Anger Management

You never mean to use anger to discipline your children, but sometimes it becomes part of your homeschooling day. Perhaps you're too tired to get up again to reinforce your correction for the millionth time, or maybe you subconsciously model the parenting you received when you were a child. Whatever the reason, you find yourself caught in the deadly trap of yelling at your children to make them obey.

I'm sure my yelling must have made God cringe as He heard me destroying my children's tender hearts. Unfortunately, when they ignored the rough words, I felt like I was losing control, so I used even tougher words. I justified myself in the name of discipline, but I knew this wasn't the right way to correct a child. I knew I needed help. My anger was beginning to control more than my children. It was beginning to control me!

Finally, conviction came to me one day when I "lost it" with my young son. I still remember the day on the stairsteps to his room. Time stopped as I saw my son's frightened eyes in response to my anger. How could someone so small and innocent be blamed for bringing out the huge ugliness inside me? I never thought that pressure from situations beyond my control would push me to such actions, but God certainly revealed the worst inside my black heart. I quickly needed to learn some anger management!

James 1:19-20 brought me to my senses, "Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath: For the wrath of man worketh not the righteousness of God." On January 5, 1983, I realized my anger for what it was. I found the gentle forgiveness of God's correction and earnestly applied this same forgiveness to my children for the rest of their homeschooling days. Disciplining my children remained, but my anger no longer had a place in it. Instead, house rules and accompanying consequences for violations were decided upon as a family and posted on the refrigerator.

Does anger play a role in disciplining at your house? If so, do not give the devil an opportunity to cause you to sin any longer (Ephesians 4:27). Let Christ's love fill your heart and your home. "Let all bitterness, and wrath, and anger, and clamour, and evil speaking, be put away from you, with all malice: And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ's sake hath forgiven you" (Ephesians 4:31-32).

Father, forgive me today for using my anger when disciplining my children. Convict me of this sin and help me to always discipline in love. In Jesus' name, Amen.

Comments(31 comments)

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MARTHA S 11/21/2008 07:15:06

While this devotional speaks a great truth, it doesn't take into consideration, as most parenting tips do not, the exceptional child - or the twice exceptional child. Those are the children with ADD, ADHD, Autism and/or Asperger's AND are incredibly bright. These children mean well, but a list of rules and consequences will not be very beneficial. Generalizing parenting tips is necessary, and I understand that. However, it really (unintentionally) excludes the scores of children that don't fit into that mold. That, in turn, can cause scores of parents to feel as if they are failing. They are not. They simply need other strategies that the mainstream devotionals simply overlook.

JAMIE A 11/21/2008 08:37:47

I just want to know... Where's the hidden camera in my home? This speaks volumes to me today. It wasn't 10 minutes ago that I yelled at my children. I have a sick sense to want to "control" the way they obey. I find myself several times a day trying to mentally remind myself that they are still young and learning the proper ways to express their emotions. It is when they deliberatly disobey that gets to me. It breaks my spirit, and in turn my yelling breaks theirs. I try to concentrate on one behavioral problem at a time, but it is when they all run together that gives me a mental meltdown. I am learning everyday how to "control" my own feelings. Afterall, isn't my behavior the model for theirs? Thank you for writing this. I am so grateful that I came across this today. I believe that God really wanted me to read this, today as I struggle with my own personal dicipline. J.

WENDY J 11/21/2008 14:03:05

Oh, I sigh with a heavy heart. I, too, lost it....Again today! Some days are so glorious and feel as though I am so far from ever losing my temper again. Then it happens. I feel like such a failure. I could relate when it said 'I subconsciously model how I was treated.' I swore I would never do that to my children. The difference with me is that I immediately apologize and ask for forgiveness from my sweet, tender, lovey's. My mother never apologized, only justified and made excuses. A victim of her circumstance. Still bitter about that I guess. I once heard that anger is fear. That is true. I tell myself that I have to just keep surrendering myself and pray every day. This is key for me. To pray! I did not pray this morning! Mystery solved!! Dah!! Houston, Texas

DAWN S 11/21/2009 06:14:46

We can either do it Gods way and reap benefits for our children and our selves, or we can continue to make excuses. I struggled with this at the beginning of our homeschool experience,but through Gods amazing grace have changed to where I acturally will whisper when things get tough. This gets his attention faster without my blood pressure getting elevated. I do this with a smile on my face and his response is a willingness to my request. God is still the authority, hopefully I am reflecting his love to one of his little children.

