Sunday, 08 January 2023 10:01

Couples Who Struggle with Anger Aren't Doomed, Here's What They Can Do

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Couples Who Struggle with Anger Aren't Doomed, Here's What They Can Do Couples Who Struggle with Anger Aren't Doomed, Here's What They Can Do
Five Lessons for Young Couples | Desiring God Avoid getting angry before bed. How frequently have you heard this saying regarding marriage? When a premarital counselor says that, a lot of wide-eyed couples eagerly nod in agreement. Those who have been married for some time would chuckle at the immaturity. In a few months, we'll see if they're still nodding and grinning. 

When you get married, getting advice quickly becomes expensive, awkward, and complicated. It can feel like finishing the basement right before bedtime while coping with rage. We have struggled for seven years to control our rage before weariness controls us, so my wife and I can speak from personal experience. While achieving a quick, a temporary truce may be simple enough, real reconciliation usually involves significant effort, time, and, well, work.

But because it comes from God, the advice is sound: "Do not let the sun go down on your anger" (Ephesians 4:26). All relationships are covered by the mandate, although applying it to a marriage may be the most challenging. For many of us, marriage can aggravate us the most (or at least make us angry the most often).

Guidance for Couples Struggling with Anger

This increased propensity for anger is not a problem in marriage. It's a result of what makes marriage so lovely. Marriage has a higher and more reliable capacity for intimacy, which in turn gives marriage a higher and more reliable capacity for anger. When we've opened ourselves to someone and given them our entire selves, sin hurts more. Even little transgressions can feel like acts of war due to proximity and vulnerability. 

So how can couples argue to resolve their resentment? While many (correctly) look to Ephesians 5 for a picture of marriage, the verses before that chapter also contain important tools in the struggle to love one another deeply.

  1. Anger is a healthy emotion that we frequently sinfully display.

Be angry. (Ephesians 4:26)

In premarital therapy, you won't hear those two terms together very often (or in any counseling, for that matter). We must keep in mind that anger can be a healthy and godly response to evil before attempting to bury our wrath for the evening. 

Because we assume that anger is always terrible or that our anger is always justifiable, "many couples suffer."

Many of us have created a map of our emotional lives where being angry is never acceptable. We frequently believe that anger is inappropriate and wrong, especially when it is aimed at ourselves. My tendency going into marriage was this: "However, God's instruction to us is to be furious while abstaining from wrongdoing, not to be angry." Has righteous rage over an offense found a home in your marriage? Do any of you ever admit when you were mistaken? In your opinion, I erred. "And it's appropriate for you to be upset over that"?

Because we assume that anger is always terrible or that our anger is always justified many marriages struggle. When it comes to our spouse's wrath, we frequently assume the former, and when it comes to our own, the latter. However, the remainder of Chapter 4 controls the rage that unavoidably surfaces in marriages.

  1. Work to control your anger.

Put all resentment, anger, clamor, slander, and bitterness behind you, as well as every act of malice (Ephesians 4:31).

Isn't this a glaring contradiction, you say? Paul just said, "Be angry, and do not sin," didn't he? It is not a contradiction, yet there is tension in this situation. When it comes to marriage (and the Christian life in general), maturity and wisdom are mostly found in the capacity to recognize when to implement seemingly contradictory instructions—when to remedy faults and when to overlook them;

"Be upset about the sin in your marriage, but don't go to bed angry."

The message should be crystal clear: while rage has its place in healthy hearts, that place is small and transient. It is appropriate to be angry over wickedness, but only as part of a life that actively and consistently pushes all anger aside ("Let all bitterness, wrath, and fury... be thrown away from you"). Even our righteous rage has a shelf life, which is currently today, according to God.

