I have this rule: never go to bed angry with someone. I try very hard to follow this rule, and there have been times that it has made for some very long nights. This principle comes from Ephesians 4:26, “Be angry and do not sin, do not let the sun go down on your anger…” and most of the time this can be very easy to follow. Sometimes, not so much.

A few nights ago I treated my father-in-law badly and after he left my wife called me out on it. At the time, it made me pretty upset; partially at her, and mostly at myself. It was also late in the evening and she was getting ready for bed, but because of my rule I didn’t want things to sit between us. Thankfully it was something that we were able to talk through quickly, and while we were still upset with each other, we were no longer angry with each other. I went over the next day and apologized to my father-in-law and everything was good.

Now let’s consider what might have happened if I, or my wife, had just let things go. Perhaps the route things may have taken would be one filled with bitterness and resentment. She could hold that in mind every time she looks at me and those feelings would come back and continue to fester. Eventually we would be fighting over things that don’t matter because of this bitter root that was never expressed and we may never get back to the actual issue.

With the divorce rate being so high today having rules like this in place help to maintain communication between spouses. By not allowing the sun to go down on anger we enable our relationships to go back to a healthy, or neutral, status. Keep a short account and if you have to get a little less sleep, that’s okay. Better to have a good marriage than to get more sleep!