Sunday, February 25, 2018

Family Anger

I was blessed as a kid and didn't know it. This is from February 6, 2014.
Today, we were finishing notes about Jesus clearing out the temple over the animal sellers and the money changers in the Court of the Gentiles. I told the kids that anger is sometimes legitimate and called for, as the actions of Jesus were, but it's a double edged sword and lethal without purpose and self control. I told them I used to get mad easily in class and it would carry over to basketball practice which was idiotic on my part. I told them I would find myself looking for stuff to get angry about with players I really loved which was incredibly stupid. As I do daily, I showed a film clip in all five of my Bible classes. The one I used today was taken from the movie Fireproof which you can watch here: 
(You may have to copy and paste but the 2 minute clip illustrates my point.)

In the 155 second vignette, Caleb, played by Kirk Cameron, escalates an insignificant disagreement with his wife, Catherine, over a candle and a pizza into a verbal altercation which teeters on the edge of becoming physical. In one of my classes as I wrapped up my summation of the Fireproof segment, I stated that I never heard my parents argue or even have a disagreement. A young lady sitting close to me whispered, "I wish I could say that." I don't know if anyone else heard it or even if she would remember those words coming from her lips but it shook me a little bit. I grew up in a world devoid of conflict and bitterness. Our folks may have argued but if they did, it was in private. I should state here they did disagree over dressing (Mom liked it made from cornbread and Dad preferred white bread as did I) and my mother loved Stamps-Baxter church songs while my father gravitated to the more stately hymns. As far as any personal knowledge on my behalf, that was about the extent of their fighting. I left school this afternoon under the impression that some of my students struggled to come to grips with that level of domestic tranquility.

This afternoon, my brother, Dave, obviously enjoying a number of consecutive snow days from school in Kansas, listed on FACEBOOK some things he missed and didn't miss necessarily from his days on earth. I added some items from shared childhood experiences and we shared a social media laugh without ever actually talking. The ones Dave posted having to do with our early lives were, as I would expect, happy memories. No fightings or beatings or separations or threats or screamings or slamming doors or accusations or violence or belittling. The odd thing, that is how I thought everybody lived. I was sadly mistaken. I left the teenagers in Room 258 with one piece of marital advice and prefaced it with the disclaimer that I've never been married but here it is anyway:
Never marry an angry person. 
I hope someday they'll remember so their list can be at least somewhat like Dave's. Life is too short to be miserable and afraid.

Applicable quote of the day # 1:
Speak when you are angry - and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret.

Applicable quote of the day # 2:
How much more grievous are the consequences of anger than the causes of it.

God bless,
Luke 18:1
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