Just to be clear, I understand there are times for righteous anger. We could stand to experience more of this type of anger. But this post is not about righteous anger. It is about the anger that deceives, that makes you think your anger is justified, something to feel good about. So when a child, a teenager, a spouse, or a coworker crosses an arbitrary line we feel totally justified in letting them “have it.” We cover our sin by saying, “I know I shouldn’t be angry, but sometimes you just have to say enough is enough.”
This sort of language and rationalization will receive a hearty amen from the Satanic cheering section. We think we have been strong, when in fact we have been weak. This is the coward’s way out. This is indulges our flesh. We do what seems right at the moment; we do what is right in our own eyes.
Parents, God calls you to be shepherds, not enforcers. You may feel regret at your anger, but until you repent and embrace the role of a servant / shepherd you will be aiding and abetting the enemy.
Letting someone “have it” is easy. It requires no courage, just pride, to let loose and give others what you foolishly think they deserve. Your children are careful observers of your actions. When you let someone “have it”, you are providing a powerfully negative example of self-righteousness. Expect your children to model this behavior. The day may come when your own children will think it is time to let you “have it”. If that day comes it will not be a happy one. This is why the path of love found in I Corinthians 13:4-7 is an essential weapon in fighting for the spiritual lives of your children. Speaking the truth in love applies directly to parents!
Ephesians 4:31 & 32 are seldom used as parenting guidelines. This is unfortunate. There is a powerful put off / put on dynamic in these verses to help shepherd your children towards Christ:
Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice.
Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
Don’t capitulate! Don’t give in to self-justifying anger. There is hypocrisy in treating others as their sins deserve, in letting others “have it.” Suppose God treated you as your sins deserve? Not a pleasant thought is it?
Model the love of Christ to your children. Engage the enemy using the weapons of the Spirit of God!