Anger

-
Mentoring Tips

Make one-to-one mentoring easier by learning what to do and what not to do.  Click to learn more.

Tip#1 – Find your PLACE

  • Pray: simple yet powerful act
  • Listen: people want to feel heard
  • Ask: good questions foster productive dialogue
  • Consider: think slowly and biblically
  • Encourage: uplift rather than beat down
Tip#2 – Avoid the common mistakes

  • Fixing: this is a person, not a project
  • Preaching: walk alongside, don’t talk at or down to them
  • Carrying: show concern but don’t carry too heavy a burden
  • Blaming: no condemnation in Christ Jesus
  • Rescuing: you are not their savior!
+
Scriptures
Hope
  • Proverbs 21:1 (king’s heart like channels of water turned by God)
  • Isaiah 26:3-4 (peace for those who fix their thoughts on God, trust in the Lord forever)
  • Proverbs 14:29 (one slow to anger has great understanding)
  • Proverbs 16:32 (he who is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who captures a city)
  • Proverbs 19:11 (a man’s discretion makes him slow to anger, and it is his glory to overlook a transgression)
  • Proverbs 25:15 (with patience a ruler is persuaded; a soft tongue)
  • 1 Peter 5:7 (cast all your anxiety on Him for He cares for you)
  • 1 John 4:18 (perfect love casts out fear)
Help
+
Conversations
Starters
    • How has anger impacted your relationship in the past?
    • What do the angry outbursts look like and how do you respond?  Do you respond back with more anger or do you tend to “stuff” it?
    • How do you deal with anger personally? Do you explode or are you more subtle?
    • What kinds of things trigger anger in your home?
    • Are others around you aware of this anger or is it something that comes out only in private?
    • Is there a time of day or a particular place you notice the anger occurring? What kind of patterns do you see?
    • I believe that the most important relationship in your life is the one you have with Jesus Christ. Can you tell me about that?
    • Does your spouse have a relationship with Christ?
    • Are you aware of how God’s word speaks to issues of anger and conflict? Would you like to take a look at that together?
    • Are you and/or your spouse active in a local church?
    • Do you and your spouse ever pray together? Do the two of you know how to confess, repent, and forgive one another?
    • What is one step you can take in the right direction and how can I help you do that?
Deeper Questions
    • In what ways do you find yourself adapting to avoid your spouse’s anger (e.g. apologizing for things not your fault, withholding your opinion out of fear)?
    • When you try to express your true feelings or opinions, is that a safe thing to do or does your spouse’s anger stifle such communication?
    • Are you willing to learn to surrender to God in times of frustration and anger?  Can we discuss that and begin praying in that direction?
    • I believe true peace in your soul is a result of a redeemed relationship with Jesus Christ.  Would you like to discuss that with me?
    • What unresolved issues might be between you that are making matters worse?
    • The Bible says that angry fighting is often the result of selfish desires (James 4:1-3).  How have you found that to be true in your marriage?
    • Are you keeping a record of wrongs suffered? (1 Corinthians 13:5)
    • Do you ever feel the need to seek physical safety for yourself or your children because of outbusts of anger?  Tell me about those times.
    • Have you sought the help of a wise pastor or Christian counselor?
+
Resources
Online Helps
Other Ministry Links
  • Celebrate Recovery  A recovery program that addresses all types of habits, hurts, and hang-ups
  • Groundwire Online help for teens, specializing in crisis situations like cutting, suicide, drug use, etc.
  • Military Ministry A bridge to healing for returning warriors, veterans and their families
  • Northwest Family Life  Hope and healing for individuals and families facing the pain of domestic violence
Books
+
Encouragement
Quotes
  • - Dennis and Barbara Rainey, The New Building Your Mate’s Self-Esteem, p. 13

    “Often, couples instinctively turn on each other, rather than courageously turning to each other in order to build confidence and security. Instead of the marriage relationship being a haven in the storm, it becomes the storm itself.”

  • - Dan Allender and Tremper Longman, Bold Love, p. 279

    “Adultery or any form of sexual immorality should be viewed as a serious breaking of the covenant of marriage … Few adulterers want to do much more than patch a leaky boat … He should be under the careful and passionate eyes of a mature group of believers and a therapist.”

  • - Emerson Eggerichs, Motivating Your Man God’s Way, p. 30

    “Most wives have little idea the depth of painful feelings men have when disrespected. Men don’t display a crushed countenance and begin to cry. Instead, they get angry, go silent and withdraw. Or they attack with words of disrespect, seeking to equalize things. This goes over the heads of most wives. Instead, these women feel even more unloved.”

  • - Ken Sande, The Peacemaker, p. 25

    “The Bible teaches that we should see conflict neither as an inconvenience nor as an occasion for selfish gain, but rather as an opportunity to demonstrate the presence and power of God.”

