In this audio talk, Winston Smith argues that anger is inevitable in marriage: learning to resolve it constructively takes wisdom for husbands and wives. The experience of anger in marriage is deceptive and confusing – it feels powerful, but it leaves you weak. It feels honest, but is full of lies. It promises change, but it leaves you stuck. It seems simple, but it is complex and confusing. Smith covers some aspects of anger within marriage: 1.) Anger is seductive – a feeling that something very important is being threatened – it promises something that it can’t deliver; 2.) Anger is shameful – we attempt to find alternate ways to express our anger; 3.) Anger is painful – it inflicts fear in the person on the receiving end; and 4.) Anger controls – as you live before the eyes of the angry person, you end up living less and less before the eyes of the Lord.
Smith argues that the cross is an expression of redeeming anger. Smith then examines five qualities of God’s anger: 1.) God’s anger is a redeeming anger (it doesn’t destroy what is already broken but repairs what needs to be repaired); 2.) God’s anger attacks what threatens His marriage relationship (God’s anger attacks sin); 3.) God’s anger is honest and invites honesty; 4.) God’s anger is patient and timely; and 5.) God’s anger is sacrificial. Our goal is not to be less angry but to be more Christlike in our anger. Smith ends with three goals: 1.) Slow down in your anger; 2.) Narrow your anger; and 3.) Be honest in your anger.
Key Scriptures: James 1:20, 4:4; Genesis 3; Jeremiah 3:1-3, 7:20; Hosea 2:14, 11:8-9, 13:4-8; Exodus 35:4; Ephesians 4:26, 6:10-18; Psalm 4:4 and Psalm 109