Why We Shout In Anger

A spiritual director who was visiting a local beach found a group of family members who were shouting in anger at each other. He turned to his disciples, smiled and asked,

'Why do people shout in anger at each other?'

The disciples thought for a while, one of them said, 'Because we lose our calm, we shout.'

'But, why should you shout when the other person is just next to you? You can as well tell him what you have to say in a soft manner,’ said the director.

His disciples gave some other answers but none satisfied the other disciples.

Finally the spiritual director explained,

'When two people are angry at each other, their hearts distance a lot. To cover that distance they must shout to be able to hear each other. The angrier they are, the stronger they will have to shout to hear each other to cover that great distance.

What happens when two people fall in love? They don't shout at each other but talk softly, because their hearts are very close. The distance between them is either nonexistent or very small...'

The director continued, 'When they love each other even more, what happens? They do not speak, only whisper and they get even closer to each other in their love. Finally they even need not whisper, they only look at each other and that's all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.'

He looked at his disciples and said:

'So when you argue do not let your hearts get distant, do not say words that distance each other more, or else there will come a day when the distance is so great that you will not find the path to return.’

What is it that distances you from the ones you love?  Do you not feel understood, accepted, respected or valued?  Or are you not understanding, accepting, respecting or valuing those you love?  These attributes determine the distance between hearts and the volume of the voice. 

Definition of Marriage


 Definition of Marriage... “a lifelong monogamous relationship between a man and a women. According to the Bible, God designed marriage to reflect his saving love for us in Christ, to refine our character, to create stable human community for the birth and nurture of children, and to accomplish all this by bringing the complementary sexes into an enduring whole-life union.” (The Meaning of Marriage, Timothy and Grace Keller 2011 p. 16.)


Tim and Grace Keller have given us a great gift in framing what marriage means “according to the Bible”, supported by research in the social sciences, and grounded in their experience as a married couple. The phrase “according to the Bible” might immediately set off fire alarms for many Christian and non Christian alike. Some will quickly discount anything said “according to the Bible”; it is unfortunate that many of us find it difficult to maintain an open mind to things we do not understand. It is a fascinating read for anyone interested in gaining a deeper understanding of what marriage is and why marriage matters to our human condition.


This definition of marriage, once considered so obvious no one even had to state it,(even though most probably did not reflect on its deeper meaning), is now a provocative statement for many in our polarized society. To define marriage as a “lifelong monogamous relationship” seems out of touch with what really goes on in our culture yet there are deeply profound reasons and affects on our identity and well being. To even consider that “God designed” means that someone other than you has a plan and a purpose for marriage and for your life. This goes right against the current culture impulse that life is about a personal journey of individual discovery and fulfillment and means we have to listen to something other than our own will and desires.


The idea that marriage is “to reflect (God's) saving love for us in Christ” is a statement so full of meaning and import that we skim over it without comprehension, and yet it is a profound spiritual truth that radically changes who we are. It is so important that we take the time to glean what this means because it directly affects every facet of our lives; our health, wealth, and contentment. Any one that desires to experience His saving love needs only enter into relationship with Him.


That marriage affords us the opportunity “to refine our character” may seem quaint and catchy until we reflect on how much living with and loving another human being of the opposite sex demands. We literally cannot stay the same person we were when we got married if we want to stay married. Marriage demands that we grow and change in ways that do not trample on the needs and desires of another human being. Character, in this sense, is a moral condition that includes trustworthiness, loyalty, respect, fairness, caring and responsibility. Any one of these qualities is a treasure to possess as a part of our nature and has obvious ramifications for how others view and respond to us. Of all the character education programs that our institutions provide, marriage is probably the most effective with its intimate connection to our everyday life.


The importance to “create a stable human community for the birth and nurture of children” is well documented by social science research. Most of us are well aware of the disastrous effects of divorce on our children. The operative words here are “stable” and “community”. It means we provide a consistent, secure and safe place for our children to grow and develop in the company of parents who love them and are there for them. This requires of us to put their needs before ours, that we do this together as husband and wife, and in so doing we reflect the sacrificial love of God. The sense of gratification that parents experience from this is rewarding, even overwhelming.


The thought that all this is accomplished “by bringing the complementary sexes into an enduring whole-life union” is difficult to understand. Complementary here means that male and female are different but equally necessary and provides what the other lacks in a way that completes us. That is a mouthful of meaning. In a simple sense it means that we need each other in a similar way the physical world is composed of atoms. You and I and everything else in our physical world is composed of atoms. .The opposing charges of electrons and neutrons serve to attract and hold each other together forming an atom. Opposites attract and complement each other; the very nature and composition of our universe is based on this principle and so is our marital relationship. An enduring whole-life union

is the result of a successful marriage. To have another person who is different and unique commit their life to you is a blessing beyond expression, it is an experience so sublime, full of disappointment and wonder that poets struggle to capture it.















A Vision of Marriage and Family as the Great Mystery of Union


We(Western culture)have lost the vision of human relationships that supports a stable, secure society.


