Anger is an emotion that is common to every person.
Because we are imperfect people in an imperfect world,
we are guaranteed to regularly encounter this emotion.
The Anger Workbook by Les Carter, Ph.D and Frank Minirth, M.D.
Looking back at our childhoods has been very beneficial for Dave and I when dealing with our anger issues. We can easily see how we learned the pattern of Oppressor and Suppressor from the homes where we were raised. Both were loving, for which we are forever thankful, but neither was exactly healthy in the way that anger was expressed.
For me, I grew up in a very affirming home. It was not perfect by no means, but my mother was affirming in both her love and discipline of me. I was taught never to intentionally hurt anyone’s feelings which is why I learned early on to suppress my anger because I never wanted to cause anyone to feel the pain that I did when someone was angry with me. Whenever I felt anger I would cry instead of rage – I hated feeling anger and I hated anger expressed to me. Thus, I would cower, withdraw, and suppress – so destructive for me.
Dave was raised in a totally different family. His family was not afraid to express their anger and as a result, was not very affirming. He felt free to express his anger and felt justified to show me how I could be a “better” person because that was the way he was raised. He called it constructive criticism. He sincerely felt his criticism was helping me and our children. While his heart was in the right place, the effects of his patterns that he learned in his childhood were destructive to himself and those he loved.
But to combine these two scenarios was a devastating cocktail for me and Dave – it led to my depression. When I started searching for the root of my depression, I discovered the anger that I never knew existed within my heart. This discovery over the past year, has led me to a miracle healing of my heart.
Struggling with anger? Pray and ask the Holy Spirit to show you how those patterns developed.
And this same God, who takes care of me
will supply all your needs from his glorious riches,
which have been given to us in Christ Jesus.
PHILIPPIANS 4:19 (NLT)
On the journey with you,