I grabbed my phone and took a picture of the strange light (don’t worry, the van was parked) and I sent the picture to my husband, Jeff, with the question: Any idea what (!) means?
He texted back and said it meant either a flat tire or a tire that’s getting low on air. So I stepped out to examine all four tires, and sure enough, one was quite low. It had a slow leak.
Those flickering lights on the dashboard tell us when something needs tending. Maybe the car is low on fuel. Maybe the car is leaking oil. The lights on the dashboard help us intervene before we end up with a flat tire, run out of gas, or worse, blow up the engine.
Our emotions are like those lights on a dashboard. They indicate that something is going on, deep within our hearts.
If you been married for more than a month, or even a week, then you know that sometimes we can feel angry toward our spouse, and sometimes they feel angry toward us. Anger is a natural emotional response to a disappointment or hurt.
Paul says in Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry and do not sin. Don’t let the sun go down on your anger” (HCSB). So it’s one thing to be angry. It’s another thing to sin in our anger. I don’t know about you, but my first instinct is to respond to someone else’s anger with my own. Heat fuels heat. Until everything burns down. And nothing can suffocate your marriage like anger that boils over into words and actions.
But anger doesn’t have to mean danger if we see it as an indicator.
When we experience the normal emotion of anger, it’s like a light on a dashboard. Our anger indicates that something is going on under the hood. Maybe we’ve been wronged. Or maybe we have an unmet expectation. Sometimes we aren’t even aware we had an expectation until we’re angry it didn’t get met!
During the early years of our marriage, I sometimes became angry with my husband over a perceived hurt by him, only to discover later that the real source of my hurt was an unmet expectation—and it was an expectation I never communicated to my husband and he had no clue about! How unfair to him!
So whenever I feel hurt or angry, I’ve learned over the years to spend time talking to God about it first.
I ask God to show me the nature of my hurt, the source of my anger. Most of the time the nature of my hurt is revealed, and I can move forward, dealing with the real issue without any anger seeping into the situation. And on the rare occasion when I can’t readily pinpoint the source of my hurt or anger, the time I spend talking to God in prayer helps me to take a breath and step back and try to see the situation from another point of view. Then I can approach my husband with honest questions, rather than angry accusations.The surest way to breathe life into your marriage is to give everything to God in prayer. Click To Tweet
One of the wisest things we’ve done in our marriage is to view negatives emotions, like anger, as an indicator of something deeper; then we can investigate the real issue without emotions getting in the way.
How do you handle those moments in marriage when anger arises?
Anger doesn’t have to mean danger if we see it as an indicator. Click To Tweet Emotions are like the lights on a dashboard. They indicate that something is going on, deep within our hearts. Click To Tweet
Denise is the author of the new Bible study series Word Writers and the host of the Deeper Waters Retreat. She enjoys serving as the Editorial Coordinator for (in)courage, and she blogs at Embracing Grace and Truth, where she writes about the faith, motherhood, and writing. When she’s not teaching in the classroom or at conferences, she’s trying to find shade in sunny Southern California while sharing life with her husband and three kids.
♥And it get’s even better – Denise is giving away 2 copies of her new Word Writers book on Ephesians, just in time for the online study which begins October 24th!! Are you interested in experiencing Scripture in a deeper way? Be sure to visit wordwriters.us and download the reading plan. You’re also invited to join the Philippians Study which started on September 12th…don’t worry, you’re never too late to study scripture!
♥To be entered into the random drawing for the giveaway please leave a comment for Denise. Be sure to return next Tuesday, for our last week of the Marriage Matters Series, and we’ll announce the winners.
Marriage Matters Series Continues…
♥If you missed previous weeks with Lori Schumaker and Crystal Storms, you can catch up here!
Join @CrystalTwaddell on 9/27 for How to Nurture a Longterm View in Marriage #marriage #giveaway Click To Tweet
Next Week ~ Ruth Schwenk will be giving away a copy of her new book, For Better or for Kids to 1 lucky reader. Her new book will leave you filled with hope and encouragement as you seek new ways to nurture and deepen you marriage! Come back on 9/27 for the #giveaway!
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