oil with the hand.” The purpose of rebuking sin is to restore someone to a right relationship with God - not to yell or nag at them to the point that they cannot even stand the sound of your voice!
In the book, This Momentary Marriage, John Piper says, “Anger devours almost all other good emotions. It deadens the soul. It numbs the heart to joy and gratitude and hope and tenderness and compassion and kindness.” (Read This Momentary Marriage for free here)
A few weeks ago, Elaine wrote about the F-Train. I really appreciate this visual. She reminded us of our responsibility to put Biblical fact first, powered by our faith, which allows our feelings to fall in line. When I act out of sinful anger, I certainly put this train out of order! My feelings cause me to forget truth and just worry about self. My anger is to be toward sin and my faith should to be in the One who has the power to change the heart of man.
Oh, did it bring anger when I learned of the deep sin my husband was entangled in! As you know there are countless triggers that can draw my emotions back to that sin.
You feel justified anger toward sin and I know that it is okay for me to also, but praise to you that your anger lasts only a moment. You cast our sin as far as the East is to the West. Your kindness leads us to repentance, not your anger.
Forgive me that in my anger my main concern is me.Grant me appropriate, righteous anger against sin. That I would not be a stumbling block, but a tool for repentance.
Grant me a tender, loving heart. One that hates sin and deeply desires to see relationships restored to you above all else. Only you can do that Lord!
Yours in the Round,
Please stop back on Fridays for more about Erin's story and what God is doing in her marriage.
“Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® (ESV®), copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved."