Easter, Anger, and Adult Children of Divorce

Though the peeps and bunnies are gone, I keep thinking about a movie I saw Easter Sunday. Normally Charlton Heston in the Charlton Heston as MosesTen Commandments is tradition, but this year I watched “The Gospel of John.” This movie retells the Gospel of John and when Jesus’ trail was portrayed I noticed two things:

First, with the taunts, jeers, cheap shots, and cheap hits they took at Jesus, he must have been tempted to wipe them off the earth. He easily could have saying, Who do you twerps think you are? Don’t you realize I’m the true Son of God!? Then ‘ZAP!’  and suddenly, Jesus is there alone.Angry by Dee Teal

Second, it’s amazing to me that Jesus didn’t get angry at his mistreatment. We live in angry times. Republicans are angry. Democrats are angry. Sports radio people are angry. Rights Activists are angry. Even those who think the Bachelor chose the wrong girl are angry. But Jesus, who had every right to be angry, wasn’t. “Father forgive them1 he said, just before they crucified him.

So as an adult child of divorce whose dealt with my share of anger issues, it would behoove me to view the actions of my Savior more closely. Case and point:

Jesus before accusers cropped“Now the chief priests and the whole council were seeking false testimony against Jesus that they might put him to death, but they found none, though many false witnesses came forward. At last two came forward and said, “This man said, ‘I am able to destroy the temple of God, and to rebuild it in three days.’” And the high priest stood up and said, “Have you no answer to make? What is it that these men testify against you?” But Jesus remained silent.”2

I wonder how different things would be if I’d remained silent instead of spouting off in anger. What about any of us? Would our past relationships lasted? Would our spouses be more open and loving toward us instead of guarded in fear? Would we have learned to let God’s peace direct our hearts instead of prideful words like “I deserve”?

To conquer anger we need to revisit Easter. Christ rose from the grave and anyone who confesses Him as Lord and Savior receives God’s Holy Spirit. It is the power of the Holy Spirit who enables us to remain silent when we want to lash out. And it is the Holy Spirit who guides us to scriptures that can help us with our anger.Anger, Handling A Powerful Emotion in a Healthy Way

If you are struggling with anger (or your loved ones or friends say you are), don’t not to try to overcome it yourself. Your efforts haven’t worked so far and probably won’t. Instead, invite Jesus Christ into your life and receive true power to overcome your anger.

Still not convinced you’re angry? Take this Anger Assessment from Gary Chapman.

1Luke 23:34
2Matthew 26:57-63

Photo
Keyboard – “Angry” by Dee Teal

Advertisements

Fighting the Fear of Getting Married

A recent Huffington Post article brought to mind a troubling conversation I had with a teenager with divorced parents. Our otherwise mundane dialog transformed when the topic of marriage arose.

I’m never going to get married.” 
Surprised by the finality of the statement I asked, “Why?”
After a thoughtful pause, “Well, maybe I’ll get married, but I’ll never have kids.”
Again, probing gently, “Why not?”
Because if the marriage didn’t work out, I’d never want my kids to suffer what I went through.”

Does this conversation speak from your heart? Better not to marry than to fail at it! Or is the fear subtle like the example in Brittany Wong’s article about an adult child of divorce named Maegan?

Maegan’s story of parents divorcing and remarrying is pretty common. However, it seems her folks made great efforts to minimize the impact of the divorce. Except for one paragraph, Maegan could be the poster child for kids that survived parental divorce well. But in that rogue paragraph, this beautiful, intelligent, and vibrant individual describes her view on marriage.

19th Sept 5 years of mariage by scribbletaylorI’ve realized that some of my views on relationships were definitely influenced by my parents’ divorce. I don’t value marriage at all. I have no desire to marry and do not see it as something to aspire to. I don’t think I ever dreamed of my wedding day like they say little girls do. This is not to say I don’t think you can be in a committed relationship but I don’t find marriage any more special than a committed relationship. It could all be because of the divorce or it could just be me.”1

Unfortunately (in my view), Maegan speaks for millions of her peers. I know. I’ve spoken with many of them. But, truth be told, the “I’ll never get married and I’m good with that” bravado often masks the unvoiced regret that wants to say, “but I wish I could marry. I’m just too afraid.

So how can we overcome this fear?adult children of divorced parents cropped

  • First, admit it. Stop denying that you really want to get married, but are afraid of it collapsing. And this is true for guys too. The Bible says, “The man who finds a wife finds a treasure, and he receives favor from the Lord.”2 But that is not the view of many guys.
  • Second, learn more about your fears. The fear of marriage is often embedded in the fears of inadequacy and abandonment.
    The Rodger’s book is a good resource on these issues.
  • Third, study what makes marriages work. Talk to couples who have weathered the marriage storms for 30 or more years. Take them out to lunch and ask them. Go to a marriage seminar like “The Marriage You’ve Always Wanted” with Dr. Gary Chapman.The Marriage You've Always Wanted
  • Lastly, don’t believe the lie that all or most marriages fail. They don’t!  But marriages that last require a commitment to learning, loving, respecting, sacrificing, and submission to God’s design for marriage.

==================================================

1 Brittany Wong, http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/what-it-looks-like-when-you-really-put-your-kids-first-after-divorce_5612a61fe4b0af3706e16e1c. Posted: 10/05/2015 03:43 PM EDT
2 Proverbs 18:22, NLT

Images
Engagement Rings by Valshak Suresh cropped
19th Sept 5 years of marriage by scribbletaylor