How should we deal with anger as dads? As I hung up the phone my blood was boiling. I needed a minute to calm down. I’d really let that upper-level-middle-manager have it as I expressed my discontent with their treatment of me as a valued customer.
As I think back on that moment, I have no idea what the issue was. I think it was my cell phone provider. Or maybe it was the power company. But, the fact that the memory is strong in my mind but has no details associated with it tells me two things:
#1 I felt strongly about my cable bill — electric bill — or water bill — or something.
#2 The level of rage I had experienced at whatever injustice had been afflicted upon my 25-year-old existence was perhaps disproportionate to whatever had actually happened.
I’m 40 years old now and working to be a godly husband and father, but anger is an emotion that rears its head in my heart way more often than I am comfortable with. Through the years, I have found myself startled and confused at the power it has over my actions, words and VOLUME of those words coming out of my mouth.
I don’t think I’m alone in this though.
I recently sat around a table with pastor friends telling stories about the crazy situations we find ourselves in as dads. We roared with laughter as one guy told of his son washing his dirty feet, after tracking mud through the house, with a full cup of water poured out on the hallway floor. His son had said, “How else do you expect me to wash my feet!?”
Another friend shared about his use of the infamous “angry whisper” with his kids while shopping with his family. We laughed about these moments after the fact. But in the moment, the tantalizing seduction of control expressed in an outburst of anger was something all of us were sobered by. We’re all in different stages of parenting, but anger is an area we hunger to see redeemed.
My wife and I have been in ministry together for our