What shall I talk about today? CONFLICT. (Some of you will find humor in this.)
Tempers and attitudes are flaring in my house. I think everyone’s to their breaking point. So we’re screaming and yelling and crying and stomping and….
Ok, so you get the picture. My home is a giant, overgrown temper-tantrum.
It isn’t pretty. As a matter of fact, I would be horribly embarrassed if anyone saw us behaving this way. And yet we are.
There’s something to be said for breaking points, though. Sometimes in the midst of the temper-tantrum we get to the heart of the matter; the issue really causing the behaviors. Sometimes those issues are easy fixes, and other times, well, they aren’t.
Why can’t we just sit down and discuss the things that are bothering us? We can’t we look each other in the eye and say, “Hey, I’m really struggling with ____________. I don’t know what to do about it. I can’t figure out a solution. I have no idea how to change it, so I’m behaving in this crazy irrational way hoping you’ll notice and find an answer for me.”
How many of us do that? Speak truthfully about our issues to others? Ok, so all of us do at sometime, I after I’ve resolved the issue, but how often do we share them immediately as they pop up and deal with them in a timely manner?
I dare say my family isn’t the only one who bottles their feelings until the pressure can’t be contained anymore.
I dare say some of you are finding revelation that your family isn’t alone, and that some of you are tearing up or crying as you reflect on your last temper-tantrum, and some of you, well, you’re trying how to tactfully tell me I need counseling. :0)
We are human. We have faults. Unfortunately, we occasionally (I’m super glad it isn’t often!) have temper-tantrums.
My kids are a bit upset over everyone’s temper-tantrums today. How funny that it’s ok for them to do it regularly, but when mom and dad get involved it becomes a scarring event. But, I feel guilty for scaring (and potentially scarring) my children. Surely I could have said or done something differently that would have made the same point without being “scary”. In this exact situation, which keeps getting worse each time we let it go, I don’t know what that answer is. So, I’m simply trying to process, understand, accept what went down.
I’m looking for scripture to instruct me as a parent how to better handle such situations. I’m expecting God’s chastening. His correction. I’m not doubting that it will come, but in the mean time, I’ve found something entirely unexpected.
We see God’s anger several times in the Old Testament…usually displayed in a disciplinary situation. Situations where His chosen people did exactly the opposite of what He expected them to do.
And the anger of the LORD was kindled against Moses, and he said, Is not Aaron the Levite thy brother? I know that he can speak well. And also, behold, he cometh forth to meet thee: and when he seeth thee, he will be glad in his heart.
And the LORD’S anger was kindled against Israel, and he made them wander in the wilderness forty years, until all the generation, that had done evil in the sight of the LORD, was consumed.
And they forsook the LORD God of their fathers, which brought them out of the land of Egypt, and followed other gods, of the gods of the people that were round about them, and bowed themselves unto them, and provoked the LORD to anger.
Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, mine anger and my fury shall be poured out upon this place, upon man, and upon beast, and upon the trees of the field, and upon the fruit of the ground; and it shall burn, and shall not be quenched.
The last reference I pasted was #153 in the list I’m looking at…I’m barely over half way through the list.
Please don’t read here that I think God has temper-tantrums. I don’t. Please don’t read that I think God condones our temper-tantrums because I don’t!
I do believe that anger is a natural response to someone doing the opposite of what they’ve been instructed and expected to do. I do believe that we can see that happen in scripture. I do believe that sometimes punishments have to be loud and crazy to be effective…remember the Israelites? 40 years of wandering around in circles in the desert??? Crazy! A plant grew to provide shade for Jonah, then it shriveled and died to prove a point. Ouch! Sunburn and burnt.
I am not discrediting all scripture focusing on turning away from anger. As a matter of fact, I’m deeply reflecting on Colossians 3:21
Fathers, provoke not your children to anger, lest they be discouraged.
I don’t want to discourage my children.