TEW: The Wife’s Anger


Chapter 18 of The Excellent Wife deals with anger: What is anger? How does the Bible describe anger? Is it ever right to be angry at your husband? What should I do with my anger?

I will be the first to admit that I can and do get angry. Usually, when I’m angry I want someone to know about it. I will raise my voice. I will say things I should not say. I will cry and attempt to get what I want. Basically, I act like a two year old. On the other hand, if I don’t especially feel like making a big show of how angry I am, I will pout. Yes, pout. Sulk. Then there are other times when I’m angry, and instead of yelling at someone I love or crying, I go into a cleaning frenzy. Unfortunately, the latter doesn’t happen very often.

This chapter hit me square between the eyes. As in other chapters, Peace offers lots of practical, biblical helps for being an overcomer.

Summary

She begins by defining anger using the various New Testament words for anger.
1. Orge (Greek)– “raging anger” — meaning “violent passion, anger, indignation, or vengeance.”
2. “outburst of anger” — a deed of the flesh we are to put to death, as explained in Galatians 5. It is also translated “wrath,” and means “angry tempers, fierce, indignation, passion, rage, or wrath.”
3. Parorismos (Greek) — meaning “irritation” and it basically connotes to “provoke to anger.”

Peace teaches that we are being like Saul (when he wanted to kill David), like Cain (when he killed Abel), and like the Pharisees (who in their hardness of heart, pride and anger incited the people to call for the murder of Jesus). Those are good examples of angry people found in the Bible.

Not only does the Bible offer us examples, it also offers a doctrine, if you will, of anger.
1. God has righteous anger (See Psalm 7:11).

2. Man can have righteous anger also (See Ephesians 4:26). But I’m not counting on it coming from me. Peace writes, “Even biblically justifiable anger is often sinful coming from us. You can know your anger is righteous is in spite of provocation, you continue to think ‘true…honorable…right…pure…lovely…good repute…excellent…and worthy of praise (to God)’ thoughts (Philippians 4:8). In addition, you must also ‘not take into account a wrong suffered’ and ‘ not be provoked’ (1 Corinthians 13:5). Otherwise, your anger is not honoring to God. It is sinful.”

3. Man’s anger does not achieve God’s righteous ends (James 1:20). This verse comes to mind every single time I raise my voice at my kids. Every. singe. time. I should be thankful for that.

4. Man is to be slow to anger (See James 1:19). Peace has some good words of instruction here, too. “First listen. Cultivate the art of listening. Be slow to speak. Think about what you are going to say. Choose words that are edifying instead of angry.”

5. Anger does not come alone, it brings its cohorts (See Colossians 3:8). Angers cohorts? Oh, they are ugly and we are to lay them all aside! They are:
Malicious
Slanderous
Abusive Speech
Peace called anger a rolling snowball. “The sin of anger rarely surfaces alone…You can easily stop the snowball at the top of the hill or you can run the risk of it wiping you out at the bottom of the hill! It is your choice.”

6. Angry outbursts are deeds of the flesh (See Galatians 5:20). Here Peace reminds us of the gospel and God’s promise to forgive us when we confess our sin and repent.

7. There is a biblical contrast between the man who stirs up anger and the man who subdues anger. “One is a fool. The other is wise. One is harsh. The other is gentle. One produces strife. The other pacifies contention. One will sprout folly. The other ponders carefully before he answers.” Can I just say that I wish I had read this chapter last week. I needed this reminder before I went to our church’s AWANA training. I disagreed with so much of the presentation that towards the end I just could. not. keep. my. mouth. closed. I really could have used some pondering awhile before speaking. Maybe I just should have left the room.

8. Pride frequently results in anger (See Proverbs 13:10). You can just re-read my comments for #7.

Biblical Steps to Change Character from Anger to Gentleness
1. Teaching — Peace encourages us to choose several scriptures relevant to anger and our own personal situations and meditate on them, memorize them.

2. Reproof — Ask others to hold you accountable and point it out to you when you seem to be angry or even slightly harsh.

