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So imagine you have a mid teen age kid and he’s into Soccer and he’s very good. He’s so good that he’s better than older kids and leading teams to victory and to championships. And soon you see that he’s acting prideful and mocking the other kids because they aren’t as good as him.

If you’re a good dad, this should be a cause for concern. What would you say to him to help take away the pride in his abilities and stop him from lording his skill over the other players?

Here’s what the father of the best Soccer player in the world told him.
“Come here. Don’t do this with the kids, because God gave you the gift to play football. You didn’t do anything. This was a present from God. You have to respect people, because it is important to be a good man, a good person. From now on, you must be this example.”

This is what Pelé (in an interview last summer) said his dad told him when he was young.

And when the interviewer challenged this, saying he must have done a lot of hard work, and it wasn’t only God who gave him the gift, Pelé continued.

“Of course the work is very, very important. That is exactly what my father meant: God gave you the gift to play football, but this is a present. You must respect people and work hard to be in shape. And I used to train very hard. When the others players went to the beach after training, I was there kicking the ball. Another thing I say is, if I am a good player, if I have a gift from God but I don’t have the physical condition to run on the field what am I going to do?”

See parents? Your words can have a positive godly effect on your kids. Even on those kids who are most likely to have a big head. And even a half century after you speak the exhorting words.

Go and do likewise.

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By the way, this is the first time I’ve used the word “Props” in a blog post (not to mention the title). I was going for alliteration. How did it go?

Our new daughter, Aimee Grace!

Sleeping Peacefully
We’ve had a baby. It’s a girl!

With Big Brother Carl

With Big Brother Carl

Facts -
Name: Aimee Grace
Weight: 7 lb – 10 oz.
Height: 20 ½ inches
Two weeks early.
Child count – 8 Kids – 5 Boys and 3 Girls
Child ages: 16,15,13,12,11,10,5 and 1 day.
Age of mother: 45
Years since her last biological childbirth – More than 10 1/2

Our family now has birthday on every month between October and April
And none between May and September.

Mom, dad and kids are all thankful to God who gave Aimee to us.
DSC_8733
And we are experiencing Joy.

Here’s my wife’s post on this subject.

Here’s my question for the day:

Think about the last time you were angry with your child. Were you in a hurry? Were you angry at that child because he or she wasn’t working on your schedule?

It’s too common: I have something I want to get done and I have a time frame in mind and the kids aren’t falling into it. This goes back to to the point of the last post, because it probably means I’m expecting too much of my children because I’ve scheduled too much in. Which is my fault.

A dad who is often in a rush with his children is a dad who will have difficulty showing grace and mercy in his Fathering.

Next: Peeling out.

Click here to see the list of posts in this series.

One more time, you can file this one under you-might-not-find-this-in-the-Bible

From my Hypothesis (1) explained in my last post.

Dads, if
(1) you are angry with your child in a certain situation, it means
(2) you think your child is partially responsible for the situation, and,
(3) there is a part of your brain that fears or suspects that you were partially responsible for the situation, so
(4) you’re afraid you did something sinful or unwise to cause this situation.

But what are you afraid your sinful or foolish action was? D&A1

Hypothesis (2) – you were afraid of one of two things:

1. You were afraid that in this situation you were expecting too much from your child, or
2. You were afraid that some time before this situation you have expected too little from your child.

Does that seem reasonable? Possible?

So – right now in this situation where you are angry– which was it?

And whichever it is – what are you going to change to prevent your anger in the future?

Next: A common situation that ignites a dads anger.

Click here to see the list of posts in this series.

Introducing the Anger Grid!

Warning: The following is my personal opinion, and I think you would be hard pressed to find it in the Bible. So accept these thoughts accordingly.

It is my theory that most of the time (for most reasonable people), if a person is experiencing anger about a certain problem, it’s because they suspect (or fear) the problem is at least partially their own fault. If something negative happens to a person and that person is fairly confident that it’s not a result of something foolish or sinful they did, then they may experience sadness, or want some kind of justice, but they don’t experience anger.

So here’s a grid that I whipped up using my extensive computer graphics ability.

Fault and Emotions

Is the grid clear enough?

The key to the grid is, we only get angry if we detect both ourselves and another party is responsible. If we think it’s only our fault, then we just experience shame. But if we have another person we can blame, that’s when we get angry. And this means that anger is a sign we are latching on to our hope that another person is to blame. If the other person hadn’t done it, then the bad thing wouldn’t have happened and we wouldn’t have had to feel bad about this. Do your best to scrutinize and be suspicious of this way of thinking.

Here’s the application: The next time you’re angry – check to see if you feel some culpability for the problem. And if there is – deal with your own sin or lack of wisdom before you deal with others. And this is especially true if the “others” are your kids.

Does that make sense? Does it fit your reality? As you look back at the last time you were angry, does it seem likely that you were fearing that the problem was at least partially your fault?

Next: What I think dads are fearing about themselves when they are angry.

Click here to see the list of posts in this series.

