faith, Family

How To Make Matters Worse: Act Out Of Your Emotions

couple storm

This article is entirely from Dr. Raymond Force, but it resonated with me enough that I wanted to share it with you here. You know that part of healthy living includes our relationships and for many of us the most important relationship we have (besides our relationship with God) is with our spouse. I trust this will encourage you as it does me.

I have been a Christian since the age of 17 and my flesh is no more saved today than the first day I came to Christ. Though it’s a little frustrating at times, it was also the admission of the apostle Paul when he said “in me (that is, in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing.” (Romans 7:18)

That said, I will also have to admit that there are times when emotional hurricanes come through my soul that could destroy my family and myself if I do not take cover as I should.

Here are a few tips for those times when your emotions are swirling and you feel as if you are about to do the worst thing possible, act out of your emotions:

Never make any major decisions when you are upset

I have heard countless people say things like “I’m getting a divorce”, “That’s it. We’re through!”, or “I’m never opening my heart to you again.” only to have a change of heart just a few days or even hours later.

It is always best to wait and take the advice of Isaiah 30:7 when an emotional storm is raging within. In this passage, God literally counseled His people “to sit still”.

Other passages that have proved to be helpful during these times are Psalm 4 and Psalm 27. In these passages God said:

“Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah.” – Psalm 4:4

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.” – Psalm 27:14

Stay in the day

Worry has a way of casting a very dark shadow upon a matter. However, if you think about it, almost every time you are overcome with fear, you are thinking about something that may happen in the future.

Mark it down. We are commanded in the scriptures to stay in the day (Matthew 6:34). Once we get into the realm of what could happen or might happen, we are allowing our fears to take us on a horror ride to see things that 99.9% of the time never come to pass.

Acknowledge that your feelings are not a reality

Though your feelings are real to you, they are hardly ever parallel with the promises of God and the pure facts of a matter.

When you are tempted to wallow in your feelings, ask yourself the following questions:

1. Am I afraid of what I absolutely know to be true or what I think may happen?

2. Are my feelings parallel with the promise that all things work together for good to them that love God? (Romans 8:28)

3. Do I have 1000% hard evidence to back up what I am thinking and feeling at this time?

4. Can I do anything more than I have done about the matter?

5. Will it help me to dwell on this matter any more?

6. Are there people worse off than I? If so, maybe I should go and serve them during this time.

When my emotions are stirring about a matter, it has helped me to remember this little quote: if you are a Christian and you are sad, then it simply means that the story is not yet over.

This, of course, is true because God promises eternal blessedness to His people. That said, no matter how difficult the situation, it only means that there is always another chapter to be written by the finger of God. Our job is to obey and wait upon Him to bring those things to pass that will glorify Him and work for our eternal good. (Romans 8:28)

Know that your feelings will be different in a few hours or days

It is a great life skill to learn how to stay stationary until an emotional storm blows over. In fact, the fundamental problem with acting when you are highly emotional is that you typically end up making matters worse. Then the problem becomes a little more difficult because the recovery period is almost always longer because of the guilt you feel or damage that was done by acting out of fear, hurt, or anger.

– Dr. Force


A Husband Has 1 of 3 Choices


Here’s a little food for thought from Dr. Raymond Force, Christian marriage speaker and coach. I hope it encourages and convicts you as it does me.

A Husband is a Gardener

A husband is a gardener and his wife is a garden. If he fails to take care of his garden, weeds of sarcasm, anger, bitterness, boredom, and resentment will start to grow. It is at that point that every man has one of three choices:

The husband can choose to change gardens by way of leaving his spouse.

Although it is an unscriptural choice, if a man wants to, he can choose to leave his wife. It is not what he signed up for, nor would this choice correlate with the covenant of marriage. But, if providence chooses to leave him to his own devices, he can walk away from his marriage.

The husband can keep his garden, yet grow bitter about the weeds.

I feel that most men in a less than perfect marriage, fall underneath this present category. Instead of making the appropriate changes in their lives, they will stay in the marriage, yet get bitter about the negativite aspects of their wife and the relationship in general. Once this occurs, the man has started down the path of becoming a grumpy, negative husband.

