What Does the Bible Say About Anger in Marriage?

Anger is a natural human emotion that everyone experiences from time to time. However, uncontrolled anger can damage relationships, especially marriage. The Bible has a lot to say about managing anger in a godly way. This article will explore biblical principles for dealing with anger in marriage.


Marriage is an intimate relationship where two become one flesh (Genesis 2:24). It is designed by God to be a lifelong union, so making it work requires commitment, sacrifice, and wisdom. Anger can divide what God intends to be unified if not handled constructively.

Unresolved anger leads to resentment, bitterness, and isolation. It can open the door for the enemy to gain a foothold and destroy intimacy. That is why Scripture instructs couples to be quick to listen, slow to speak, and slow to anger (James 1:19). The good news is that with God’s help, anger can be defused and relationships restored.

Key Takeaways:

  • Anger is a normal human emotion, but unchecked, it can damage marriage.
  • The Bible teaches principles for managing anger in godly ways.
  • Couples should address anger issues quickly before they lead to sin.
  • With God’s help, anger can be defused and intimacy restored.
What Does the Bible Say About Anger in Marriage?

What Does the Bible Say About Anger?

The Bible recognizes that anger in and of itself is not sinful. Anger becomes sin when it is unrighteous, excessive, bottled up, or allowed to linger. Here are some key biblical principles about anger:

Anger is Morally Neutral

  • “Be angry, and do not sin”: do not let the sun go down on your wrath (Ephesians 4:26 NKJV).
  • Jesus expressed anger but did not sin: He looked around at them with anger, grieved by the hardness of their hearts (Mark 3:5).

Uncontrolled Anger Leads to Sin

  • Refrain from anger and turn from wrath; do not fret—it leads only to evildoing (Psalm 37:8).
  • A hot-tempered person stirs up conflict, but whoever is patient calms a quarrel (Proverbs 15:18).

Address Anger Issues Quickly

  • Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:26-27).
  • Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind (James 1:21).

Extend and Receive Forgiveness

  • Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you (Ephesians 4:32).
  • For if you forgive other people when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you (Matthew 6:14).

So in summary, anger itself is not necessarily sinful. However, uncontrolled anger leads people to sin in their actions and attitudes. That’s why Scripture instructs us to address anger quickly before it gets out of hand. Christians should extend grace and forgiveness to others, just as Christ has forgiven us.

What Does the Bible Say About Anger in Marriage?

Marriage relationships are prone to conflict because of our human imperfections. We’re called to emulate God’s patience and forgiveness rather than retaliate or cut off our spouse. Here are some biblical principles for dealing with anger in marriage:

Be Quick to Listen

  • My dear brothers and sisters, take note of this: Everyone should be quick to listen, slow to speak and slow to become angry (James 1:19).
  • He who answers before listening—that is his folly and his shame (Proverbs 18:13).

Be Slow to Speak

  • Do you see someone who speaks in haste? There is more hope for a fool than for them (Proverbs 29:20).
  • When words are many, transgression is not lacking, but whoever restrains his lips is prudent (Proverbs 10:19).

Be Slow to Anger

  • A wrathful man stirs up strife, but he who is slow to anger allays contention (Proverbs 15:18).
  • Whoever is slow to anger has great understanding, but he who has a hasty temper exalts folly (Proverbs 14:29).

Do Not Let the Sun Go Down on Your Anger

  • Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:26-27).
  • Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind (James 1:21).

Seek Peace and Pursue It

  • Strive for peace with everyone, and for the holiness without which no one will see the Lord (Hebrews 12:14).
  • So then let us pursue what makes for peace and for mutual upbuilding (Romans 14:19).

Bear With One Another in Love

  • Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:13).
  • Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love (Ephesians 4:2).

Forgive as the Lord Forgave You

  • Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:13).
  • And when you stand praying, if you hold anything against anyone, forgive them, so that your Father in heaven may forgive you your sins (Mark 11:25).

Therefore, Scripture clearly teaches that anger must be properly managed in marriage. Spouses should listen attentively, think before speaking, resolve issues promptly, pursue peace, bear with one another, and freely forgive.

Common Causes of Anger in Marriage

Anger often surfaces in marriage when expectations go unmet or conflict is poorly resolved. Some common triggers include:

  • Poor communication
  • Unresolved conflicts
  • Unmet emotional needs
  • Different values or priorities
  • Feeling unvalued or criticized
  • Hurtful words or behavior
  • Infidelity or betrayal
  • Chronic stress or exhaustion
  • Financial pressures
  • Intimacy issues
  • In-law conflicts
  • Lack of self-control

Learning to identify anger triggers can help couples address issues before they spiral out of control. If hot button topics are predictable, you can plan constructive ways to approach them.

Dangers of Unresolved Anger in Marriage

Bitterness and rage may feel powerful in the moment, but they cause extensive damage when allowed to take root. Unresolved anger breeds more anger while eroding intimacy and trust. Here are some potential dangers of unaddressed anger in marriage:

It Grieves the Holy Spirit

  • And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption (Ephesians 4:30).

It Fuels the Fire

  • In your anger do not sin: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold (Ephesians 4:26-27).

It Leads to Bitterness

  • See to it that no one falls short of the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many (Hebrews 12:15).

It Provokes Resentment

  • The one who forgives an offense seeks love, but whoever repeats a matter separates friends (Proverbs 17:9).