VIVIAN M 11/21/2009 07:40:08

I think anger management is the problem - we need anger resolution. WE are not perfect and most of us have baggage from life itself - for which we have not forgiven ourselves and others. We try the best we can as parents of our children...normal, special needs, teenagers...all gifts from God we know - and He knew the struggles we would have parenting them - and He still gave us these blessings in our lives. Thank you God!

PAM E 11/21/2009 10:42:33

This devotional is so timely. Even after writing a book on family unity (Honor Your Father and Mother: How to Receive the Generational Blessing of Family Unity), in which I write about the destruction of "unrighteous anger" I recently attended a class on anger management at my church called "Healing of the Angry Heart" by Lisa Bevere, based on her book "Be Angry and Don't Blow It." I highly recommend it to all parents, but especially those who are home all day with their children. We have taken our children out of public/private education. We have insulated them as much as possible. We as parents don't want to give the enemy place. Our children are godly seed and they are for signs and wonders. Thank you for this devotional. This is my first year homeschooling and the daily devotional has been a great encouragement to me.

JULIA S 11/24/2009 07:07:04

Thank you for your honesty. I'm seriously working on my personal time with God in the morning BEFORE the day starts and it is helping tremendously. One area I struggle is in grading the work and seeing them not do their best. It causes my anger to flare and so I have to calm down and find a loving way to talk with them about their sloppy writing, incomplete asignments and so on. God's Spirit is strong and powerful and for anyone struggling with anger, just spend time in His presence and He will strengthen you. blessings, Julie

KIMBERLY B 11/21/2010 09:21:12

Praise the Lord for the honest transparencey of this article. When we began homeschooling I had more patience than I do now! LOL! Now they are all teens (17, 15 &13) and in a different "season" of their life, as God graciously reminded me, that I am in of mine. He's Wonderful, amen? amen! Something that helps me is to put myself in "time out." I go to my bedroom, put my home made "Please Do Not Disturb...Mom's in Prayer" sign on the door, close the door, and lay on my face and cry to God for help. He never fails. I have come to realize that my failings keep me mindful of my need for Him and His strength and not to rely on my own. It keeps me humble. I also think their teen years are unveiling things in me that God wants to deal with, impatience (I've told you this before), pride (what will people think if they...?), desire for ease (why do I have to teach/say this again) ...the list could go on. Thankfully, His reproof, correction and instruction in righteousness is to bring holiness and the fruit of righteousness, not to discourage or dishearten. Therefore, I, through His power, mercy and grace, can give to my children the love, patience and forgiveness that God gives to me! Hallelujah!

Alisa J 11/21/2010 11:19:57

As I set here in front of the computer and read today's devotional and all the post I can't believe how they hit so close to home. As of right now my two young children are arguing, screaming, and crying. I sit here and feel my blood begin to boil, I clench my teeth, and want to scream right back at them. I feel as if I could literally blow up. Day after day in this house dealing with these seemingly endless anger inducing situations. In addition to anger management and prayer; I think I just need a BREAK. When we are at home with our children being teacher and parent 24/7 it is exhausting to say the least. I do feel it is important to refuel by having time to ourselves. Unfortunately I am unable to do so. The closest help I have to care for my children is 500 hundred miles away. Yes, their dad is here but lately he works 12 hours a day 7 days a week. I feel as if I need help from God right now more than ever. I know my anger gets out of control and my behavior deeply saddens me. I overhear my children playing and when they are role-playing as parents and they begin to scream and threaten their imaginary children (stuffed animals etc.) I hear myself. I asked them "do I sound like that"? I already know the answer, yes. Anger is so hurtful. I don't want to feel such nasty anger or pass it on to my children. Thank you for opening my eyes just a little bit wider to this....I have to make some changes and now I have some ideas thanks to all the post. I will be talking to God much more about my anger and am confident he will provide exactly what I need. Thank you.

