Make your own “anger alarm” (resembling a fire alarm) to help kids determine whether their anger is righteous or unrighteous. Discussion point: Introduce skills to help kids manage their anger.
Make your own “anger alarm” (resembling a fire alarm) to help kids determine whether their anger is righteous or unrighteous.
Discussion point: Introduce skills to help kids manage their anger.
This is a longer activity that can be completed over several days. The goal is to teach your children to manage their anger appropriately through prayer and by asking God to help them decide if their anger is “righteous” or “unrighteous.” You will work with your kids to make an “anger alarm” that is similar to a fire alarm that can be pulled in case of fire. Begin by using the discussion questions to introduce the idea that anger can be similar to a fire. If you have the opportunity, show your children a fire alarm in a public building.
A fire alarm is designed to alert people to the danger of a fire in a building and to get help from the fire department. Some fires, like campfires, are safe and helpful fires, whereas wildfires are harmful and dangerous. Anger is like a fire because it can be helpful, letting us know that something is wrong. Even Jesus experienced anger (see the story below). Anger in itself is not wrong; it’s what we choose to do with our anger that makes it right or wrong. Anger, just like a fire, can cause great damage and harm if it is not kept under control. The Bible says, “In your anger do not sin,” (Ephesians 4:26a). The Bible also tells us that anger does not bring about the righteous life God wants us to live (James 1:20).
Plan to make an “anger alarm” to serve as a tool to help your children manage their anger and solicit God’s help. The idea is to provide your kids with a systematic and spiritual strategy to deal with their anger. Follow these instructions to make your “anger alarm.”
|Righteous anger is being angry about the things God detests (Proverbs 6:16-20)||Unrighteous anger is based on sinful attitudes (James 3:14-18, James 1:19-20)|
|Pride or haughty eyes: When someone is not humble before God or refuses to admit sinfulness||Self-pity: Feeling angry because I am feeling sorry for myself|
|Injustice: When people are mistreated or treated unfairly||Jealousy: Feeling angry because someone has something I want|
|Idolatry: When people honour things in a way that only God deserves to be honoured||Self-centredness: Feeling angry because I don’t get my own way|
|Greed: When people do not follow God’s directions from the Bible and choose to do wrong instead||Impatience: Feeling angry because I don’t want to wait for something|
|Dishonesty or a lying tongue: When people don’t tell the truth or deceive others||Laziness: Feeling angry because I have to do something when I’d rather just relax|
|A heart that plans wicked schemes: When people plan to do wrong||Selfishness: Feeling angry because I don’t want to share|
|Feet that are quick to rush into evil: When people are quick to choose to do wrong||Over-sensitivity: Being angered by small or insignificant things|
|Stirring up conflict: When people do things to cause others to fight||Pride: Anger due to an unwillingness to admit that I am wrong or at fault|
|Sample prayer when anger is righteous:
“Dear God, Please help me to trust You with this problem instead of trying to take care of it myself. Please help me not to hold any bitterness or anger in my heart. I leave this problem with You, because I know it’s Your job to judge and not mine. Amen.”
|Sample prayer when anger is unrighteous:
“Dear God, I am angry because ________. This is wrong and I confess my unrighteous anger to You. Please forgive me and take the angry attitude out of my heart. I leave this problem with You, because I know it’s Your job to judge and not mine. Amen.”
|Sample prayer when it is hard to tell if the anger is righteous or unrighteous:
“Dear God, I am angry and I don’t know if my anger is righteous or unrighteous, but You do! Please help me not to sin or to hold any bitterness or anger in my heart. I leave my anger and this problem with You, because I know it’s Your job to judge and not mine. Amen.”
“There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to Him: haughty eyes, a lying tongue, hands that shed innocent blood, a heart that devises wicked schemes, feet that are quick to rush into evil, a false witness who pours out lies and a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”
“My dear brothers, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry, for man’s anger does not bring about the righteous life that God desires.”
“But if you harbor bitter envy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast about it or deny the truth. Such ‘wisdom’ does not come down from heaven but is earthly, unspiritual, of the devil. For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice. But the wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness.”