  • - Gary Chapman , The Other Side of Love: Handling Anger in a Godly Way, p. 182

    “Much of the dysfunction in contemporary Christian families is rooted in misunderstood and mismanaged anger. Few tasks in the area of marriage and family life are more important than correcting this widespread anger mismanagement.”

  • - FamilyLife Weekend to Remember Manual, p. 89

    “We often show anger when our ‘rights’ have been violated, our expectations have not been met, or when we have been hurt.”

  • - Tim Kimmel, The High Cost of High Control, p. 80

    “Anger is one of the greatest gifts God has given our emotional system. It’s one of the things that put courage into our convictions, resolve into our aspirations, and tenacity into our actions. It is a holy loathing that keeps us from surrendering strongholds to the moral enemies of the soul. You can’t love without anger. But you can be angry without love. That’s when anger turns toxic.”

  • - Dan Allender and Tremper Longman, Bold Love, p. 256

    “The characteristic of a fool are hot anger, self‐centeredness, and hatred of discipline and wisdom.”

  • - Emerson Eggerichs, Love and Respect, p. 34‐35

    “(Regarding the ‘crazy cycle’) both of these people love each other a great deal. They do not mean real harm; they do not intend real evil toward one another. They are hurt and angry, but they still care deeply for one another.”

  • - Dan Allender and Tremper Longman, Bold Love, p. 270

    “Proverbs tells us, ‘Do not answer a fool as his folly deserves, lest he be wise in his own eyes’ (26:5). In other words, don’t be naive. We are called to use the highest degree of wisdom in knowing whether to rebuke or to remain silent.”

  • - Dan Allender and Tremper Longman, Intimate Allies, p. 50‐51

    “A wife does not have to hit her husband to exploit him violently. She can cut him to ribbons with her words. She can make him feel that he is subhuman. Spousal abuse, whether it is physical or emotional, devastates a relationship.”

  • - Dan Allender and Tremper Longman, Bold Love, p. 283

    “True repentance will lead to feelings of indignity and anger at the past damage, a desire to make restitution, and a renewed longing for purity and godliness (2 Corinthians 7:11).”

  • - Gary Chapman, Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way, p. 34

    “In processing anger toward someone with whom you have a relationship, two questions are paramount: 1) Is my response positive—does it have the potential for dealing with the wrong and healing the relationship? 2) Is my response loving—is it designed for the benefit of the person at whom I am angry?”

  • - Gary Chapman, Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way, p. 36

    “Most of us follow the patterns we learned in childhood by observing our parents or other significant adults. These patterns tend to cluster around two extremes: verbal or physical venting on the one hand, or withdrawal and silence on the other. Both are destructive.”

  • - Gary Chapman, Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way, p. 51

    “Ask yourself: Does the action I am considering have any potential for dealing with the wrong and helping the relationship? And is it best for the person at whom I am angry? The two most constructive options are either to confront the person in a helpful way, or to consciously decide to overlook the matter.”

  • - Gary Chapman, Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way, p. 118

    “Anger was designed to be a visitor, never a resident.”

  • - Fred and Brenda Stoeker, Every Heart Restored, p. 137

    “People are 100 percent responsible for their lives 100 percent of the time. Yet what spouses do or don’t do has a direct influence on the situation. A wife can certainly make matters worse, but she can also make matters better.”

  • - Gary Chapman, Anger: Handling a Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way, p. 195

    “Many of the problems contemporary Christian families struggle with are rooted in misunderstood and mismanaged anger. Few tasks in the area of marriage and family life are more important than correcting this widespread anger mismanagement.”

Next Steps
    • You should be commended for seeking wisdom on how to deal with anger in a godly way.
    • Read any of the online articles listed in this guide.  Read the articles first for yourself and choose one or two that seem to apply to your situation. Then let’s discuss this material together.
    • Read any of the scriptures of help and hope in this guide and let’s discuss.
    • Seek safety if the anger is potentially causing physical danger to you or your children.
    • Remember that anger itself is not necessarily wrong.  It can be an indication that something is wrong.  How you handle the anger is the key.
    • Put your thoughts down on paper if it helps diffuse the strong emotions involved.
    • When you try to discuss delicate issues with your spouse, remember that timing is often as important as words.
    • Confide in your pastor or a Christian counselor in your area if you need biblical guidance, local resources, or professional help.
    • Seek to understand the underlying issues or “idols of the heart” that are causing the outbursts of anger (James 4:1-2).  What unmet, selfish desires are there?
    • Search your heart for any bitterness that is there, confess it, and release it to God
    • Remember that you cannot change your spouse, only God can do that
    • Remember that while you cannot single-handedly bring healing to your marriage, if you will begin to change then God can bring your spouse toward you
    • Set healthy boundaries and learn constructive ways to express yourself
    • Be patient because change takes time… but it can happen with God’s power.
    • Seek accountability from outside sources if necessary.
    • Be courageous and lovingly confront areas that do not reflect God’s design for your marriage.