Have you ever considered that when you are mad your entire body can project your anger? Are you aware of what you are telling those around you with your body language, tone of voice, or facial expressions? I had an experience that has stuck with me for a couple of weeks, and it has truly impacted my thinking about what I do when I am angry or dissatisfied with something or someone; especially with my husband.
Every Saturday my husband, Gary, and I go shopping to prepare for his work week. He is an over-the-road trucker, and he buys food to take with him. Most food choices on the road are either unhealthy or too expensive, so each week we undertake this mission. I must confess that this is really not my favorite couples’ activity. I am not a good shopper, and my husband is very choosy and methodical. Let’s just say I’m not. I used to dread every Saturday shopping trip. Listening to him read labels, wondering if it was too expensive, or if some product contained too many carbs—this was mind numbing for me. In my head, I would be screaming, “I’d rather burn my hair!” I really thought no one knew about my inner anger until two weeks ago, when I encountered an angry wife shopping with her husband at WalMart.
While Gary pondered the disappearance of Stouffers’ breakfast bowls from the freezer section, I snuck away for a stroll through a dry goods aisle. As I walked, I noticed a woman pulling an overflowing grocery cart and bellowing something to someone I didn’t yet see. As she spewed her venom, she was doing it with her voice, face, and body. I could not understand what she was saying, but I could tell she was revved up. Tasmanian Devil comes to mind. I instantly felt intimidated by her. She was so fervent in her disgust, hateful attitude, and anger, that I had a physical need to have her stop. I then saw the business end of her cart being pushed by, I am assuming marriage here, her husband. He was leaning forward, his forearms on the cart, with his head lowered, and his entire body looked crushed. He was no small man, but this woman had him cowering behind this cart. I earnestly tried to think of a creative way to redirect her, but I could not. I went on to find my item and return to my husband and his mission. I could not shake the vision of this woman’s angry face, body language, or tone of voice.
I began to ask myself, “Do I do that?” Do I fuss and complain, intimidate, and override my husband’s will? Do I demean and disrespect him regularly? It was obvious this woman had real issues. She is not alone. Many women, even Bible-believing, church-going, ABF-attending, prayer warrior, women of God do this. This must not be!!! I was called to repentance and cautioned by this experience. It was reinforced by the following memory: I recalled a time when Gary and I were having a disagreement, and it was pretty heated. I listened to him; but was seething inside. At that point in our marriage I hadn’t realized that it was okay to share my opinion if done with respect and love. We resolved nothing, and both of us were mad. My son came into the room and asked me, “Are you mad at Daddy?” I looked at him and asked why he thought that. He said, “Because you are yelling with your face.” GULP. Busted by my young son.
Our Father’s Word says: “It is better to live in a desert land than with a quarrelsome and fretful woman. “ Proverbs 21:19
“A continual dripping on a rainy day and a quarrelsome wife are alike; to restrain her is to restrain the wind or to grasp oil in one's right hand.” Prov. 27:1516
Father, in Heaven, please forgive us for selfishness, disrespectful attitudes and behavior, and for not loving well. Deliver us from evil, and give us the mind of Christ. Help us to be godly when we encounter people or situations that disturb us or our routines. Let us not be quarrelsome or fretful, but longsuffering and content. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Amy Shatrick is an Akron native, and has been a believer in Jesus since 1995. She loves to study the Word of God and teach new believers how to study the Bible. One of her favorite Scriptures is Philippians 1:6, “ And I am sure of this, that he who began a good work in you will bring it to completion at the day of Jesus Christ.” Amy has been married to Gary since 1997, and they have three children: Abbey, Ben, and Rachel.
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