Lesson Four: The Anger Enemy

Many married people are deeply – and justifiably – angry. Abuse and neglect have caused tremendous scarring and traumatized their marriages.  Not only have some refused to share their hearts with spouses but others have been emotionally and physically abused. Adultery is also an insidious part of marriages, unfortunately even among Christian couples. Adultery “affects the spirit, soul and body, creating deep wounds” (48)  and deeply impacts the offended person.  Weiss teaches that in each of these situations, each person has a specific area of responsibility.  The perpetrator is responsible for the feelings of the wounded person. However, the wounded person is the only one who can be responsible for the healing.  This is an important point. If your spouse has deeply wounded you, it is critical that you realize that you are the only person who has responsibility for the healing work that must be done.  If you do not take responsibility, then you will be stuck and anger will be your constant companion. When people are angry, intimacy is not possible.

We must all be careful of the many faces of anger. It can be overt, silent and even hidden. Whichever, it is important to identify the anger, the reason for the anger and to excise it.  To do so, Weiss recommends that we “cleanse” our temples.  Using the story of Jesus cleansing the temple, Weiss gives four principles for cleansing.
1. We must recognize that as the temple of God, it is our responsibility to keep it cleaned. Our temple can become defiled through manipulation, abuse and neglect from others. We can also defile our own temples. However, it becomes defiled, it is OUR responsibility to clean.  Even if our spouses deeply hurt us, we must do our own cleaning.
2. Like Jesus, we must identify the sin that causes the defilement. I loved Weiss’ comments. He writes, “most people who have hurt you have no concept of your holiness and preciousness.” (56)  Sin misuses and abuses something that is holy and sacred.
3. Jesus engaged his anger at the injustice, verbally and physically. This is not a license to beat the heck out of people who hurt us. It is, however, a call to be purposeful in the display of anger at injustices. If you are going to cleanse your temple you must make choices about the way you direct time and resources towards that cleansing.
4. Jesus restored the temple to its original order. Like Jesus, we must take responsibility for our healing and do what needs to be done to restore health and order to our lives. Trauma affects us at three levels- spirit, soul and body. It defiles us on each of those levels. True healing requires healing on all three levels. It is not adequate to do surface cleaning/healing if you want to have deep intimacy with your spouse and with others.

Weiss describes a “cleanse the temple” exercise that I strongly encourage you to read and consider. It is powerful. (58-64)

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3 Responses

  1. I’m assuming you mean you wouldn’t want to read the book without your spouse? You can learn a lot about you and what God is calling you to do in your marriage – all by yourself. That’s the only one we have power to do anything about anyway. Come on. Get the book and join me in reading it!

  2. ur postings r making want to read the book. however I have to admit ill b deeply disappointed if I read it alone. that is typically the case.

  3. ur postings r making want to read the book. however I have to admit ill b deeply disappointed if I read it alone.

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