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By Shela Ervin I never considered myself to be an angry person until I had children. In fact, I had considered myself to be quite a patient and steady individual until the Lord brought new opportunities for my patience to be tested. Call it what you will—feeling frustrated, irritated, annoyed, or exasperated. The reality is that all of these emotions share the same root: anger. In the context of motherhood, some call this “mom rage.” I’ll be the first to tell you that mom rage is not pretty. And if you’ve been there, you know it too. Unbridled anger, often aimed at an unsuspecting child or husband, often comes out in the most sinful ways and creates a terribly sour environment in the home. We know that in Christ, we are given power over sinful responses, and that we are called to self-control. So how do we overcome the mom rage that so easily entangles us? I hope you’ll consider some of these encouragements and find them useful.

Remember what anger truly is.

Sometimes, what we need most is a clear picture of the sin we are tempted by, with all of its disgusting distasteful details, to be moved to take action against it. So we look to God’s Word to remind us what anger really is.

Quickness to anger is folly. Leave it to King Solomon to tell it like it is. Proverbs 14:29 teaches, “Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly.”Mothers who are quick to anger are fools. I know we don’t want to be fools, so let’s be encouraged to pursue the path of wisdom and grow to be slower to anger. Anger is murder in your heart. Jesus taught in his Sermon on the Mount, “You have heard that it was said…whoever murders will be liable to judgment. But I say to you that everyone who is angry with his brother will be liable to judgment…” (Matthew 5:21-22). Jesus taught that anger is murder in your heart. Ouch. When I first considered that my anger toward my children was the same as having a murderous heart toward them, it caused immediate sobriety and sorrow. This extreme picture suddenly made me resolute to get my sin of anger under control. Unbridled anger suggests that anger is my master. If you consistently respond to upsetting situations with uncontrolled anger, this might demonstrate that you are ruled by anger. Another way to say it would be that you are subject to anger, and it is your master.Considering this, resolve to reject this lie and live in light of the truth about who you are in Christ. Remember what is yours in Christ. You are a slave of righteousness. It is pronounced as clearly as day that those who belong to Christ are now slaves of righteousness. “But thanks be to God, that you who were once slaves of sin have become obedient from the heart…and, having been set free from sin, have become slaves of righteousness” (Romans 6:17-18). Sin has no mastery or power over us, but we are now captured by righteousness to grow ever in Christlikeness! This is the power (and the reminder) we need to press hard against impatience, irritation, and anger. You have died and been raised with Christ. Remember that Christ went down loving those who hated him. Remember that he did not punch back. Remember the compassion he had for the lost. This is the Christ you have been united to by faith. With Christ, dear mom, you have died to yourself and all of your entitlements, just like Jesus went like a sheep to the slaughter. But you have also been raised with him! Jesus proved his power over the greatest forces of sin by overcoming death itself. This is the power given to you to kill impatience, entitlement to things going according to your plan, and a weakened pouty attitude. In Christ, we have great fortitude of mind and heart available to us. You have the Spirit of the living God. Ephesians 1:13 reminds us that “In him you also…were sealed with the Holy Spirit.” This reality is staggering. God is not only beside us, but in us, to enable us to live in holiness. The fruits of the Spirit are available to us! The power of the resurrection is ours! Take hold and press forward, Mom. You have love. “Love is patient and kind… It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful… Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things” (1 Cor. 13:4-5, 7). Remember to put love to work in your life as a wife and mother. These qualities are all yours in Christ. Pray for the help that only God can give. We ought to strive, but we cannot accomplish anything in our own strength. Don’t skimp on prayer and supplication for this area in your life. Remember that our God is a living God. He is pleased to grant the requests of his daughters for greater godliness. Practice these in real-time when tempted to anger.The next time you sense yourself growing in frustration or anger, jump to some of these considerations in real-time. Press in to remember what anger is and deny its power over you. Remember the power you have in Christ to kill pride and the threat of a sinful response toward those you love most. And pray! The Lord is honored in your fight against sin, and he will undoubtedly be your help and shield. In motherhood, God has given us many opportunities to test our faith and spiritual muscles. May God be glorified in our fight against mom rage, and may we see his power at work! Shela is a happy helpmate to her husband in gospel ministry, mom to two young ones, and creates goods & resources with hopes to strengthen Kingdom families into Christ until he comes. Further Reading:My Mom Rage Is Understandable, But It’s Not ExcusableWhat Our Anger Is Telling UsOvercoming Anger With God’s Strength

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