ANNETTE F 11/21/2010 12:16:48

Thank you.I feel like God had a hand in showing this to me today.

Shawn M 11/21/2010 12:35:30

This is my greatest struggle....I am learning to identify what is truly angering me. Daily I find myself adjusting the volume when angry so that my anger does not control me. I have fallen victim to anger's hold several times and I remain in constant repentance about it. (exhale....) I have been waiting for the Lord to send word concerning my anger and today he has..thanks for sharing..

TERESA C 11/21/2010 15:16:23

this has been me these past few weeks...the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak..I try to remember the times when my mom screamed and yelled at me and think of how I felt..and how my children are feeling receiving the same actions unto them...things are getting better only because God is being patient with me...I'm going to set to memorize the scripture that was given today...thank you Lord for these words.

JANET W 11/21/2010 15:19:02

Janet W I, too, have disciplined in anger during homeschooling. Proverbs 16:21b (NKJV) "and sweetness of the lips increases learning" became my motto and was very heplful!

SARA Q 11/21/2010 17:52:45

I have anger issues as well, I'm usually pretty good at keeping it together but there are those days that it seems nobody is listening to you and the only thing you can do to get the kids attention is yell, why does it take yelling to get their attention. It's vicious cycle, I yell they get sad and feel the same anger I was feeling and then you have to make it right by all sitting down having a family meeting about how things can run smoothly. Then a week or two later it all happens again. I would like to have someone...another homeschool mom would be nice, that I could connect with.

Jeanette S 11/21/2010 19:18:39

Thank you to "Janet W." for the comment on Proverbs 16:21b!! That is extremely helpful to know SWEETNESS of the lips is what increases learning. Getting angry accomplishes nothing and is not a tool to teach. Glory to God for that nugget!!

JULIE A 11/21/2010 22:46:13

I am soo quick to want to latch on ( what I can do in "my own power") to the ideas that were suggested to resolve &/or manage anger like: whisper instead of yell, anger management classes, books about anger, etc. All those ideas are wonderful, but I have to remember that I'm not going to make any progress in having sweeter gentler responses to frustrating situations without connecting with Lord. He must be my strength and the One Whom I run to first for my needs. I wish I always remembered that!!!!!!!! Why are you always soo patient with me Lord?? Thank you for that!!

DONNA J 11/22/2010 07:08:21

I love your devotionals but am disappointed that I can no longer receive them in plain text ... so I can't read them on my mobile device (don't have a smart phone yet).

JENI C 11/22/2010 08:45:08

My mom homeschooled me from 6th grade through graduation. Now I am homeschooling my two kids. She yelled a lot during my childhood and I find myself doing the same for discipline. I have had conviction in this area since my kids were young and have "worked" at stopping it but, the only way to be consistent at keeping peace in myself is TIME WITH GOD. Why is that the greatest struggle, to find time to sit down and talk with God? So simple but, I am always thinking of the things I need to get started on and end up cutting my time with God short and I pay for it the rest of the day (sort of speak). My flesh has more control than my spirit because I have not renewed my mind like I should! I love these devotionals because, they let me know I am not alone in my struggles. I need to go talk with God now......... Jeni-Austin,Tx

Jody F 11/22/2010 08:55:15

I think that this devotional was good for all home-school moms. I, too, resort to yelling, sometimes just to vent. I, too, then have to apologize to them and to my Lord. We are all sinners, we will not be perfect until we get to our final destination, but we must keep trying to get as near to being Christ-like as we are able. Until then, each day can be a blessing for us as we seek to guide our children in His ways. Jody

