Devotionals by Dennis Rainey

SEPTEMBER 24

Love-Hate Relationship 
by Barbara Rainey

You love every harmful word, O you deceitful tongue. PSALM 52:4, NIV

I had been a mom for about six years when I first began to experience significant anger. And as the pressures of parenthood increased and our older children moved into adolescence, I started getting angry more severely and more often. It was inappropriate, and it was really becoming a problem.

One Thanksgiving weekend, my 13-year-old son and I got into a raging argument about . . . something. I don't even remember what. I just remember I couldn't control him, and I couldn't control me. For years, I had justified my anger by saying I was so tired and worn out every day. Now, for the first time, I realized it had gotten bigger than I was. I could justify my behavior no longer.

Dennis was a part of the solution. As we talked it over, we agreed that it would be healthy for me to go through a period of counseling. As I sought help, the Lord sensitized my heart one summer day to the words of Psalm 52.

As I was reading the fourth verse—the one above—my eyes filled with tears. Suddenly I knew that in all my years of struggling, the only thing I really hated about my anger was that I couldn't control it. Yet in those few moments of holy conviction, I realized I needed to hate my anger simply because it was sin. Before, I had only hated what I did with it. Now, I hated it for what it was.

Perhaps you're still rationalizing a certain harmful behavior of yours by claiming your right to it. Perhaps, if you dug a little deeper, you might even discover, like I did, that you enjoy the power and control it gives you. If this is you, don't you think it's time to confess (agree with God about it) and deal with it?

DISCUSS

In what ways might you love your sins, even the ones that grieve you the most?

PRAY

Ask God to give you the courage to confront those things about yourself that need to be dealt with.  

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FamilyLife Today® is conversational in nature and provides practical, biblical tools to address the issues affecting your family. You'll receive motivation, encouragement, and help.

About Dennis Rainey

Dennis Rainey is the president and cofounder of FamilyLife® a subsidiary of Campus Crusade for Christ, and a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. Dennis is senior editor of the HomeBuilders Couples Series® and daily host of the nationally syndicated and award winning radio program FamilyLife Today® He was the recipient of the National Religious Broadcasters Radio Program Producer of the Year Award for 1995 and 2003. Dennis has authored numerous books including Staying Close, a winner of the Gold Medallion Award from the Evangelical Christian Publishers Association.

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