Justice-seeking: Dealing with Anger
Saying the memory verse together at suppertime will imprint it on the hearts of your children forever.
A fool gives full vent to anger, but a wise person quietly holds it back.
Earlier this year someone on a bus exchanged looks with another passenger. For some reason this made a young man so anger that he shot at the person as he was leaving the bus. As a result an innocent bystander was killed, and the young man is now facing a lifetime in jail.
We live in an angry world. Differences of opinion aren’t expressed civilly; rather they are excuses to get angry. Even a look at someone on a bus can result in angry retribution. Sometimes it seems that everyone is angry about something or someone. Teaching our children self-control and appropriate ways to express anger is an important life skill. And it is biblical (Ephesians 4; 26). Self-control is even considered one of the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5: 22-23).
One of the most important ways that we teach our children what to do with our anger is through our actions. How do we handle our anger? Do we lash out? Do we speak harshly and carelessly? Children see our actions and learn. What are you teaching your children today?
JUST THE FACTS
How well did you listen to the story?
Q. What does Grandpa see when he talks to Spike?
A. Spike has an anger problem.
Q. What does Grandpa do about it?
A. He tells Spike a story about another angry lizard.
Q. What did this lizard have to do every time he got angry?
A. Put a nail in a fence post.
Q. What did he do when he controlled his anger?
A. He got to take a nail out of the fence post.
Q. What was left in the fence post when he took the nail out?
A. A hole.
Q. What did Grandpa say the hole showed?
A. That even after the anger has gone, there are scars left behind on the people who are hurt by the anger.
Q. Who was the angry lizard in Grandpa’s story?
A. Grandpa when he was a boy.
This question is meant to help the children develop a biblical understanding of God, who He is and what He does. The "answer" is not meant for parents to read to their children. Rather its purpose is to assist parents in guiding the conversation to this biblical understanding. We encourage you to use an open Bible in this conversation, building biblical literacy and well as a biblical theology.
Does God ever get angry?
The Bible tells us that God does get angry ( Ex 15:8, 22: 20-24, 32: 9-10, Lev. 26:27-28). In these verses we see that his anger was directed either at Israel’s enemies, or at the Israelites themselves when they persisted in disobedience. But the overriding message of the Bible concerning God’s anger is that God is “slow to anger and abounding in love” (Exodus 34:6; Numbers 14: 18; Nehemiah 9: 17; Psalm 86: 15, 103: 8; Jonah 4: 2).