Colossians 3:19 says: “Husbands, love your wives, and be not bitter against them.”

The Lord gives this command because he is more than aware that a man’s temptation is to live selfishly, yet complain about the bi-product of living in such a manner. His primary weakness is to become disgusted with the very weeds that his lack of love has helped to grow. In my view, this is why many a husband grows into a negative husband.

The husband can start doing what it takes to prevent the weeds from growing in his garden.

Option number three is not only best, but scriptural, and it involves the husband serving his wife as he would his own interests and desires (Ephesians 5:28). Of course, as mentioned in the last point, he can choose to complain about the weeds, but that will do little to further the cause of happiness in his marriage. He will do more to endear success by taking sole responsibility for the state of his garden and serve his wife as he agreed to do when he made a covenant before God and others.


I find that many men are short sighted in that they fail to see that their actions have exposed their wives to their emotional vulnerabilities.  When they should have been focusing on the cause, they seem to become embittered about the effect. A failure to reverse this order will be the source of little or no progress in a man’s marriage. It will only serve as an impetus for a lukewarm relationship at best, and it will lead to the man coming across as simply a negative husband.

I have also seen that men will do more to fast-forward the problem solving process if they will ask themselves questions as such: If I had been sacrificially loving my wife from day one of our marriage, would she have ever felt so tempted to act in a negative manner to my behavior? Or, if I had been properly taking care of my garden in the first place, would these weeds of anger, sarcasm, unforgiveness, and resentment even be growing?


You’re Different and That’s Good!


Nevertheless, each individual among you also is to love his own wife even as himself, and the wife must see to it that she respects her husband. —Ephesians 5:33

In Men are Like Waffles–Women are Like Spaghetti, Bill and Pam Farrell describe the mind of men and women.

Men Are Like Waffles

We do not mean that men “waffle” on all decisions and are generally unstable. What we mean is that men process life in boxes. If you look down at a waffle, you see a collection of boxes sepa-rated by walls. The boxes are all separate from each other and make convenient holding places. That is typically how a man processes life. [Men’s] thinking is divided up into boxes that have room for one issue and one issue only. The first issue of life goes in the first box, the second goes in the second box, and so on. The typical man lives in one box at a time and one box only. When a man is at work, he is at work. When he is in the garage tinkering around, he is in the garage tinkering. When he is watching TV, he is simply watching TV. That is why he looks as though he is in a trance and can ignore everything else going on around him. Social scientists call this “compartmentalizing”–that is, putting life and responsibilities into different compartments…

Women Are like Spaghetti

In contrast to men’s waffle-like approach, women process life more like a plate of pasta. If you look at a plate of spaghetti, you notice that there are lots of individual noodles that all touch one another. If you attempted to follow one noodle around the plate, you would intersect a lot of other noodles, and you might even switch to another noodle seamlessly. That is how women face life. Every thought and issue is connected to every other thought and issue in some way. Life is much more of a process for women than it is for men.1

This is why women are typically better at multitasking than men. She can talk on the phone, prepare a meal, make a shopping list, work on the agenda for tomorrow’s business meeting, give instructions to her children as they are going out to play, and close the door with her foot without skipping a beat. Because all her thoughts, emotions, and convictions are connected, she is able to process more information and keep track of more activities.

Spaghetti and waffles. It’s a wild example of describing a very important truth—men and women are just plain different. It’s like the old “Me Tarzan, You Jane” thing we learned as kids. Despite their differences, Tarzan and Jane found a way to swing gracefully through the trees together. The sooner we can learn how to make this magic happen for us, the more peaceful things will be around our homes.

For Chase and Callie, the first six months of their marriage went unusually smooth and problem free. Then, demands from his boss to meet an important fiscal deadline had Chase working late into the evenings, leaving Callie home alone. She began feeling less and less important as Chase’s job began consuming him. But Chase knew the deadline would soon pass and things would be back to normal. When he was at home, he tried hard to connect with Callie. But she had already grown frustrated and felt as though he wasn’t trying hard enough to meet her needs. They would often fall asleep nitpicking or in a deadening silence.

