“So then, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath; for the wrath of a man does not produce the righteousness of God.” James 1:19-20 (NJKV)
I was naive. I didn’t know much about relationships.
I surely didn’t know much about aggressive personalities.
Growing up was pretty mild for me. My parents got along wonderfully and I can’t recall a time that they ever openly argued in front of my siblings and me.
Into my life walks this gorgeous young man befriending me, showing me Christ’s love and compassion. I was enamored by all he possessed. I wanted to be around him all the time.
I didn’t see for a long time that he had anger issues.
A wrong word, an action that didn’t go his way, or a lie that I told sent him into an angry fit that made me wince, sending me to the deepest pocket of his car door, sitting there and watching while he walked into the ocean at night; covering my ears as he punched trash cans or the hood of his car.
I was naive. Didn’t know that this wasn’t healthy behavior and certainly not something that I should remain in.
The actions were “justified” because he never hit me, raised his voice at me, nor verbally abused me. I hated conflict and I avoided it like a plague with him.
Resolving to just live in quiet peace.
Fast forward a few years…
There were years that I walked around on eggshells around my husband. Trying my best not to upset him because my spirit couldn’t take the outburst. My husband had no “fuse.” The anger was instant.
We met wonderful people that became our friends, and the husband of that couple became my husband’s mentor.
I thank and praise God for my husband’s mentor! He got my husband more into the Bible, marriage books, business conferences; all of those things speaking to the core of my man and quickly commanding him to treat his wife with gentleness and to exercise self-control.
My husband will be the first to tell you that he had anger issues and how he overcame them.
God has done a miraculous work in my husband’s life. He fixed his anger!
I see a different man. Our children see a different daddy. The time that he takes to process things has left us all on the edge of our seats from time to time, waiting for the shoe to drop. Yet, it doesn’t.
God fixed him; or better yet, he allowed God to fix him.
I first built trust in God that He could work in my husband’s life where anger is concerned. I continue to build my trust in my husband. There is now solid footing and progress being made.
I’m slowly learning that even if I break a few eggs in our marriage, my husband will extend grace and not anger.
I trust God with my heart, this woman heart that says it’s safe and beautiful to trust my husband. To trust him to be calm.
My man doesn’t want to hurt me. He IS compassionate. I see it in his eyes when he looks at me. He wants to be the best for me and I see it in his actions toward me more and more.
He’s told me that he wants me to “find my voice” and speak what I feel about things. I’d stuffed my words, feelings, and emotions for so long that I’d forgotten what that looks like.
I still tread lightly. He notices. It’ll come. I have to choose to continue the trusting process.
He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress; my God, in Him I will trust.” Psalm 91:1-2
Friends, anger comes with many faces. It can be instant rage, throwing things, verbal attack, physical attack, guilt trips, festering beneath the surface until it erupts. It isn’t pleasant being on the receiving end. There is little or no trust. It’s not easy or maybe nearly impossible to talk about the issue with the angry spouse.
I’m thankful that God sent mentors and friends into my husband’s life to shoot straight with him and help him recognize the way a man of God is to handle conflict.
My husband wasn’t too far out of God’s reach and neither is your husband. The method may be different.
Trust in God’s care and love for you above everything. Ask Him to be your shield and protector. Trust God.
Don’t forget to respect your husband.
When you see a change (for the better) in your man, let him know that you notice. This goes a long way in his overcoming.
Try not to lose hope, my friend. God can redeem and restore.
If you need counseling, by all means, seek Christ-centered counsel. If you need protection from physical abuse, please, please get help!
Lord, I bow to You in thanksgiving, praise, and requests. You’ve done a marvelous work in my husband’s life in helping him to dissolve anger in his life. Thank You for Your protection. Thank You for strengthening our marriage and for continuing to do so.
I pray for my friends that are dealing with anger issues and the destruction that comes from it. Hedge them in and wrap them in Your love. Show them how to seek solutions and give them rest in You. In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen
Living With Sword and Coffee,