Relationships, Showing love

Breaking the Anger Cycle

margueriteBanana bread wafts from the kitchen. My three kids’ bellies are pleasantly full of the warm treat as the sun quiets its rays through sheer curtains. The smell of fall fills our home with hope for the new season. 

A piercing scream interrupts the sweet silence.

My youngest child’s pounding feet shake the floor as she screams, “Stop it!” 

“No, she did!” the oldest yells toward me.  

I sigh deeply.  Another day, another argument. 

Does your house sound the same? Maybe you don’t have young children, but you know these heightened volumes and tight chest all too well from your childhood or those closest to you. 

I used to join in and loudly demand the kids to stop and go to their rooms. Or even worse, I’d yell, “Don’t yell!” with no results. 

Through desperate prayer and time in the Bible, God reminded me of these wise words from the Old Testament book of Proverbs, 

“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger” (Proverbs 15:1 NIV).

Now, we are putting this into practice. Instead of parenting from the other room, I walk to the room they are in, get down to their level, and say, “Gentle answer.” This is our reminder to stop, take a breath, and pray for help. We are allowed to check anyone in our home with this phrase. Sometimes we immediately change our tone and peacefully move forward, diffusing the situation, while other times, a calm-down break is needed. 

I avoid arguments, but those closest to me may experience my nippy words or harsh tone which demand my way. God’s Word says to be delicate in our response. 

Calm words turn away the burning anger within. My words and how I say them can either incite more anger or diffuse a situation. Often, hurt people want to shout everything that is wrong. This wise proverb says the opposite. Instead of spitting fire, we are to remain gentle and calm. Nothing good comes from one person walking away defenseless and weak, and another prideful and outraged. Calm words turn away the burning anger within. My words and how I say them can either incite more anger or diffuse a situation. Click To TweetGinnyQuoteAnger

God brings His peace into our frustrating situations, and we can trust that He will work it out for us. 

As I taste the sweet banana bread and sip my coffee, I reflect on the impact of words. Do they cause shame and accusation or bring life? Am I helping to shift an argument to a peace-filled conversation?God brings His peace into our frustrating situations, and we can trust that He will work it out for us. Click To Tweet

How are you responding gently to anger around you? Are your words and tone soft or harsh? What strategies can you use to make your answers more gentle?

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Meet Ginny Davidson!

Ginny Davidson's author headshotGinny is an overcomer, brain tumor survivor, wife, and mother boldly declaring God’s hope and peace. After completing her M.A. in Education from Grand Canyon University, she speaks so others can experience freedom from anxiety and life change. Whether it’s a conversation over a steaming cup of chai on her couch or sharing with a group at a retreat or Bible study, Ginny is compelled to share the message of the peace-filled life to a world of women plagued by fear. In the evenings she can be found outside with her husband and kids, attending dance parties around the record player in the living room, or highlighting a great book.