"For the first time in its history, Western civilization is confronted with the need to define the meaning of the terms 'marriage' and 'family.'" So states author Andreas J. Kostenberger who, with the assistance of David W. Jones has written God, Marriage, and Family: Rebuilding the Biblical Foundation.

As Kostenberger observes, "What until now has been considered a 'normal' family, made up of a father, a mother, and a number of children, has in recent years increasingly begun to be viewed as one among several options, which can no longer claim to be the only or even superior form of ordering human relationships. The Judeo-Christian view of marriage and the family with its roots in the Hebrew Scriptures has to a certain extent been replaced with a set of values that prizes human rights, self-fulfillment, and pragmatic utility on an individual and societal level. It can rightly be said that marriage and the family are institutions under seize in our world today, and that with marriage and the family, our very civilization is in crisis."

“In one sense, the statistics tell the story. The great social transformation of the last two hundred years has led to an erosion of the family and the franchising of its responsibilities. The authority of the family, especially that of the parents, has been compromised through the intrusion of state authorities, cultural influences, and social pressure. Furthermore, the loss of a biblical understanding of marriage and family has led to a general weakening of the institution, even among those who would identify themselves as believing Christians.” (Albert Mohler)

These are sobering statements and the condition of our marriages and families should be a call to action, at least in the Christian family of churches where statistics indicate the family is no better off than secular families. The popular discussion of cultural wars with Judeo-Christian values pitted against secular ones seems to have swung decidedly in favor of the secular.

One does not really need to look to the experts or statistics to tell us we are in trouble. Just look at your friends and neighbors, their family and your family. Ask yourself, “Is this the way it is supposed to be?” broken marriages, broken lives, unfaithfulness, betrayal, drug abuse and overdoses, physical, emotional, and sexual abuse, abandoned and neglected children, bankruptcies, bailouts, and broken promises; and the list goes on with incidences not decreasing but increasing even among the economically advantaged, the socially responsible, and the believing Christian. It makes no difference, we have all been affected by a cultural virus that is destroying us from the inside out.

Christians, of course, call this virus sin, but in this postmodern anything goes don't offend no authority but me world no one really uses this word to describe anything serious or complicated. After all, you cannot trace sin in an MRI to show where and how it effects the brain, as if that “explains” anything. We are so seduced and enamored by our technological prowess. No matter how exquisite and complex the description is there is a difference between something that describes and something that explains. And the only thing that explains our self destruction is sin, or in other words, you and me making our self master of the universe. It is our break with God and the subsequent path of independence from the created order that leads to the chaos we see in marriage and family relationships and in the individual lives it affects and in the society we form.

To paraphrase a well known verse of scripture(Proverbs 29:18), without (true) vision (hu)man perishes. The Christian vision of marriage and family is rooted in God's union with his creation (hu)man. All of Christian vision of reality flows from God, in Jesus and the Holy Spirit, having union, becoming one with, (hu)man. And all of human destructiveness begins with separation from that union. What a breath taking vision this is and we can scarce dare to believe that this is true. Even those calling themselves Christian don't seem to believe or even know that they are supposed to believe that this is true, yet the story told in the Scriptures is precisely this. Everything Jesus did with his life, with his disciples, with those he encountered, with those he healed, with his death, resurrection, and ascension was and is so that we may be one with God and with one another (Jesus' prayer in John 17). This is God as love and it is the driving creative force in all of creation and marriage is an expression, a human to human experience of this profound reality. This is central to what makes marriage unique and special. Consider what Paul says about marriage in Ephesians 5 21-33 where he seems to barely distinguish Christ's relationship with us as our Lord and Savior and our relationship as husband and wife. In verses 31-32 he says “As the Scriptures say, 'A man leaves his father and mother and is joined to his wife, and the two are united into one.' This is a great mystery, but it is an illustration of the way Christ and the church are one.” We are the Bride and he is the Bridegroom, he marries us and we become one with him like we become one with our spouse in a loving union. Such a vision of marriage is central to what makes it so unique and special and one our contemporary society, Christian and non Christian, has largely lost.

We usually focus on evaluating marriage by how well we get along or how happy we are, or how we manage finances, or how secure we are with one another. Those things are important, some very important, but unless we understand something of marriage as a great mystery of union, becoming one in a dance of love, we can never fully experience security and happiness with each other because we limit who we are. Once one begins to grasp,have a vision that each individual marriage is part and parcel of a divine dance of loving union and communion, it changes how we view ourselves and one another. This high, uplifting, challenging, hard to believe vision of marriage helps us focus on something beyond our selves, something bigger and greater, a mystery we are taken up in that elevates us as divine beings “what are people that you should think about them, mere mortals that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.” Psalm 8:4-5. We have our vision to see what is really happening, what marriage and family relationships really are, who we really are, and we no longer settle for less.

There is much that needs to be done to help stem the destructive tide that is sweeping us away but one thing we need to do is hold fast to such a vision of marriage.