Anger at Home
I punched our dinner once. Yep, full fist right into the fish fillet before me. The details flee my mind of why on earth I felt such burning rage at that moment in our home. All I know is, in my foolishness, I can destroy a whole lot more than our dinner.
This wasn’t the first time I’d allowed my frustration to explode like a shaken-up bottle of soda.
Our sin impacts those around us, especially the people living in our homes. Proverbs offers us a word on how we impact the cultures of our homes: “The wisest of women builds her house, but folly with her own hands tears it down” (Prov. 14:1). As Christian women, we can choose the way of the wise, building our houses up, or we can choose folly, tearing our own homes down with our bare hands.
In the hours after an anger explosion, I sometimes wondered what my sinful anger would do to any children we might have later in our marriage. Or what it was doing to my patient and gracious husband? Have you ever considered how your actions impact the other people in your home? If you’re unmarried, you might wonder how your actions affect your roommates, or your parents and siblings, or the friends and neighbors you open your home to.
The Folly in our Hearts
Foolishness comes in many forms. Some married women are toying even now with stepping stones leading them down the road to adultery. A college student may be stealing money from her roommate’s sock drawer. But it would be foolish (pun intended) to stop at only the "big" sins.
Sure, most of us aren’t diving headfirst into leaving our husband and children behind and starting a life with someone else, but our sin is born from the same foolish place. The threads of folly in our hearts look like anger, bitterness, resentment, lust, envy, selfishness, unkind words, laziness, and rage. It looks like our resentment toward a husband who doesn’t help around the house like we want, our desire to shirk our responsibilities and indulge in a day’s worth of Netflix, our lashing out in words that act as throwing-knives, our self-focus—these are only a few of the ways we foolishly tear our own houses down.
Even if you haven’t struggled with something as outward and obvious as my punching a fish, your sin can cause an immense amount of harm to those in your home or family.
Bitterness rots us from within and causes us to act coldly toward those who’ve hurt us. Lustful thoughts take our affection away from our husband. Hurtful words pierce the hearts of our loved ones. Gossip encourages them to partake in sin. Our laziness neglects those God has called us to serve. Our impatience hurts the feelings of those we love most. And anger makes the home a tense and seemingly unsafe environment.
Children often struggle with similar sins as their parents. Patterns they’ve witnessed become ingrained in them. Proverbs warns us that we might be influenced to sin by befriending an angry person (Prov. 22:24-25). The same can be said about all sin, really. This is scary, but there’s hope.
A Better Pattern In Our Home
We will struggle with sin every day while we walk this earth. Wives will sin against husbands, husbands against wives, friends against friends, moms against her children, siblings against siblings, children against their parents, and so on. And though we should fight to live godly lives and seek to grow in Christlikeness, we have a beautiful opportunity to model repentance to those around us when we do sin. We have the chance to humble ourselves before them, asking for forgiveness and pointing their eyes to their (and our) only hope, Jesus Christ.
This is a better pattern, the way of the wise. A pattern that builds up rather than tearing down. It’s what opens the door to true fellowship and discipleship within the walls where our loved ones reside. It reminds them they too can (and should) draw near to the throne of grace in their fight against sin (Heb. 4:16).
Other practical ways to build up our homes are praying together, daily putting on kindness and gentleness toward others, seeking to overlook offenses when possible, and forgiving as God forgave us (Prov. 19:11; Eph. 4:32; Col. 3:13). We can seek to show the importance of God’s Word by reading it aloud, studying it together, and talking about it as a family (Deut. 11:19). We build our families up by attending the local church and worshipping together with other saints. Through the sanctifying work of the Holy Spirit in our own lives, the faith of those around us is built.
God is Still Working on Your Home
You may feel burdened by your struggles with sin and like you may never overcome it. I’m right there with you. Though I’ve made progress, my anger surfaces from time to time still. I take comfort, though, in the truth that the Holy Spirit isn’t finished working on my heart. He’s promised to finish the work he started in every single believer (Phil. 1:6).
It’s a great comfort, indeed. Though our sins have the power to affect those we love most, God’s grace is greater, abounding all the more (Rom. 5:20-21). And his grace covers our sin. But he doesn't only give grace for our yesterdays; he gives grace for today so that we can walk in faith, knowing he’s doing a good work in us and in all his children.
Meet the Author
Brittany Allen is a follower of Christ, wife to James, and mama to Theodore and three babies lost through miscarriage. She longs to encourage women to think and live biblically, making Christ their ultimate Treasure in every circumstance. Follow her on Instagram and find more of her writing on her blog at https://brittleeallen.com/.