Teach your men about anger. Anger is a gender issue. As many as 3,000,000 women a year are physically abused by their husbands or boyfriends (2% per year). Of all the people incarcerated, 93% are male. Men commit suicide 300% more often than women. Depression has been described as "frozen rage."
Some anger is righteous and needed, but most is not. Challenge your men to figure out if they "get angry" or have "an angry spirit." Anger is "a strong feeling of displeasure and belligerence aroused by a real or perceived wrong." An angry spirit, on the other hand, is "the state of always feeling displeasure and belligerence aroused by real or perceived wrongs."
To have an angry spirit is to be easily provoked to anger. Ecclesiastes 7:9 says:
"Do not be quickly provoked in your spirit, for anger resides in the lap of fools."
Most men with an angry spirit have not been fathered (or mothered) well.
Personally, when teaching on anger in 2007, I felt compelled to write a letter to my adult children. In that letter I confessed that I had "an angry spirit" when they were growing up and asked their forgiveness. By God’s grace, he has healed me of an angry spirit, and my children readily extended forgiveness. I had to work this out with my wife too. Professional Christian counseling was a big help. Tell your men that their pride may make it hard to humble themselves and ask forgiveness. But the joy of reconciliation and wholeness is well worth it.
Help men to overcome denial of an angry spirit, to repent, to grieve what could have been (e.g., with their fathers), and to not succumb to a victim mentality. God is big enough to work it out. Help them be doers of the Word.
You can hear what else I have to say about anger by going to The Man in the Mirror Bible Study Online and scroll to the 10/26/2007 message entitled, "Anger" from The Man in the Mirror "Remix" series.
Yours for changed lives,
Patrick Morley, Ph.D.
Man in the Mirror