Ughhhhh! Not again! How many times do I have to tell him to pick up his dirty clothes or take out the trash? I am tired of doing everything around here?! I don’t know why…

Just imagine an argument took place and both sides are angry, both sides have said some pretty mean things. Let’s say someone forgot to take out the trash, and the waste truck has gone on about its business in the neighborhood. Now here comes that evil glare! And now because the breakfast was burned and you forgot to pay the light bill added on top of that the trash was not taken out! Now that these words have been spoken how do we get past what has been said or done. The key is to get PAST it! Not to let it hang around you and control you. What is anger you may ask? A short definition of Anger is defined as a strong displeasure of annoyance or hostility (Oxford Dictionary).

Ephesians 4:26 tells us ‘not to let the sun go down on our anger’. Why not? Because anger may take you back to where you do not belong, all of a sudden you are back in 1985, you’re your loving spouse accidently spilled grape juice on your new white jumpsuit, that you’d just got out of the cleaners to wear to your sister, cousins fifth wedding! And you are thinking, “I could never forgive them for doing such a thing!” Yes, it seems silly, but being angry is not going to get that grape juice out of that suit. I know that was a far reach, however, I wanted to make a point. You have to look at it from another perspective after you cool down. Bringing things up, things from the past, that had been long forgotten; which in turns provokes more anger. Forgiveness is not based on feelings. Imagine if forgiveness was based on emotions, or feelings, do you think Jesus would have stayed on that cross? Let’s imagine, if He instead said, you know what, I am not FEELING forgiveness and I have been hanging up here way too long for these feelings to kick in, I think I am going to just hop down and go do something else”. Now that sounds absolutely absurd. But think about it. IF you decide to stay angry, walk-in pride and unforgiveness which turns into bitterness. Who are you really hurting? It’s not them. They have gone on and started on that second tub of butter pecan ice cream.

Eventually, as I return to this present time and place, meaning I let go of anger and as it is residing, I hear this simple voice that says why are you angry? What is this going to solve? Are you hurting the person that you are angry with? Or yourself by being angry? Sometimes when we get upset, we may take our anger out on others. This in turn may cause a cascade of others becoming angry just because of your negative attitude or actions. Do you really want to “pay forward” anger?

Walking in forgiveness can be one of the hardest things to do. But someone is going to have to relent and let go of the anger. Ephesians 6 tells us to basically “put on the shoes of peace”. If we are to have peace then we have to consider becoming peacemakers. You may ask what is a “peacemaker”? So, this is my personal definition of a peacemaker…the willingness to let go of an imagined, or real slight in order to maintain peace in your household, relationship or heart; the first one to pursue peace regardless of who struck the first word punch. Ok, this may seem a little quirky, but something has to be said about pride. When pride gets in the mix, it can ruin absolutely everything! Pride says, “I am not going to relent, I don’t care if hades freezes over, they can offer me a million dollars, or it rains cats and dogs! I will not forgive them!” Let’s look at a scripture that talks about pride, yes, we are still on the subject of “anger” but there are a few factors behind this interesting emotion. Let’s look at pride. Proverbs 11:2 says “When pride comes, then comes shame”; Proverbs 8:13 “The fear of the Lord is to hate evil; pride and arrogance and the evil way”…Proverbs 14:3 “In the mouth of a fool is a rod of pride, but the lips of the wise will preserve them”. And I am sure most of us have heard this one a few times: “Pride goes before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall, Proverbs 16:18; 1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life—is not of the Father, but of the world”. Pride is defined as (H-2087) arrogance; presumptuously, pride, proud (man), insolence.

Someone has to be humble enough to walk in forgiveness. My husband and I have wonderful times of exciting conversation in our many, many years of marriage. One of us may be right and one of us may be wrong. But someone has to choose to be a “peacemaker”. (Remember the definition). This simply means, saying, “I am sorry”, or I didn’t mean to hurt you, or let’s go get some dessert, are different ways to walk in forgiveness. I am not saying don’t communicate about the issue; however, don’t let anger ruin your relationship because of one little or big thing. Keep the doors of communication open. Compromise is not a dirty word. My husband and I believe marriage is 100% for him and 100% for me, not 50/50. Communication is work and if you are not communicating effectively, things can build up over time and eventually explode even over a small issue. My husband and I have to work on our communication daily, however, you have to know when to discuss certain things by setting the atmosphere, having a willingness to talk peaceably, listen with your heart as well as with your ears and sometimes you have to take time to step back to process what you have just heard. It’s okay to give each other a little space to think things over. You know what else is really good? Writing a letter to your loved one to explain how you feel about a situation. There are many ways to overcome the battlefield to turn it into a playground. You must be willing to forgive, communicate and continue to walk in love. Pray together to get past the hurt and anger. Locate scriptures that pertain to your issue and “craft” a prayer that speaks specifically to the issue. Thank the Lord for bringing you two together, and add all the other blessings you can think of. This will take your mind off of the offense as well as yourself. Again, communicate with your spouse. You may have to lower your voice or write a letter to get the message across, in other words make time to communicate with each other to understand and know each other. Being angry at each for any reason is not worth ruining your relationship with your spouse. Locate the common ground to discuss issues, be willing to compromise. 1 Corinthians says “Love never fails”. I choose to believe that no matter what. Yes, sometimes it can be difficult, but when you have a husband and wife who are determined love each other, it makes all the difference in the world.

Davina Stallworth

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