Have you ever heard, “Why are you so nice to people at church but not as nice to me,” or “You’re nicer to complete strangers than you are to me.” Why don’t we make the same effort to be kind at home? People at church or at work expect us to have a certain standard of kindness but should it be any different at home? It is uncontrolled anger that really blocks kindness from flowing at home. Kindness focuses on the control of anger. Anger in itself is not a sin but we can sin with our anger (Eph. 4:26). True kindness doesn’t stuff anger deep inside or bite its lip in silence. It acknowledges and expresses anger, but doesn’t let the anger attack the spouse to hurt, to pay back, or to get even. Ephesians 4:29-32 gives us what we need to do:
- BRIDLE OUR TONGUE AND USE WORDS THAT BUILD
Eph. 4:29 Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth, but that which is good to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.
- REALIZE ASIDE FROM HURTING OUR FAMILY MEMBER WE GRIEVE THE HOLY SPIRIT WHEN WE USE WRONG WORDS AND DON’T CONTROL OUR ANGER.
Eph. 4:30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.
We need the full help of the Holy Spirit to control anger so why do things that push His help away.
- LEARN TO RESOLVE OFFENCES AND CONFLICTS THROUGH LOVING CONFRONTATION RATHER THAN LETTING YOUR EMOTIONS FESTER AND THEN EXPLODE
Eph. 4:31 Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice:
Kindness doesn’t rule out plain speech, confrontation, or rebuke. These too are acts of Christian kindness. Jesus directs us to confront squarely a brother who sins (Lk. 17:3). Long-term kindness between imperfect family members is possible only through confrontation. To remain emotionally healthy we must acknowledge our anger, but we don’t have to give it free reign. Loving rebuke, when appropriate, keeps rising anger from turning ugly and blocking kindness altogether.
- TEMPER YOUR ANGER WITH KINDNESS AND FORGIVENESS
Eph. 4:32 And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.
Practicing forgiveness is a second antidote to uncontrolled anger. Genuine forgiveness faces sin squarely, without either trying to excuse the sin or minimize the hurt. It is a deliberate choice we make by faith and a refusal to hold this sin against him or against her.
- BE COURTEOUS AND POLITE
1 Peter 3:8 Finally, be ye all of one mind, having compassion one of another, love as brethren, be pitiful, be courteous.
Another antidote to uncontrolled anger is common courtesy or politeness. “Love is . . . kind . . . It is not rude, it is not self- seeking” (1 Cor. 13:4, 5). Love requires courtesy, politeness, and good etiquette. Listening without interrupting. Refraining from name calling. Allowing the other person to speak his piece.