Girlfriends in God - July 30, 2009

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July 30, 2009 
Help! I'm Angry! 

Mary Southerland 

Today's Truth 
Ephesians 4:26 "In your anger do not sin.  Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry" (NIV).

Friend To Friend 
Today, I received an email from one of my long time friends, Sally, asking for prayer.  Sally is one of those moms - you know - the ones who really have their act together when it comes to being creative and efficient.  Sally is also quick to encourage other young moms to "hang in there" when they want to run away from home.  But today, Sally is the one looking for the line where she can go to resign as a mom.  It happens to the best of us, doesn't it?

It is summer and all four kids are home.  During the month of May, Sally spent countless hours on a special summer project for her children - an individual "Fun Box" uniquely designed for each child to pull out during the summer months when boredom threatened.  Let's see, that is four children and three months per child which equals twelve boxes guaranteed to keep her kids happily occupied. 

The good news is that the kids loved the boxes!  The bad news is that those twelve boxes are already gone and according to my friend, so is her sanity.  Furthermore, the kids don't go back to school until mid-August, so she is scrambling for ways to make the rest of the summer an enjoyable time for her family.  Sally's biggest problem at the moment seems to be anger and how to help both her and her kids deal with their anger in a constructive, God-honoring way.  Controlling anger is a subject we all need to address.

Anger is not sin, but the place we give it in our life and the way we respond to it can be.  God created us with emotions, which means He has a plan for controlling and using those emotions for good.  Our children are both grown and now have children of their own, but looking back, I realize that we have all learned a lot about dealing with anger.  While these pointers are specifically directed at moms as they interact with their children, I think we can all benefit from taking a closer look at how we deal with anger.

·         Kids, especially young ones who don't know how to control their emotions may strike out by hitting, biting, pushing  or yelling at another child, or even a parent or caregiver. It's up to parents to teach them the right ways to express their anger and frustration.  Right now, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you God's ways for dealing with anger.

·         Help your child understand that anger is a normal emotion, but one that we must learn to control. 

·         Help children identify their anger.  Some kids yell and scream while others get an upset stomach, headache or even cry without really knowing why. 

·         Identify the real issue behind your child's anger and talk about it.  It may be a response to a new rule or to correct their behavior.

·         Teach cool-down techniques.  For example, counting to 10, taking deep breaths or writing angry thoughts on a piece of paper that you later tear up.  Physical activity, such as relay races, swimming, riding a bike or playing an outside game can help children control emotions and work off emotional energy.

·         Help children make a list of good choices they can make and good things they can do the next time they are angry. 

·         Make sure your child has a healthy diet and gets plenty of rest.

·         Limit exposure to violence on TV, on the internet or in electronic games.

·         Help your child handle stress by instituting a "quiet time" each day during which they listen to praise music and just rest.

·         Pray with your children, asking God to help them control their anger.  Encourage your child to pray for the people who make them angry.

·         Encourage your child to ask for and give forgiveness when their anger has caused hurt feelings.

·         Model anger management in your own life and diligently guard the emotional setting of your home. 

·         Choose verses from the bible about how to control emotions such as anger.  Memorize these verses with your children.  Keep them posted on the refrigerator door, bathroom mirror or dashboard of your car as a constant reminder that God will help us when we are angry. 

Anger flourishes in uncertain times, is highly contagious and can destroy everything in its path.  Don't let it.  Instead, choose now to control anger instead of allowing it to control you. 

Let's Pray 
Father, forgive me for the times when I have allowed my anger to spill out on others, causing hurt and harm.  Teach me how to control my emotions through the power of the Holy Spirit and the discipline of Your Word.  Help me to model Your heart before my family and friends as I choose against anger and wage peace. 

In Jesus' name, 
Amen.

Now It's Your Turn 
Read and memorize five verses dealing with anger management.  Record them in your journal.

Think back to the last time you lost your temper.  What were the consequences?

If you could go back and change anything about that experience, what would it be?

What one hedge of protection can you place in your life today that will help you control anger tomorrow?

More From The Girlfriends 
We can learn to diffuse anger in and around us.  God's Word is clear and powerful when it comes to dealing with emotions that can spiral out of control.  Check out Mary's E-Book Bible Study Anger Management 911 and learn how to control anger.  Download one of Mary's most popular life stories, The Mad Board.

Be sure to visit Mary's online store and check out her weekly online bible study, Light for the Journey

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Girlfriends in God
P.O. Box 725
Matthews, NC 28106
info@girlfriendsingod.com
www.girlfriendsingod.com

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