Do I Have A Right To Be Angry?
by Aleta Kay
How many times have you heard someone say, “He makes me so mad!”? Maybe you’ve even said it yourself. I used to say it quite often. I sure managed to get into a lot of arguments with our daughter when she was a teenager. Was my anger ever her fault? I can only remember one time when it could honestly be said that I had a right to be angry; that was the time she drew her hand back as if she was going to hit me. I stopped her before she did. I used words, not violence. Yet, if we had not been arguing, if I had not allowed her to push my buttons, it would have gone that far. It takes two people to argue. I should have been the adult and kept my mouth shut.
What if your child talks back to you, is disobedient, belligerent, demanding, cursing you, hitting you? Do you have a right to be angry? Anger is sometimes a natural response. I believe anger is appropriate when a child is cursing a parent or anyone else. I believe deliberate destruction of property deserves anger. However, anger should be controlled. As adults we should be able to control our responses. Lack of self-control is childish. How can we teach our children to have self-control if we don’t exhibit it?
The Bible tells us in Galatians 5:23 that temperance (self-control) is part of the fruit of the Holy Spirit. In other words, this is one of the qualities that God wants to develop in us through the power of His Holy Spirit, in order to be pleasing in His sight. Although we need to discipline our children, discipline should be done in a spirit of love and patient correction whenever possible. Discipline just means instruction. We have all had to be taught how to be good citizens. It is contrary to our nature.
One final note on this subject: parents should never disagree on how to discipline or punish in front of their children. It will confuse them and cause them to play their parents against each other, possibly leading to the break up of the family. If you disagree, do it outside or behind closed doors–quietly. It is vital to the family relationship that they don’t know you disagree.