Yesterday while I was out running my errands I heard a commercial on the radio that clearly needs to be heard by every child, however, it bothered me that every child needed to hear it. It was a commercial aimed at keeping violence in the school systems down. You would have to be living under a rock somewhere not to notice the numerous acts of violence that have happened at schools over the last twenty years. Some of these acts of violence were false (phoned in bomb threats). Some of these acts of violence were bullies picking on another kid, but many of these consisted of a student purposefully planning a retaliation against all. The kids, the teachers, his parents, the system, society, etc. He goes to the school armed to the teeth and opens fire and helpless children. Every time I see this happen my heart breaks. I immediately begin looking in my contacts lists to see if anyone I know might have a child there. And I pray for all of those who just lost one of their little ones. This commercial was aimed to encourage children feeling an uncontrolled anger to talk to someone. It encouraged children to be on the lookout for those that seem to frequently have outbursts of wrath. How can children really be so angry?
It begins in the home. Believe it or not most of these children don’t have happy homes. Sure, when tragedy strikes mom or dad will come out and say things like we didn’t see it coming. Sure they will say things like they can’t believe that their little angel could ever do something like that. Mom and Dad make a public example of their remorse, often apologizing for their child’s actions and mourning with those affected by their sons outrage. But, what we don’t see is what is happening behind closed doors. We don’t see how mom handles the pressures of being a mother, a wife, a soccer mom, and working full time. We don’t see how the dad handles a disgruntled boss, being passed over for that big promotion, being downsized, or pulled over for speeding yet again. This past summer I was riding with someone. We needed to run out of town, at night. As we had a car with those blue headlights drive by, his rage came out. He stated that the best way to deal with people like that (and I am cleaning up the language) is to drop rocks, marbles, etc out your window and hope that one breaks the persons headlights. On our way back into town someone was making a right, without using the shoulder and another bought of rage was on. He laid one the horn (the person did have his turn signal on) and started screaming profanities. I was shocked. Rage was clearly a part of this person’s life. I began to wonder what life lessons this man’s children (who were all now raised) had learned. I imagine his children learned that the only way to deal with conflict was to lose control. (At least one of his children has been in jail due to anger issues while drinking).
This got me to thinking, what example am I leaving my children. I grew up in a home where anger was a common emotion to be expressed. Regretfully, I know that my anger has come out at the worst of times and I have sinned. What will my children say about me after I am gone? Dad was a good guy just so long as you don’t make him angry. Will they repeat the pattern of a rage monster when they get married? Will their children suffer because my mistakes. Or worse yet, will others suffer because I failed to control my temper?
My friends if we want a better, safer world to live in for our children and for our children’s children it is time we break the chains. Break the chains your parents shackled to you with their outbursts of wrath. Rather than blowing up at every little thing, start dealing with what is really bothering you. What is the real source of your rage? Unhappy at work? Marriage struggling? Parent is sick? I get it, there are real things out there that we have the right to be angry and frustrated with. It is okay to feel overwhelmed. What is not okay is to let this frustration boil over to the point where others are damaged by your hurtful words and actions. The answer, believe it or, is found in God. He is the God of all peace. Not just some peace, not just most peace, but all of it. Every bit of peace you need to tame that savage beast can be found in God. Let him take the reins. Let him take over your life and let the healing begin.