Fear may be the first emotional problem ever to face in the family and it may even afflict more people than the second; but it is not the family’s number one enemy. That dishonour is reserved for anger, which sometimes takes the form of hostility and wrath. More wives have been battered, children abused and psychologically destroyed by the violent outbursts of anger than anyone knows. It is impossible to overexagerate the damage this emotion does to the family, marriage and all other interpersonal relationships.
Sweethearts rarely have trouble communicating before marriage. In fact, they can talk on the phone by the hour. But to destroy that relationship it only takes the angry action of one to set up a fear reaction in the other. And yes, they usually make up and renew their tenderness and communication, but the damage is done. Each has seen the other in his true light. Consequently, the spirit of free communication will be inhibited. The anger of one builds a formidable block in the wall that obstructs communication. The self-protective reaction of fear keeps the other from expressing himself freely, and thus another block is added to the wall.
Gradually such outbursts and reactions build an impenetrable wall until the former lovebirds are not really communicating at all, apprehensive that the anger of one will be ignited or the fear of the other will cause added pain. Tears, silence, and pent-up feelings all play their part, and before long they need counseling because “we can’t communicate anymore.”
I have learned that lack of communication is not just the problem. Anger and fear are the culprits! Come to think of it, anger, hostility, or wrath or even as the Bible calls it, “enmity of heart” or “malice” is as old as man. Doubtless you recall the first family squabble in the bible; Cain was very wroth (angry) and rose up against Abel his brother and slew him. Communication between them ceased. Cain could not tell his brother how he felt or what he felt, he got so consumed in anger and allowed the beast in him to take control. Ever since that tragic day, millions have died prematurely over little things that proper communication could have solved. The number of children subjected to emotional tension in the home due to the anger of adults staggers the mind.
The gravity of this problem cannot be overestimated. Anger not only stifles communications, it also ruins health. We need to get rid of our anger and stop being a slave to it.