  1. Marriages are blessed by the 24-hour day.

Do not let the sun set on your anger; be angry and do not transgress. (Ephesians 4:26)

Have you ever questioned why God created each day with 24 hours? There are undoubtedly several good reasons, but he specifically mentions one of them in this passage: it controls our wrath and prevents it from erupting into a subdued inferno. The 24-hour day is a huge mercy for marriages in this regard. Every day, when the sun crosses the sky and starts to go below the horizon, it moves us closer to peace. It establishes a boundary that compels us to decide between

Because we allow grudges to fester into bitterness, which slowly erodes trust and intimacy over days, weeks, or even months, many couples struggle. Intimacy's currency is trust. We could all think of large, apparent situations in which spouses have betrayed this trust. However, trust can also be betrayed in more covert ways, with carrying out and stoking misdeeds being the most typical. Even though the bitterness silently lingers and continues to harm and separate, the initial pain or fury may have been quite justified. However, the warrant has long since expired. To provide us with a wonderful opportunity to let go of all our resentments, God pushes the sun around the planet every day.

Many relationships fail because we let grudges turn into bitterness, which slowly destroys trust and intimacy over days, weeks, or even months. Trust is the currency of intimacy. We can all recall significant instances where spouses have broken this confidence. Trust can also be violated in more subtle ways, with perpetrating and encouraging wrongdoing being the most frequent. The initial anguish or wrath may have been well deserved, notwithstanding the bitterness's silent persistence and ongoing injury and division. But the warrant is long past its expiration date. God moves the sun around the earth every single day to give us a magnificent opportunity to let go of all our resentments.

  1. The conflict that isn't settled lets the devil in.

Do not let the sun set on your fury; be angry and refrain from sinning; deny the devil any openings. (Ephesians 4:26–27)

If we could see what Satan can do with unresolved disagreement, perhaps we would be faster to end the conflict in our marriages. He has access to every aspect of our marriages through unresolved conflict, not just the areas where he can poke and prod it and make it worse over time. Eventually, blood from an open wound in one region seeps into every other location. It grows more challenging to share a bed. It becomes more difficult to pray together. Co-parenting becomes more challenging. Together, scheduling becomes more difficult. Together, serving is more difficult. Being together becomes more difficult.

Because people neglect the spiritual battle against marriage, many marriages struggle. While there may be flesh and blood next to us in bed, "we do not struggle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers over this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Ephesians 6:12). Every marriage conflict is, first and foremost, a spiritual one, and if we assume we're merely fighting each other, we'll eventually lose.

  1. Treat your spouse's sin the same way Christ has treated yours.

Be compassionate and forgiving toward one another, just as God was merciful to you through Christ. (Ephesians 4:32)

If these few words had stuck, how many divorces and marital problems may have been avoided? 

It's important to note that Paul says, "Forgive as God has forgiven you in Christ," rather than just, "Be kind and forgive one another." Instead of simply forgiving us and moving on, God's Son took on all of our burdens, including our sorrows and thorns, and then he was wounded to treat our wounds and cursed. All of this was done so that we could obtain forgiveness. So, please forgive as you have been forgiven. Nothing that you or I go through in marriage will require or ask more of us than what Christ endured on the cross for our benefit.

A shocking realization has been made by many couples who have put this passage into practice: conflict is a rare chance for connection. Why? We both get to see and experience more of Christ when we handle each other's sins as Christ has treated ours. On the days when we get along, we do see and experience him, but how much more real and present does he feel when we truly forgive and are forgiven, when we respond to harshness with compassion, and when we choose to stay and love even when it would be reasonable to leave?

The arguments we have with our spouses can turn into the most vivid representations of Christ and his church. What else could a husband be so kind about, even now? What else might persuade a wife to forgive him once more? Where else could a love that is so patient, altruistic, and strong even originate? 

Therefore, don't go to bed angry as a husband or wife; instead, be upset about the wrongdoing in your marriage.

I appreciate you continuing to read. If you think this massage is effective, please use it, spread the word about it, like it, and leave a comment for me. Bonaventure Ezelagu.

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