A couple months after Gavin and I were into our healing process, I started noticing that I was angry. All the time. And it was usually over little things that had nothing to do with the initial betrayal. I remember flying off the handle one day because he asked me a question about the laundry. I screamed at him and cried "Why am I never good enough!!??" We ended up in a knock-down drag-out fight... over laundry. I realized at that moment that I needed help figuring this out. I met with our counselor and she helped me understand that it wasn't the laundry that was upsetting me, but rather the messages behind Gavin's question. Unintentionally, he made me feel like a bad wife, like I wasn't doing a good job. And these messages DID stem from the initial betrayal. When I learned that he'd been looking at pornography and pursuing a relationship with another woman, I felt like a bad wife. Like I wasn't good enough to keep him just with me. There must have been something wrong with me that drove him into the "arms" of other women. The messages were lies from the Enemy. They were so subtle that I didn't notice until there was an uprising of anger in my life. I had to begin dealing with my anger differently. Here's what I've learned to do:
1) As soon as I recognize I'm angry, I try to stop and ask myself what I'm really mad about. Am I upset about the laundry, or do I think my husband thinks I'm a terrible housekeeper? Am I upset that the kids are being loud in the restaurant, or am I worried that others will think I'm a bad mother? And from there I can decide if this is worth being angry about.
2) I apologize. Yes my husband did some bad things. Yes there's been times when I wanted to punch him in the face! But I am responsible for controlling myself. God gives me that ability through His Holy Spirit. And I can have self-control and choose to glorify God through my response. When I don't, I apologize. I'm honest and I do it right away. Whether it's apologizing to my husband, my kids, or the cashier at Walgreens, I apologize.
3) I pray over the issues in my life that are sensitive. My feelings of self-worth as a wife, mother, and woman. And I ask God to help me improve the things that need improving, and enjoy the things that are going well. I have to pray and keep my thoughts captive.
Over the last few months my anger has lessened and my responses are more self-controlled. The more time I spend focusing on the Lord in prayer and in His Word, the less time I spend acting out in wrath. And in turn, less time I spend acting out in anger, the more time I have to absolutely adore my family! That doesn't mean that I don't still occassionally find myself overwhelmed with emotions, but I am getting much better at identifying the root problem and dealing with it in a much less destructive way.
Walking in Freedom,
Tags: anger prayer self-control self-worth wrath sin
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