Yelling Is Normal...Or Is It?
Last night, as our family was relaxing in our living room enjoying our Sunday night "crash" our daughter made a side comment that made me think. She said that my wife and I do not yell at each other, and by that she means in an angry way (i.e. fighting with each other). This made me think about how many Christian marriages and homes experience yelling in anger at each other on a regular basis. Husbands yell at their wives; wives yell at their husbands; parents yell at their children; children even yell at their parents. It is, unfortunately, quite common for Christian families to practice this. But is it "normal?"
It depends on whose normal you espouse.
If you espouse the normalcy of pop culture, television sit-coms, and the world, then yes, it is normal for yelling to occur in every relationship of life, even to be expected, or even to be encouraged in order to get what you want.
But if you espouse God's Word, you find something different. Yelling at each other in an angry way is not compatible with the Fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5. How does yelling at each other in the heat of anger show, for instance, self-control? or peace? or gentleness?
How does yelling at each other in anger match up with Ephesians 4 where we are told that it is possible to be angry and not sin? Or how does it match up with the notion in Ephesians 4 that we are not to tear each other down with our words, but rather build each other up?
How about Ephesians 5? How is Christ's love for the church echoed and demonstrated in a husband's love for his wife when he yells at her in an angry, even demeaning way? Or how is the church's humility before Christ illustrated through the wife's submission to her husband when she yells at him in a disrespectful, belittling way?
Those are just three passages to consider.
For a Christian marriage, it ought not be expected, or normal, or even encouraged to yell at each other in anger. I propose that it is never right; it is never biblical; it never honors the Lord. In fact, James 1 tells us that the wrath of man, especially in a "fly off the handle and yell at each other" kind of way, never produces the righteousness of God.
If you think that yelling at your spouse is going to produce good results that honor God, then you don't know nor believe your Bible.
Some grown ups give the excuse that they grew up with parents who yelled like this in their attempt to handle problems. For them, they have learned that behavior, but as a Christian they should hate what God hates and let God renew their thinking and therefore adopt godly, Christlike behavior.
Even when Christ went to the temple and cleansed it, did he fly off the handle in rage, yelling at everyone? I highly doubt it, though he exhibited righteous indignation. As Christians we can too quickly assume that our anger is righteous and therefore too easily allow ourselves to lash out at other people, justifying our actions or words with "well they did/said...."
As a married person, your biggest problem in your marriage is you; it is not your spouse, your children, your co-workers, your church family, your pastor, or anyone else. It is you!
It is not normal for Christian married couples to yell at each other in anger, nor to yell at anyone in anger for that matter. God's normal should shape what we view to be normal, not the world.
Yelling at each other in the home never produces righteousness; it never builds up relationships; it never models Christ's relationship to us; it never honors God. It will (likely) produce angry children, bitter spouses, incredible marital difficulty, and perhaps put you on the brink of divorce.
Proverbs 16:32 says, "He who his slow to anger is better than the mighty, and ye who rules his spirit than he who takes a city."
Proverbs 25:28 says, "Whoever has no rule over his own spirit is like a city broken down, without walls."
If you struggle with this, then repent of your sin to God. Let God's Word shape how you think and live. And put on Christ with your words and attitudes towards others.
Don't let the world shape your view of what is normal. Set your affections on what God says is normal, and live your lives according to God's standard, for His glory!