3. Correction — Put off and put on! Train yourself. Practice the right things to say.

4. Training in righteousness — “Think and act according to the Word of God repeatedly until the gentle and loving responses are your first thoughts instead of afterthoughts.”

I love the final sentence for this chapter: “Humble yourself, cry out to God in prayer for help, roll up your sleeves, and get to work.”

I just don’t have much to say about this chapter since this is where I stumble a lot. Not only did I express my displeasure with the AWANA guy this week, today I became angry with Hubs when we discussed our budget. I have much work to do. And I’m going to attack it with joy and hope in knowing that God is going to help me. I’m reminded of John Owen’s famous quote, “Be killing sin or it will be killing you.”

I am looking forward to what you have to say, though. Please comment or email the link to your post so that I can list them here:

Next week we take on Chapter 19, “The Wife’s Fear: Overcoming Anxiety.”

Keep reading! Click for Chapter 19.

8 Comments on “TEW: The Wife’s Anger

  1. Man’s anger does not achieve God’s righteous ends (James 1:20). This is the one that has stuck in my conscience. I had it over my kitchen sink during a time when I had to learn the hard way that not only do I regret my acts of wrath, they only get me farther away from what I want achieved, and away from God’s blessing on the situation.

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  2. I can’t comment past what the Word says.I cling to many of these verses whether it’s for my husband or my children or society at large..:)I do struggle with this sin, but blessedly, God has given me some victory… I do still have a way to go yet, though.

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  3. Leslie,I agree with you that I didn’t feel like I had much to add this week. The quotes from the book were great and needed. Unfortunately, I put myself in a position for this to be very real to me this week.Thanks for sharing.

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  4. I seem to be needing to repent of sinful displays of anger every week.I appreciate your comments.

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  5. This was a very challenging chapter for me too. Finally got my post up.Are we going to be studying another book after this one? 🙂

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  6. This chapter was very, very helpful to me. I finally posted on it, too.

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  7. AMEN! (be killing sin or it will be killing you!)I knew this chapter was coming, and I’ve kind of been dreading it b/c every other chapter has been so darn convicting…..and this is just an obvious place of struggle for me! But the practicals of overcoming this sin were very encouraging for me! I was given hope in Jesus! all the things you said about how you deal w/ anger…me in a nutshell! : ( When we’re done here, I’m going to read uprooting anger, and I’m going to devour it…..it’s time to kill this sin! I’m also thinking of doing some kind of word study in the Bible on anger! I have to see God’s hatred of this sin so that I hate it more (b/c He hates it….not b/c of the consequences of it….in order to be truly repentant!). So, I’m motivated after this chapter!!!

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  8. Yep – only a month behind everyone, but I've been done with this chapter for over a week now & it's still brewing quite a bit in my thoughts. Basically, you know you have an issue with anger when a chapter about anger makes you angry! :>I was angry at myself, for the most part, after reading this chapter. Angry that I had anger. Does that make sense? On one hand, I was thankful for the shedding of "light" on this topic because I have been quite bewildered lately at my reactions towards my toddler son. I basically don't understand "how" I could react in such anger because that is not how I want to be to my son nor is it how I was raised. My parents never raised their voice to me or showed even a hint of undeserved anger – that I can remember. So why on earth do I get so easily upset at the littlest things lately?Here's what struck me most in the chapter:• Become keenly aware that each & every time you have an outburst of unrighteous anger, your sinful flesh sets itself in direct opposition to the Holy Spirit.• "Wrath is fierce & anger is a flood." Prov. 27:4• "The heart of the righteous ponders how to answer…" Prov. 15:28• In Christ, you can change, not just improve a little, but truly repent. (AMEN!!!)• And finally – the Steps to Change Character from Anger to Gentleness…I truly hope to follow through on these steps because I long to see victory over this sin! I do not want to pass on to my child that "venting" or undeserved anger as response is alright. I want him to know that God is the healer, the agent of change in my life!Thx for letting me post so late!!

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