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Kill Anger Before It Kills You or Your Marriage

anger in marriage

Anger in marriage rivals lust as a killer. My guess is that anger is a worse enemy than lust. It also destroys other kinds of camaraderie. Some people have more anger than they think because it has disguises. When willpower hinders rage, anger smolders beneath the surface, and the teeth of the soul grind with frustration. It can come out in tears that look more like hurt.

But the heart has learned that this may be the only way to hurt back. It may come out as silence because we have resolved not to fight. It may show up in picky criticism and relentless correction. It may strike out at persons that have nothing to do with its origin. It will often feel warranted by the wrongness of the cause. After all, Jesus got angry (Mark 3:5).

However, good anger among fallen people is rare. That’s why James says, “Be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger; for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God” (James 1:19-20).

Therefore, one of the greatest battles of life is the battle to “put away anger,” not just control its expressions. To help you fight this battle against anger in marriage and the rest of your life, here are nine biblical weapons.

8 Ways To Stop Anger In Marriage

1. Ponder the rights of Christ to be angry, but how he endured the cross, as an example of long-suffering.

For to this, you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps. (1 Peter 2:21)

2. Ponder how much you have been forgiven, and how much mercy you have been shown.

Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32)

3. Ponder your own sinfulness and take the beam out of your own eye.

Why do you see the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, “Let me take the speck out of your eye,” when there is the log in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye. (Matthew 7:3-5)

4. Think about how you do not want to give place to the devil because harbored anger is the one thing the Bible explicitly says opens a door and invites him in.

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. (Ephesians 4:26-27)

5. Ponder the folly of your own self-immolation, that is, the numerous detrimental effects of anger to the one who is angry—some spiritual, some mental, some physical, and some relational.

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil. It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones. (Proverbs 3:7-8)

6. Confess your sin of anger in marriage to some trusted friend as well and as possible with the offender. This is a great healing act.

Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. (James 5:16)

7. Let your anger be the key to unlock the dungeons of pride and self-pity in your heart and replace them with love.

Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. (1 Corinthians 13:4-7)

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John Piper is the Pastor for Preaching at Bethlehem Baptist Church in Minneapolis, Minnesota. John is the author of more than 30 books and more than 25 years of his preaching and teaching is available free at DesiringGod.org. © Desiring God.