Kent Evans recently sat down with Matt Morgan—author of the Field Guide Anger’s Antidote. In this post, not only will you learn more about Matt and his heart for dads, but you’ll get more of a feel for what’s in his field guide to help you overcome anger as a dad.
Sit in on the conversation via zoom and be encouraged while learning more about how to tackle the issues of anger. Let’s jump in and learn more about Matt, snag key takeaways from his Field Guide and additional resources to help you deal with anger.
About the author > Matt Morgan, M. Div.
matt-morgan-headshotMatt’s been married to Tricia for 17 years and they have five kids. He serves as Lead Pastor at Reston Community Church just west of Washington, DC. Matt has a BS in Psychology from Mary Washington College and a Master of Divinity in Practical Theology from Regent University. He loves music, working with his hands and being around water as often as possible. Matt teaches weekly at Reston Community Church. You can also find Matt on Facebook and Instagram.
Now, let’s dive in to the conversation between Manhood Journey’s fierce founder, Kent Evans, and Anger’s Antidote author, Matt Morgan.
Can’t see the video? Click here.
3 takeaways from the interview & the book
If you watched the above video, I trust you heard Matt’s passion for dads. Matt points out so many of us, especially the “good Christian folks”, don’t talk about anger. But, anger is real and it’s a struggle for many dads. We need to do what Matt talks about in his Field Guide:
#1 See our anger
#2 Source our anger
#3 Submit our anger
#1 See our anger
Matt points out in the video and writes more in detail in the book about how Eugene Peterson explains God’s conversation with Jonah. Peterson points out how anger is one of the most useful emotions we have. Why? Because it always tells us something is wrong. The problem is, anger doesn’t tell us where the problem is located. We wrongly think it’s outside of us—when it’s usually—and sadly—it’s inside of us. This is why we created these Field Guides.
Matt’s honest here. Sometimes, our anger isn’t complicated. Our anger may be super simple—we’re hangry and need a sandwich. Yes, it’s true, the same reason our child gets angry, we’re often the same way as dads. We must learn to pay attention to the basics.
#2 Source our anger
Matt doesn’t leave us with the simple answers. Matt dives deeper into the issue of anger. He talks about “sourcing our anger”. As dads, we need to take stock in what’s really causing our anger. Is it control? Fear? Often, answering this question can lead us to a more robust solution.
Fear for a dad can look like questioning yourself: “Am I really doing a good enough job as a dad?” Kent and Matt discuss how control and the desire for comfort often go hand in hand. You work hard as a husband and father, so you feel entitled to comfort.
But what happens when that comfort doesn’t come? When you’re tired and want to rest after a tough day, guess what? Your child isn’t going to see your need for comfort. Your child will be annoying. Sorry, dad, it’s true. Your toddler will cry—even when your tired. You will have to drive across town late one night—when you hadn’t planned on driving across town. Insert your age-appropriate annoyance for your child here. The point? It’s vital you can source your anger and understand where it’s coming from. Then you can move to step #3.
#3 Submit our anger
Here’s the clincher. We have dads tell us when it comes to anger, “Oh, I’m fine until my wife says this…” or, “I’m great until my kids just don’t listen….” or how about “All is well until my boss asks me to do that one last thing…then I go nuts.”
So, knowing the world isn’t gonna become easier for us—what do we do? Matt says after we see our anger and source our anger, that we should do the work of submitting our anger. What does submitting your anger look like?
There’s way more details in the book, in the interview above, Matt pulls from Ephesians 4:
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23 to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24 and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness…“In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27 and do not give the devil a foothold…Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32 Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.
We can overcome anger because of the GOSPEL.
Because God loves us—we can overcome this sin. That’s the narrative that shapes and teaches our hearts. The gospel is powerful and we can become new people because of it. We can be made new in Christ. That’s what Ephesians 4 says.
Finally, Matt asks us dads: “Is losing your mind working?” Is yelling and screaming and fighting working? No? Then turn to Christ. Listen and believe and sit with Christ. Christ knows and sees everything, as Matt points out, “Christ knows all the dark places. He loves us. He even likes us.” The more we believe that the more we change and the more we show others Christ. God’s love over time can and does change us.
Additional resources for dealing with anger
Blog post: The deadly sin of anger and how to eliminate it
Anger’s Antidote Field Guide
Field Guide Removing Doubt – How of overcome failure & regret as a dad