Love…..is not provoked (I Corinthians 13 v 4-5)
Short fuse and godly love are like oil and water, they just don’t miss! Think about Jesus’ life and how patient He was with clueless disciples and hypocritical priest. Remember how He welcomed children (Matthew 19 v 14), tax collectors (Mark 2 v 15), and even prostitutes (Luke 7 v 36-50) into His presence. Reflect on His exchange with the criminal crucified with Him on Golgotha (Luke 23 v 43) or, after His resurrection, with the doubting disciple Thomas (John 20 v 29). Jesus is our sinless example of righteousness, was not “easily angered”.
What about you? What would the peanut gallery at home, the folks at the office, the parents of the kids you coach, or most important, the person who knows you best…. (your spouse) say about how long your fuse is? You have undoubtedly heard the bit of wisdom “Count to ten before you speak” if you are angry. Take that suggestion one better and use that counting time to pray and ask God to help you control your anger.
Memorize and quote a scripture verse such as, “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the doors of my lips” (Psalm 141 v 3) as you get into the pattern of turning to Him before you explode, you just may find your fuse growing longer.
LOVE IN ACTION
1. Think over the past week. What contributed to those times especially at home when you were most easily angered? What can you do to defuse the time bomb inside of you so that you are not about to explode?
2. Talk with your spouse about a good strategy for dealing with each other’s short fuse and/or for helping your spouse’s fuse grow. Of course, you can invite the Lord into the conversation.
Explain your anger, don’t express it, and you will immediately open the door to solutions instead of arguments.
P R A Y E R
God, why is it I can be far more patient, less easily provoked with my friends than with my spouse? Why am I more patient at the office, in the neighborhood, or even with the little league team, at pathfinder club, or even at Sabbath school class, than I am with my spouse and children at home? Please Lord, work in me, help me to become less easily angered, because then my love for my spouse will be more like your love for me.