When the going gets tough, the tough get forgiving (Pt 2)

In Part 1 we looked at what anger is, what it stems from, how it can be good, and what to avoid when angry. Today we’re going to delve into why we should promptly resolve anger instead of letting it fester. In Part 3 we’ll look at how that is personal. Resolving anger and forgiving others doesn’t rely on them.

“‘In your anger do not sin’: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.”

Ephesians 4:26-27

Let’s look at the second part of verse 26.

“Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry,”

Before I continue, I want to clarify that by “sun go down” the passage means “day end.” In the 1st century, the sun going down signified the end of the day. So in regard to this post, think of it as, “Do not go to bed while you are still angry.”

While in some circumstances anger can be good, dwelling on the feelings of frustration, fury, and rage for the long term is unhealthy. Being angry with someone forces distance between you. You cannot be intimate and close (emotionally or mentally) while angry at them.

The longer you are angry, the farther apart you are forced. If you’re already in an LDR, this can be an unbearable strain. Not only are you distant physically, but you’re distant emotionally and mentally. If you have none of those things, you have no relationship. That’s a scary idea if you ask me.

Brittany and I try very hard to live by the principle of not going to bed before we clear up any anger between us. Sometimes it means staying up till 3am hashing things out, but trust me, it’s worth it.

When you both break through the wall of hurt and forgiveness happens, it is a beautiful moment. The feeling of intimacy is intense. It strengthens your relationship and your trust in one another.

If you go to bed before you clear up that anger, you can allow those feelings of frustration to grow as you play the fight over, and over, in your mind. Your sleep is restless, and dreams are haunted by arguments. You wake up in the morning stressed, tired, on edge, and still angry.

Okay, those are extreme circumstances, but I doubt anyone would argue that they feel great the morning after a big, unresolved, unforgiven, fight with their SO.

What are you waiting for?

Go! Make amends. Be the first to say you’re sorry for your part in the fight. If you were angry, apologise for responding out of anger and hurting them more. Doesn’t matter who started it, do your part to fix it.

No matter the circumstances, do whatever it takes to close that schism between you. Not for your sake, but for the sake of your relationship.

Is any of this easy? By no means. Brittany and I struggle weekly, sometimes daily. We are just grateful to have a God that is willing to give us the patience and love we need to deal with each other.

On to Part 3.


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