Slow To Anger - The One Year Praying through the Bible for Your Kids

Slow to Anger

One Year Reading Plan: Ezekiel 37:1–38:23, James 1:19–2:17, Psalm 117:1-2, Proverbs 28:1

Understand this, my dear brothers and sisters: You must all be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to get angry. Human anger does not produce the righteousness God desires. James 1:19-20

SURELY EVERY PARENT has responded to his or her child with ungracious, angry impatience on occasion. We’re frustrated because we’re late. We’re annoyed with the attitude, the situation, the inaction, or the mess, so we vent our frustration on our children, justifying it as a need to teach them respect, order, and timeliness.

But James calls us back from the ledge of unloading our anger on our children. He challenges us to reconsider our sense that our anger is not only justified, but also effective. He challenges us to reconsider our assumption that the passion of our anger gets the attention of our kids and pushes them toward change.

What might happen if we took this admonition to heart in our interactions with our kids—from toddlers to teenagers to twentysomethings? What if we really believed that our anger does not, in fact, produce the righteousness God desires in us or in our children but actually does damage? What if we were willing to change the rhythm and pattern of our instinctive anger and replace it with an inclination to listen—to draw out what is really going on in the hearts of our children? What would happen if, instead of venting our accusations and complaints, we slowed down before responding, making sure our words were kind and tender? What if we were slow to speak and instead took time to listen, to see, to love, and to change our response to one of grace?

In essence, James is calling us to parent in the way that we have been parented by God. “The LORD is compassionate and merciful, slow to get angry and filled with unfailing love. . . . The LORD is like a father to his children, tender and compassionate to those who fear him. For he knows how weak we are; he remembers we are only dust” (Psalm 103:8, 13-14).

Lord, you are our model for parenting our children. When we are at our worst, you are never on your last nerve. You are slow to get angry, filled with love and tenderness. Fill us with your love, your tenderness, and your patience so we can shower it on ________.

From the Book:

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The One Year Praying through the Bible for Your Kids
By Nancy Guthrie with Sinclair B. Gerguson

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