EDEN K 11/21/2011 08:26:44

This definitely hits home with me. I could really use some suggestions on how to discipline without yelling, etc. I was yelled at, screamed at, and beaten when I disobeyed (I was homeschooled, as well); I have no other models except what was done to me. Please list some consequences that I can use. Thank you so much. I have been convicted a lot recently over this matter of yelling, etc., but with no other ideas of consequences, I have had nothing to replace in its place; so now chaos reigns.

ELEANOR C 11/21/2011 12:33:55

Thank you for this devotional this morning. I am getting alot of comfort in reading the other comments. It's nice to know that I am not alone. I know that God was speaking to me with this and asking me to change my ways. I am glad that I serve a forgiving God and I pray that I can homeschool my kids with as much grace as he affords me. God bless all of you. Keep plugging along...remember it's a marathon...not a sprint :)

KELLY C 11/21/2011 18:01:35

This devotional comes after a difficult home schooling day. Thank you for your encouragement and for the comments too! Tomorrow is a new day that the Lord will make and I purpose to get up early to start my day with Him so that our day gives him glory and honor!

TARA H 11/21/2011 21:42:28

I would like to recommend a book for Eden K; it is called Spiritual Parenting and is written by Micheole Anthony. It is an inspiring book and one that I refer back to often, it is based on developing your children's character and consequently your own! It encourages you to model Christlikeness for your children.

MELODY D 11/21/2011 22:53:30

I am not unlike the other moms. I have unfortunately yelled at my child. I don't want to, I hate it. But what do I do when I say for the 10th time, "get dressed" or "put your shoes on" and they do not. We are late and they stall. That aggravates me. It's not like you can give a time out at that moment. So what can we do when time is an issue and the kids are 100% being defiant.

LESLIE L 12/03/2011 19:17:59

First of all, for Eden have to get the If/Then Chart. You can find it online, or order it at It will give you alternatives to angry discipline for various behavior issues. Also, go to for a wealth of info on parenting, especially a book written by Teri Maxwell called Homeschooling With a Meek and Quiet Spirit. It is awesome! I think just by the sheer number of responses to this devotional anyone can see that anger is an issue in most homes...and one reason is that it was an issue in our homes growing up as well. God does not want an angry spirit to reign in our homes! I struggle with having the right spirit towards my kids daily. We must not let the Father of Lies convince us that we are not making any progress and allow ourselves to feel condemned by our actions. In Jesus Christ there is no condemnation! We must repent and know God's forgiveness and then model that to our children in all circumstances. It is not God's will for us to pass on a heritage of anger to our children...and he will finish the good work he has begun in us if we choose to spend time with him daily. Many people have made this comment, and I believe it is the key to lasting change, spending time in God's word and in prayer to Him. We may feel as busy homeschooling moms that it's hard to find the time...but we cannot afford not to! Our children deserve the Mom that God desires us to be, and we can only find that person in His word! I will be praying for all of those moms who find themselves where I do, struggling with anger. To God be the glory!

SARAH N 11/21/2012 05:51:48

This is a major struggle for me and I'm going through counseling for it. The top things I've learned are these: * My children in their folly reveal the true nature of my heart. Yes they make me angry, and rightly so when they disobey, but MY reaction to my own anger reveals what is inside my heart * I cannot blame my anger issues on how I was raised. I am an adult and am merely influenced by how I was raised. I am ultimately FULLY responsible for choosing to react in anger * Anger comes from my own selfishness. I want what I want, when I want it, and when it doesn't happen I react in ungodly anger. * Anger management is a myth of an over-Oprahized, selfish society that tells us angry outbursts are the norm and that if we can learn to harness the power within ourselves we can control it. No. Holiness is the answer and falling on my face before God and asking for His forgiveness and life changing grace is the first step. The next is taking a good long look at our selfish desires and dealing with them Biblically while praying continually that He become our focus instead of us. * Anger is my weakness and Satan's foothold to destroy my life and my family's life. I can only place the blame on myself for saying ugly hurtful things to my kids, for crushing their spirits through yelling, and for being an ungodly example of how to love thy neighbor. However, even in the worst outbursts of anger God is there quick to forgive us- and encouraging us to "go and sin no more". We can be living examples of God's grace, mercy, and forgiveness. Anger management is not the solution. Loving God and our neighbors (including our kids) more than our selfishness is.

