Monday, September 12, 2016

Messy Marriage Mondays: From Anger to Peace

{Elissa Ewald Photography}

My friends, we are back, and today we are exploring the emotion of anger. Many people believe that anger is a negative emotion. Well friends, I am here to tell you that that is not true. Anger is not a negative emotion. In fact, none of our emotions are negative. We were made in the image of God, and He has all of the emotions that He gave to us. Thus, if we are made in His image, and He is good, then we cannot call any emotions negative. I'm getting on a soapbox here, so I'll stop. That's another post for another day. :)

Back to anger. defines anger as "a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a wrong; wrath; ire." Anger is an indicator of other feelings. I was listening to the "That Sounds Fun" podcast with Annie Downs, and her guest, Christa Black Gifford, said that "anger is just deep sadness." She also stated that "what you resist persists." So if you've got an anger problem, chances are, you're dealing with some unresolved sadness. You may not even be angry about what you're fighting about with your spouse. When you're angry, sometimes taking a deep breath or going for a walk is good. But those options cannot be the last resolutions. You have to deal with what is in your heart. 

Anger is seen as a negative emotion mostly because of what people do with it. Oftentimes, anger can escalate quickly. Hurtful words are said that cannot be taken back. Discussions become arguments, and before you know it, you're talking about something that seems completely off the topic and irrelevant to where you were before. 

As part of the Influence Network, I have access to weekly classes taught by some amazing women. Earlier this summer, Dr. Leslie Nwoke taught a class entitled "Mastering Our Emotions Within a Biblical Framework" in which she shared about the importance of doing what she calls "Heart Work." This practice is essentially acknowledging your feelings for what they are and then allowing them to be brought into the light. We can do ourselves and those around us a world of heart when we attempt to hide our feelings or pretend like they don't exist. 

Dr. Leslie Nwoke explains that we have to take the time to examine and be honest with ourselves. We look at the feelings we're experiencing, and we 
1. Name it.
2. Explore it. 
3. Realign it. 

So instead of allowing anger to completely derail us and take control, we take a look at the roots of the anger, and we cover them in truth. People often will say that women are about feelings, while men are about facts. I mostly agree with this statement. But it is also true that facts and feelings can work together. I can examine the facts and then think about if my feelings match the situation or if I've literally just made up a bunch of stuff in my head. 

Pursuing peace means that we take the time to see someone else's perspective. It means that we own our feelings and run towards reconciliation instead of beating around the bush or avoiding hard conversations. Anger can help us see what's really going on instead of pretending like everything is just fine and dandy. And once in a while, when we allow ourselves to get honest and be vulnerable, it can be beneficial!

Friends, have you ever found that anger has been a help instead of a hindrance to you?

Don't miss any part of this series!

Messy Marriage Mondays
Pulling Weeds
Sowing Seeds

From Selfishness to Selflessness
From Pride to Humility

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