FW: Weekly Marriage Builder, November 12, 2006: Yesterday’s Anger is Dangerous

2nd in the series on conflict resolution

—–Original Message—–
From: Jimmy Evans – MarriageToday [mailto:jimmy@marriagetoday.org]
Sent: Sunday, November 12, 2006 1:05 AM
Subject: Weekly Marriage Builder, November 12, 2006: Yesterday’s Anger is
Dangerous

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WEEKLY "MARRIAGE BUILDER" EMAIL

Presented by MarriageToday with Jimmy & Karen

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Dear theresa,

In last week’s Marriage Builder I began a series of articles on the issue of
conflict resolution in marriage. In the previous article I talked about the
importance of accepting our anger and dealing with it openly. The Bible
tells us to "…be angry, but do not sin…" Ephesians 4:26 NKJV

This means we must not deny our anger. Neither should we use our
anger to justify wrong behavior.

Positive conflict resolution begins with an acceptance of our anger and by
allowing our spouse to be honest about theirs also. The second step in
positive conflict resolution has to do with how we confront each other.
Even though some anger can be dealt with in prayer or on a personal level,
much of our anger related to our spouses behavior must be talked out.

This means we need to learn how to approach one another when we are
angry. This is such a critical lesson for us to learn because uncontrolled
or unrighteous anger can be so destructive. In learning to deal with
confrontation, we first of all need to wait until our anger is under control
but to do it today. Ephesians 4:26b-27 tells us, "…do not let the sun go
down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil."

Going to bed on unresolved anger gives the devil an opportunity to interpret
our spouse’s behavior to us and accuse them. The word "devil" in Ephesians
4:27 is the Greek word "diabolos". It means "slanderer". Wait for an hour
or two until your emotions are under control but don’t fall into the bad
habit of going to bed angry and waiting for days or weeks to confront.

Today’s anger is very manageable. Yesterday’s anger is dangerous because it
has fermented and been affected by diabolos the slanderer. He is a master
at dividing us and creating offenses. Remember, he is a liar and the father
of lies. His job is to offend you at your spouse and convince you they are
against you and their motives are evil. Unresolved anger is his open door
to do this.

When Karen and I first got married we would go for months angry at each
other. When we got mad, we got quiet. That is my natural personality.
When I’m the maddest, I’m the quietest. That is ok on the short term,
because it keeps me from saying or doing things I would regret in response
to my anger. However, it is a very negative trait in the long term.

Karen and I have learned over the years not to get mad and get quiet. We
know how dangerous it is to give the devil an opportunity in our marriage
through unresolved anger. We make it a practice to confront each other in
love every day. It is just a matter of housekeeping in a good relationship.
It takes anger and makes it a domesticated cat. Going to bed on anger
allows it to grow into a raging lion. Anger is going to be in your marriage
but how you deal with it determines it’s size and nature.

You don’t have to be afraid of anger. It is a reality in every marriage.
The first thing you do is to allow yourself and your spouse to be honest
about your anger. The second thing you do is confront today, but wait a few
minutes or a few hours until you are in control and won’t say or do anything
you’ll regret or that will damage your spouse.

I have a very important message for you next week on conflict resolution.
Until then, talk with your spouse about this issue. Make a commitment to
allow each other the freedom to talk about your negative feelings without
being punished. Also, make a commitment never to go to bed angry again
without talking things out and mapping out a plan of resolve. This is
crucial to the success of your marriage.

Blessings,

Jimmy Evans

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