TRACEY D 11/21/2012 06:21:22

Thank you for you honesty and this is so timely as I struggle exactly with my teenage boys. I go to the Lord constantly with this, with my words and my yelling. Lord, help me is all i can ask. And I am serious when I ask. I have repented over and over again. I do not want to destroy their self esteem. And I pray that the damage has not already set it. Thank you for sharing.

D C 11/21/2012 07:26:06

I also have several exceptional children. IT IS TOUGH!!!!

KATHY S 11/21/2012 10:57:19

I used to get somewhat angry when my son was little. Not so much angry at him, but angry that I never got to sleep, relax or have any peace. My child has special needs and it was challenging. 2 years ago I found out he had Aspergers Syndrome. My heart breaks for all that he has to go through in his mind, all he suffered in regular Public school, everything. I almost never lose my temper with my son. If I get upset now, I just get silent, I figure it\'s better to just be quiet and let the anger subside, then speak. I don\'t wan\'t to be the person that hurts my son\'s feelings, kids and adults at the schools did that enough. I am the person he looks to for love and kindness, and I wan\'t him to be able to depend on me. I am only human, I\'m sure I\'ll make mistakes at some ppoint, but I try hard to remember that he has suffreed enough from other poeple, so I just keep my mouth shut when I get upset, or I will continue to try too! God\'s Blessings to all!

KELLY R 11/21/2012 11:26:58

To Melody D: I have found that when there is a time crunch or there are outside pressures weighing on me that it is difficult to keep a cool head as well. Here are some practical suggestions that the Lord has been gracious to offer me: If you find your children not completing tasks in an appropriate time frame, you can set a timer next to them while they work to obey. This gives them a visual to help them manage their time and gives you a clear discipline point if they don\'t finish in the allotted time. I find that if my children are consistently ignoring my request that I have not been consistently following through with discipline. It is important that we not get in the habit of repeating ourselves so that our children learn how to respond to God the first time He asks them to do something. Obedience is a major component of our fellowship with the Father. No matter what we ask our children to do, we need to be prepared to follow through with discipline bc it reflects God\'s desire for us to obey that we may share in His holiness. We have to train our children to respond to everything we say bc we want them to respond to God in the same way. We switched to spanking when my more defient 2nd child was born. (There is a precious story there but I\'ll move on for now.) Spanking your children in an appropriate way allows for a quicker discipline option than time out. It also reflects the immediacy and closeness with which God addresses our heart issues. It is closeness to Him that brings a change of heart not distance to \"think\" about our wrong outward behavior. Sometimes it is hard to discipline our children when our request was not really that important in the grand scheme of life (picking up that one toy, or remembering to throw away the trash from the bandaid they just opened) but God asks us to be faithful in the little things as well as the major points of life. We need to be in constant communication with God as to the heart condition of our children to know if a situation requires a moment with the \"rod\" or time with the \"staff\" leading our kids in a different direction.

MOMI S 11/22/2012 01:28:42

God just whispered to me loudly about my actions tonight when it came to desciplining in anger after reading this. Funny how God knows just what we need as parents ourself\'s when it comes from descipline from him. e does it in a loving but forceful way. Thank you father for showing me how to descpline in love rather than an angry tongue and a blackened heart because I had a rough day. I can only imagine what his day must look like.

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