… as an excuse for your outburst.

From a series of posts on the topic of how dads should deal with anger.


Oh, hi, Honey.

What’s that? You’re gently but assertively suggesting that I was too angry with the kids just now as they interrupted my reading time? You think I should have been more patient? And maybe even answered their question or gone with them to see what they wanted to show me?

It sounds to me like you’re suggesting that dads don’t have the right to be angry at their kids.

Well, let me remind you of the biblical story from the Gospels during the first part of Holy Week when Jesus got angry with the Pharisees and totally took down their operation in the temple. And did I mention that it was during Holy Week?

He even knocked down tables, and I, well, I might have ranted and yelled for five minutes, but I didn’t disturb any furniture whatsoever. Actually, I think it was less than five minutes.

Yes? You say that this situation is a little different from Jesus’? Well, let’s break that down*. Jesus got angry with the Pharisees for turning the temple into a den of scorpions. Well, I’ll just point out that what the kids interrupted me from what was a quiet reading of this new Steven King book, which I’m told has spiritually thematic elements, and it was, as I say, quiet in here until they came bursting in with their news about The Frog! The Frog!  So you could say that this was . . . in a manner of speaking, a very temple-like room.

And their certainty and aggression regarding the Backyard Frog’s interestingness was, you have to admit, very pharisaical (Hey, I spelled that correctly on the first try!). And me spending time alone to collect my thoughts by reading was, if not Christ-like, then a little Jesus-ish, so my situation was pretty much exactly like the Jesus-In-The-Temple-Scenario. You remember that story, don’t you?

Hmm? What? Oh, Ha ha, yes, of course I remember that you went to seminary. It’s so funny that you think I don’t remember my own wife’s educational history. Yes, of course you remember that story. I was just asking the question rhetorically.

What? You say that the Bible doesn’t actually say that Jesus was angry in this scene, and that you once heard a sermon** that suggested that his action of taking down the tables at the temple was no more an act of anger than that of a normal sword-carrying person’s response to a venomous snake found in a nursery with babies in it?  Passion, quick action and destructive decisiveness, but not anger. Is that what you’re saying?

So, in short . . . you still maintain that I overreacted and shouldn’t have yelled at the kids.

I guess I can only respond with: You’re right, honey, and this is just another example of how a chord of three strands can help the other up when he has fallen down, symbolically speaking.

But I’ll only admit that if you’ll agree to admit that the Bible says it’s not always bad to be angry – you know, with the “Be angry but do not sin” verse. Which one? You mean there’s more than one? Oh, Ephesians 4:26 and Psalm 4:4. Sure. Well, see now, there are two verses that underscore my point! So you’ll agree that sometimes it’s okay to be angry? Great. So we’ve both learned something!

Yes? One more thing? Oh, yes, ‘Den of Thieves’ not ‘Den of Scorpions’. Yes. I knew that.

The scorpion is what a good dad doesn’t give to his children.

* Why, yes, Honey, that is a very vague reference to a Will Smith movie. I’m impressed you caught that.

** Hmmm? It wasn’t actually a real sermon that you heard, but you think it should be? Fair enough.


To be clear, this is a fictional scene. For one thing, I’ve never actually read a Steven King book.

In my next post I’ll discuss the Bible passages mentioned here a little more explicitly.

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