(Apologies for duplicate posts if you subscribe to more than one of my blogs)

I currently manage four blogs:

The Responsible Puppet – First Blog
The Responsible Father – Dad Blog
Revisiting MN State Parks – Reviews of State Parks
Fighter Verse Songs – The Ministry* I produce songs for and my Creative Outlet

But if you’d like to be alerted any time I post to any of these, you can now just subscribe to my newly created Twitter account.

I’ve got 8 tweets and 6 followers so far!

* Depending, of course, on your definition of ‘Ministry’

I said in the last post that in the judgment, no one will be told by God “You weren’t angry enough.” I mentioned this to my wife and she commented that there is such a thing as righteous anger. Agreed.

How’s this for a definition? Righteous Anger: Anger that is permissible, correct, non-sinful, right.

I agree that this exists. It can at times be useful. It can at times drive you to good action. Still, I don’t feel that a lack of this will be called out in the Day of Judgment. Rather, I think what God will call sin is the lack of action.

“You saw injustice and did not act against it”
“You knew that innocents were being harmed and did not speak up”

God will do this. This is what we should fear. But a man who sees harmful things happening, and works to stop them, and never gets angry in the process – he doesn’t need to fear God’s judgment (about that one issue.)

So once again, it’s not the instinctive emotion; it’s the response, it’s what you do, it’s how you take action that is the important thing.

And once again, in any case, I think it most likely that your anger against your two year old (or seven year old, or twelve year old) is best described as “Not Righteous”.

Question: Do you agree or disagree?

Next: The real reason you are angry.

Click here to see the list of posts in this series.

Here are the verses in question:

Be angry, and do not sin; ponder in your own hearts on your beds, and be silent. – Psalm 4:4

Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. – Ephesians 4:26,27

In many situations, Biblically speaking, sin is what we do after the initial impulse.

So lust is not the initial awareness that a woman is pretty, it’s the second or third or lingering glance.

Coveting is not the thought, “That would be nice to have”, but the dwelling on your lack of it.

And sinful anger is not the first frustration, or the first heating up in your mind as you are bothered by something; the sin is the staying there and the doing.

So a person can be angry and not sin. We know this – from the above verses and personal experience. You know you can feel anger and choose to show grace, or mercy, or patience. Or you can step away from the situation.

Dads, please note that in my main statementD&A1 I didn’t say, “Never be angry at your children”. Rather, I’ve said, “Never act in anger against your children”.

And how should we do this? Let’s look at the verses.

“Ponder in your hearts on your bed and be silent” – Don’t jump to act on your anger. Look before you leap. Consider how you might have been responsible for this situation that is frustrating you. Give yourself some time to cool off.

“Do not let the sun go down on your anger” – Resolve it. There is a good chance your children need correction if they are making you angry. There’s also a good chance that you have misjudged them. After thinking about this, talk to them. Learn about their motivations. If discipline is the just response, then do it.

But not in anger. Not yelling. Calmly.

And let me tell you what I think these verses are not saying: They are not commandments to be angry. In heaven when we are being judged, no one will be told, “You weren’t angry enough”.

Next: What about Righteous Anger?

Click here to see the list of posts in this series.

In my last post I suggested that it is possible and even likely that Jesus was not acting in anger when he cleared the temple. But I do not suggest that Jesus was never angry. He was, at least once. And what did Jesus’ anger look like?

I did a search of the ESV Bible and even though the Gospels are replete with passages where people mistreated and sinned against Jesus, I can see only one passage that describes him as angry:

Again he entered the synagogue, and a man was there with a withered hand. And they watched Jesus, to see whether he would heal him on the Sabbath, so that they might accuse him. And he said to the man with the withered hand, “Come here.” And he said to them, “Is it lawful on the Sabbath to do good or to do harm, to save life or to kill?” But they were silent. And he looked around at them with anger, grieved at their hardness of heart, and said to the man, “Stretch out your hand.” He stretched it out, and his hand was restored. The Pharisees went out and immediately held counsel with the Herodians against him, how to destroy him. (Mark 3:1-6, ESV)

Yes, Jesus, Son of God, Son of Man, Savior, King of Kings was at least once angry at a group of humans. And what did he do with that anger? He healed someone.

He was not destructive, he was compassionate. That’s how he acted out his anger. And how ironic that the Pharisees’ response was to plan his destruction.

Jesus was angry. He did not act in anger. Even though there were those to whom it was due. Dads, go therefore and do likewise to your children and your wife.

Don’t be like the Pharisees, be like Jesus.

Next, the “Be Angry” passages.

Click here to see the list of posts in this series.

I thought I’d mention that all of the artwork in this series has been created by my eleven year old daughter Adelyn. She is a drawer.

She draws scenes all the times and I find them to be delightful and expressive – I understand what she’s trying to communicate with them.

D&A4So I commissioned her to draw some pictures of a Dad being angry at his children. She has, so far, drawn four.

Her pictures are universally cheerful and uplifting, so this project gave her a different kind of challenge. I think she did well.

My daughter doesn’t normally spend lots of time drawing pictures of angry dad, is what I’m saying.

 

 

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