Last Sunday, the “Summer Love” series continued with a focus on the section of 1st Corinthians 13 where Paul wrote that love is not selfish nor is it easily provoked. If you want to hear it, you can get the podcast by CLICKING HERE.
One of the illustrations that was shared came from the enewsletter that ALL PRO DAD sends out. With regard to the truth that “love is not easily provoked,” here is the intro and the top 10 list that was shared. IF YOU HAVE DAUGHTERS, YOU WILL ESPECIALLY WANT TO READ IT. However, I would suggest that the principles apply in any and all of our relationships. Hope it is helpful for you.
Temper your Temper
According to the National Center for Fathering, when a group of teenage girls were asked to anonymously identify why they would not confide in their fathers, one of the primary reasons was, “He would blow up.” Other responses included: “His reaction.” “I’m scared about his response.” “He would start yelling at me.” “I’m afraid of what he will do.” “He will reject me.” “He will freak out.” In other words, daughters will not confide in their father if he has no self-control.
Dads – our anger is one of the biggest wedges that come between us and our kids. We’ve got to get it under control for our children’s sake.
Here are 10 suggestions from AllProDad.com for tempering your temper:
- Perspective: Anger typically comes from a very narrow place; expanding your view usually dilutes the intensity. Will you go hungry tonight? Do you have a terminal illness? Remembering what is important can help check your temper.
- Imagine yourself as a three year old – visualize yourself having a tantrum: Try not to laugh out loud when you do this. It could annoy the other person!
- Do something incompatible with losing temper: Some guys sing a song (in their head); some make a cup of coffee; some guys read a favorite passage of Scripture or a “feel-good” wise saying; others pop in their ear-buds and listen to George Harrison sing “Hear Comes the Sun” or Louis Armstrong croon “I think to myself, it’s a wonderful world.” Bottom line, you can’t go up and down at the same time.
- Walk away: Simplistic solution? Yes. But taking time to collect yourself is always a good thing. If you are really angry, go for a run.
- Call your mother: Or your best friend, or your pastor, or anyone you trust. Point is, refocus and allow yourself to be re-directed.
- Offer to get the other party a cool glass of water – then have one yourself while you’re at it: We’re talking about the application of grace. It’s tough to be over-the-top angry when you are serving the object of your wrath.
- Pray: Religious or not, this is a great strategy! A) You’ve shifted focus B) God now has your attention C) Prayer is incompatible with losing your temper.
- Count backwards from ten but with this twist: You’ve heard of count to ten. Now try counting backwards. It requires more concentration. Plus, imagine one alternative to blowing up for every number: Ten – “I could write a letter to his supervisor.” Nine – “I could tell him about the time I was a kid and broke a window with a baseball.” Eight – “twinkle, twinkle, little star….” Seven – “I wonder what would happen if I apologized, even though I’m in the right?”
- Inhale slowly, hold your breath for five seconds, then completely exhale slowly and wait five seconds before repeating the inhale and exhale three times: This physiological exercise is proven to reduce pulse rate and lower blood pressure. That might be all it takes for the temper temptation to pass.
- Write this list on an index card and put it in your wallet for immediate reference: The odds are good that you won’t have to read more than two or three suggestions before losing your temper seems a poor option, given the alternatives.