Getting upset is very easy. Controlling our emotions is very hard, especially when parenting.
We are all born with a sin nature; one that doesn’t want to obey. We want what we want, when we want it, and how we want it. Our sin nature makes us impatient, selfish, greedy, and it makes us covet what others have.
If you are a parent, grand parent, or have been around very young children, you know that children never have to be taught how to sin. Instead they have to learn self control, obedience, kindness, patience, how to share and play well with others.
“The human heart is the most deceitful of all things, and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? Jeremiah 17:9 NLT
When our children misbehave, it can make us upset and sometimes very angry. Anger is and of itself is not always wrong or sinful.
Jesus got angry when he forced the money changers out of the temple. In fact here are the things that Jesus got angry about:
- Hypocrisy (Matthew 23:13-36)
- Greed (John 2:13-16)
- Lukewarm Living (Revelation 3:14-22)
- Hard Heartedness (Mark 3:5)
- Superiority (Matthew 23:1-7)
- Spiritual Pride (Luke 18:9-14)
So since we know that Jesus never sinned, getting anger isn’t sinful in and of itself. God warns us about letting anger control us.
And “don’t sin by letting anger control you. Don’t let the sun go down while you are still angry, for anger gives a foothold to the devil. Ephesians 4:26-27 NLT
Anger can lead to sin, because it can cause us to do, say or think evil things. So when our children sin, we sometimes allow our angry to cause us to sin.
I think the best advice for anger is found in James.
Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. So get rid of all the filth and evil in your lives, and humbly accept the word God has planted in your hearts, for it has the power to save your souls. James 1:19 NLT
The solution to sinful anger is to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. We must also not have filth and evil in our lives, and we should humbly accept God’s word. We must be reading and memorizing scripture, so that in times of anger, we can resist sinning.
Talk to your children today about anger. Show them the things that angered Jesus, and compare them to the things we often get angry about. Discuss God’s advice for avoiding sin when we are angry. If you have sinned in the past while angry, ask forgiveness from your children. That will be a good model for how they are to seek forgiveness when they sin in their anger.