Date: April 25, 2016
Host: Jim Schneider
Guest: Israel Wayne
Israel Wayne is the co-founder of Family Renewal Ministries. He is an author, columnist and conference speaker. He is the father of nine and is passionate about defending the Christian faith and developing a biblical worldview. Some of his books include, ‘Homeschooling from a Biblical Worldview’, ‘Full-Time Parenting: A Guide to Family Based Discipleship’, ‘Questions God Asks’, ‘Questions Jesus Asks’ and his latest book, ”Pitchin’ a Fit’: Overcoming Angry and Stressed-Out Parenting’.
Jim opened the discussion by asking if there’s a difference between stress in parenting and being stressed-out. Israel responded by indicating that there is a difference. Stress is external by the fact that there are pressures of life that come at us from all sides. These can be financial or health pressures and more. The problem comes when we begin to internalize those pressures and allow them to affect your attitude and behavior.
Is stress wrong? Israel noted that it affects our relationships. In that sense it can be very harmful. It’s a physiological thing that we experience that doesn’t necessarily have a moral implication at the outset but we tend to act out based upon our emotions and feelings. So when we express that stress to others it can be very damaging.
The problem isn’t so much stress itself but how we deal with it. We’re always going to have some kind of drama or crisis in our lives, especially if you interact with people. We all have in common the fact that everyone is a sinner and that means there will be times when people will bend us the wrong way. These things, as James noted, come along to test us; that it’s the trying of our faith that produces patience and endurance. It’s to make us mature so we don’t want to run away from those things but rather learn how to handle them appropriately.
Stress is often a trigger point for anger. When stress appears we realize the implications. The result is an adrenaline rush similar to when we might be on a walk and we see a Doberman coming at us dragging a six foot leash with no one hanging on to it. Israel believes we really don’t have any control over those adrenaline rushes. It’s our fight-or-flight mechanism that takes over. That can move us into the realm of emotion. We then start making decisions, making accusations and using words and actions in hurtful ways. So it’s important for us to recognize these anger triggers when we feel ourselves escalating. That way we’ll make right choices rather than harmful ones that we’ll regret later.
Anger is part of a spectrum and begins with annoyance and frustration and ends in wrath and rage. Even the milder forms of anger, if allowed to continue habitually as a lifestyle pattern, can create and produce harm in relationships over time.
As the program moves along Jim and Israel discuss other aspects of the stress/anger relationship as it pertains to parenting. They look at the stress/fear connection, self control, where anger comes from, whether all anger is unbiblical or not, the importance of prayer and more.
To obtain a copy of ”Pitchin’ a Fit’ for a donation of $15 or more go to www.vcyamerica.org or by calling 1-800-729-9829.