Have you ever read a verse that said exactly what you were feeling? So much so that you almost didn't want to read further so your immediate meaning was not lost? If that doesn't make any sense to you at all; keep reading, I will explain.
I have mentioned before that my husband and I often have the same end goals in mind but we end up taking completely different paths to our end goals. Those differing paths can occasionally drive each other crazy and cause friction between us. Not so much the good "iron sharpens iron" friction or pressure mentioned in Proverbs 27:17...the other kind.
This is the verse that I read and I wanted to park on this weekend: Ephesians 4:26 "Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry-" (The Message)
Now I know there is so much more to this verse than the meaning those few words seem to be sending; but I admit, I foolishly camped out right there for a while this weekend. Who hasn't? Even the very first couple in the Bible (the ones who had the privilege of walking in the presence of God) did not walk in complete harmony: "Then the man said, 'The woman whom You gave to be with me, she gave me of the tree, and I ate'” (Genesis 3:12) I'm sure had God not been in their midst and addressing Eve's sin at that moment we may have seen a bit of friction between the two of them.
Not many of us (humans) take direct accusation well; even if we are in the wrong. It is our fleshly instinct to lash back and satan is right there jumping at the chance to tell us that we have been wronged; the situation wasn't handled correctly; or that we are justified for our anger.
But take a moment to read the verse in context:
Ephesians 4:26-27 Go ahead and be angry. You do well to be angry—but don't use your anger as fuel for revenge. And don't stay angry. Don't go to bed angry. Don't give the Devil that kind of foothold in your life.
Let's face it; the T.V. images of the Cleaver family from "Leave It To Beaver" are the exception (if they exist at all.) When I think of the most Godly people that I know here on earth I can recall a few moments of their humanness showing through here and there. I dare say that all marriages go through conflict or friction in one way or another from time to time. But as you can see from the above verses; it's not that you will never get angry or have tension with your spouse (or others for that matter), but what you do after the initial anger.
I chose to include The Message translation of these verses because I believe it captures the meaning of the verses beautifully. When we find ourselves angry, we need to take hold of the anger. Confess any part of it that is sinful, and move forward from that anger - if we choose not to; we are choosing to allow satan a foothold in our lives and in our marriages.
Further in the same passage in Ephesians it says, " Be gentle with one another, sensitive. Forgive one another as quickly and thoroughly as God in Christ forgave you." (4:32 The Message)
We did not go to bed angry (either night); yes,...no Cleaver family here...but we have recognized it all for the foolishness that it was and are committed to "being gentle with one another, sensitive, and to forgive each other."
The irony...I am leading a workshop this coming weekend on "Authentic Conflict Resolution." ;) Oh, God does make sure I have an understanding of the messages that He is asking me to deliver and He ensures that I am equipped with fresh grace as well!
Many blessings to you!
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