It Encourages Slander and Gossip

  • Do not spread false reports. Do not help a guilty person by being a malicious witness (Exodus 23:1).

It Tears Down Intimacy

  • To fear the LORD is to hate evil; I hate pride and arrogance, evil behavior and perverse speech (Proverbs 8:13).

It Robs Peace and Rest

  • In peace I will lie down and sleep, for you alone, LORD, make me dwell in safety (Psalm 4:8).

It Opens Doors for the Enemy

  • Be angry, and do not sin’: do not let the sun go down on your wrath, nor give place to the devil (Ephesians 4:26-27 NKJV).

Unresolved anger creates fertile ground for the enemy to sow further division and destruction in a marriage. That’s why Scripture instructs couples to address conflict quickly.

Tips for Managing Anger Biblically in Marriage

No one is perfect, and even godly couples will experience anger at times. The key is learning to manage anger constructively before it gets out of control. Here are some tips:

Pray First, Speak Second

  • Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips (Psalm 141:3).

Take time to pray and process feelings before tackling a conflict. Ask God for wisdom to respond calmly and communicate lovingly.

Choose Your Words Wisely

  • The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit (Proverbs 18:21).

Avoid insults, name-calling, or hurtful phrases that provoke defensiveness. Speak to understand rather than attacking or accusing.

Listen First, Defend Later

  • Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger (James 1:19).

Seek to truly understand your spouse’s viewpoint and feelings beneath the surface anger. Your defense can wait.

Take a Time Out if Needed

  • Whoever is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he who rules his spirit than he who takes a city (Proverbs 16:32).

If tensions escalate, take a break to calm down, pray, and revisit later in a better frame of mind.

Address Issues Promptly

  • Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger (Ephesians 4:26).

Don’t let hurt or anger simmer. Nip conflicts in the bud before they grow worse or breed resentment.

Attack Problems, Not People

  • No foul language should come from your mouth, but only what is good for building up someone in need, so that it gives grace to those who hear (Ephesians 4:29).

Criticize the behavior, not the person. Discuss how to solve issues, not who is most to blame.

Season Words with Grace

  • Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person (Colossians 4:6).

Cushion words of correction with empathy, patience, and affirmation. Don’t just point out faults.

Forgive Quickly and Freely

  • Bear with each other and forgive one another if any of you has a grievance against someone. Forgive as the Lord forgave you (Colossians 3:13).

Let go of grudges or the desire to punish your spouse. As Christ forgave you, extend grace to cover over sins against you.

Seek Outside Counsel if Needed

  • Where there is no guidance, a people falls, but in an abundance of counselors there is safety (Proverbs 11:14).

If anger issues seem stuck or escalating, seek help from a pastor or Christian counselor for guidance.

With biblical tools and God’s help, couples can keep anger from corroding their marriage. The secret is learning to address issues constructively before fractures form.

Moving Forward in Freedom From Anger

Anger and conflict are inevitable in marriages composed of imperfect people. The good news is that Jesus provided the solution to anger and sin. He is able to heal hearts and redeem relationships strained by unresolved anger. Here are some steps to move forward:

Repent From Destructive Anger

If anger has caused you to sin against God or your spouse, take full responsibility. Repent, ask forgiveness, and make restitution where needed.

Accept God’s Forgiveness

Receive complete forgiveness from Christ and forgive yourself. Don’t dredge up the past once it has been confessed and under the blood (Hebrews 8:12).

Walk in the Light

Having transparent, honest communication daily keeps anger issues from building up in secret (Ephesians 4:15). Bring hurts and frustrations into the light early.

Submit Anger to God

Surrender angry feelings to God, asking Him to take control and heal your wounded heart (1 Peter 5:7, Psalm 147:3).

Let Go of Offenses

Make a daily choice not to replay offenses, hold grudges, or punish your spouse. Let it go into God’s hands (Colossians 3:13).

Refocus with Worship and Gratitude

Shift your eyes from the problem to praising God for His goodness. It’s hard to stay angry when focused on His grace (Psalm 100:4-5).

Bathe Your Marriage in Prayer

Commit to praying daily for your marriage, seeking God’s intervention and protection from divisive enemy schemes (Matthew 18:19).

Walk in the Spirit

Ask the Holy Spirit to produce His fruit in you: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23).

Seek Outside Help if Needed

If you continue to struggle with anger issues, seek professional Christian counseling. This may reveal underlying wounds needing healing.

Marriages requiring ongoing anger management may benefit from support groups, workshops, relationship education, or mentoring from more mature Christian couples. Do not be afraid to get the extra help you need.

With humility and God’s grace, you can overcome destructive anger patterns that threaten intimacy. Jesus is in the business of changing hearts and transforming relationships. Trust Him to heal wounds of the past and write a new story for your marriage.


Anger is a challenging but common problem in marriages composed of imperfect people. Unchecked, it can corrode intimacy and hinder God’s purposes. The good news is that Scripture provides practical guidance for managing anger in godly ways. Quickly addressing conflicts, choosing words carefully, extending grace, and freely forgiving can defuse anger and restore relationships. Most importantly, Jesus stands ready to heal angry hearts and redeem marriages marred by rage. By walking in the Spirit and applying biblical wisdom, couples can keep anger from gaining a foothold and dividing what God intends to be unified.

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