Monday, April 20, 2009

Marital Moments Issue 31 - Do Not Let the Sun Go Down...

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, 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!



Rachel said...

Oh Shanda... this verse is one of the bedrocks of my approach to marriage. Making it our policy to not let the sun go down on our anger... forces us to recognize that we love and LIKE eachother still. It doesn't mean we resolve everything before our eyes close, but that we recommit to acting in love.

Besides... my feet are too cold to not warm them up on poor Mr. Daddy's! :)

Thank you so very much for your timely words this weekend. We are claiming healing for our son - even though it is a rough ride right now.

I'm sending Mr. Daddy to read your post too :)

Still Learning said...

Oh Good Heavens, we go to bed angry all the time. I wish we lived closer to where you are giving your message. Hubs grew up with very domineering sisters and mother so he's not good with disagreements with the ladies. Oh, me. Oh, my. I would love someday to be in that place where we could resolve the issues before sundown but when you can't communicate effectively it sure does make it hard.

Great post.

Belinda said...

Such a great post. We all need to remember that one. We try and make that a rule in our house. After almost 15yrs, we renewed our vows a month ago. It was awesome.....

Gretchen said...

We've gone to bed angry more often than I would like, but over the nearly 19 years of marriage, it's still a rarity, for which I am thankful. I've never regretted working something out (usually swallowing my own lump of pride) before bed, but I've definitely regretted "being right". All the way to the tears on my pillow.

Great reminder.

Transparent Mama said...

I love how God always prepares us before He uses us.

Kathryn said...

Such a crucial Truth, Shanda! In fact, my sister and I were discussing it last week. Anger & unforgiveness do give the enemy a legal right to exploit our bitterness. I pray that all will deny him the opportunity!

"Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with Whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you." (Ephesians 4:29-32)

Honey Mommy said...

Thanks for the great thoughts today. I love how much marriage teaches us about ourselves and how to manage our relationships with others.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for sharing The Message translation on that verse. And thanks for being authentic as always.

I'll pray for you as you prepare for your workshop!

Kelly's Ideas said...

You have incredible insight. I have learned recently that anger and love are choices.. When we choose to love our spouse and just let the anger go..miracles happen.. God Bless

Lisa Cheney said...

Shanda, thanks so much for your kind words:) you are just wonderful! i look forward to reading your posts whenever new ones pop up....this one stuck with me and i printed off this ephesians verse and put it on our fridge as a reminder:)

Farmgirl Paints said...

It's so good to be reminded of that truth. God only wants the best for us that's why we receive those instructions.

Thanks for sharing your life story. It's always nice to hear that other people are going through the same stuff.

KATE said...

Good stuff here. Bitterness is a tough one, I don't know that we have mastered the exhibition of this biblical truth just yet. We'll have things come up during "discussions" that were said years before, most likely because we never dealt with them at that time but never really forgot about them.