On the day of the deadline, he got off work early and brought home a box of chocolates, new lingerie, and a bouquet of flowers. For him, this would be the end of the fighting. As he walked through the door with gifts in hand, she met him with a nasty glare. The message she received was that all he wanted was sex. She, on the other hand, felt alone. Feeling rejected and as if there was nothing he could do to please her, he retreated to the garage to work on his car.

Most of us can relate to this story. Two people who genuinely love one another and want to connect but can’t. Callie wanted more time together with her husband and felt misunderstood by the gifts. He felt rejected.

Why can’t we seem to get it right with the men we love?

I believe it’s because we’re literally “opposites.” Women were created to support the men in their lives and men to protect the women in theirs (Genesis 2:18). We were created to complement and sustain one another. Because we were created for different purposes, we have different needs.

Dr. Willard F. Harley, Jr. in his book His Needs, Her Needs, outlines some of these most important differences:

• She can’t do without affection.

• He can’t do without sexual fulfillment.

• She needs him to talk to her and hold conversation.

• He needs her to be his playmate and do things with him. (Harley refers to this as recreational companionship.)

• She needs to trust him totally. Honesty and openness are critical to the relationship.

• He needs an attractive wife. (That means you should take pride in your appearance and look good for him.)

• She needs financial stability and support.

• He needs peace and quiet at home.

• She needs him to be a good father and remain committed to the family.

• He needs her to be proud of him.2

Think about this list for a moment. Look at the number of diametrically opposed needs between men and women. He needs peace and quiet at home; she needs conversation. No wonder you get ticked off at your husband when he doesn’t want to talk. He’s not giving you what you need. And he in turn gets aggravated that you won’t leave him alone.

He needs sexual fulfillment to connect emotionally. You need affection in order to desire sex. But if you don’t feel close to him to begin with, he ain’t gettin’ any.

But look at the list again. His way of building intimacy and feeling close is to play with you. To take you fishing, hiking, or to a sporting event. When you decline his invitation to play, the feeling he has is similar to yours when he refuses your invitation to a romantic dinner and sappy love movie.

He needs you to respect him. Paul told the Church at Ephesus, “Husbands love your wives…wives respect your husbands” (Ephesians 5:25,33). According to Emerson Eggerich in his book Love and Respect, nowhere in the Bible does it tell wives to love their husbands, instead it says to respect them. He needs to know you are proud of him. The degree to which you feel loved is the degree to which he feels respected. Respect your man, and he is sure to give you the love you need.

Shaunti Feldhahn, author of For Women Only, shared with me that “We women usually do respect the man in our lives, and have no idea that all day long we are doing things that send him the opposite message. We don’t realize that when we do something as simple as saying, ‘Honey, please stop and ask for directions,’ or ‘Don’t try to fix that. Let’s just call a plumber,’ that what he hears is ‘I don’t trust you’ or ‘I don’t believe in you.’”3 In other words, we don’t always realize that our words and actions are making our man feel unloved because they make him feel disrespected.

In your attempts to love and respect him, keep in mind that he is different from you. “Accept one another, then, just as Christ accepted you, in order to bring praise to God” (Romans 15:7). It isn’t always easy, but ultimately, it’s the key to being successful—in marriage and in life.

You can’t fix a problem you don’t see. Sharing your needs openly and honestly with each other will open your eyes to the differences between the two of you. When you understand those differences, you are able to experience and appreciate that other person at a whole new level. As women, when we do this, our attempts to love our men are no longer aimless. And as they understand us better, their pursuits will make us feel loved. – Julie Clinton

1. Bill and Pam Farrel, Men Are Like Waffles, Women Are Like Spaghetti (Eugene, Oregon: Harvest House Publishers, 2001), 11, 13.
2. Willard F. Harley, His Needs, Her Needs (Grand Rapids: Revell, 2001), 7.
3. Shaunti Feldhahn, personal e-mail, February 15, 2007.

Julie Clinton M.Ad., M.B.A. Is president of Extraordinary Women and host of Ewomen conferences all across America. A woman of deep faith, she cares passionately about seeing women live out their dreams by finding their freedom in Christ. Julie and her husband, Dr. Tim Clinton, live in Virginia and are the parents of Zach and Megan, who is married to Ben Allison.

For more from Julie Clinton, visit her website HERE.