Family Sunday School: Anger

Topic: Anger


While this has undoubtedly been a season where we wrestle with grief and anxiety, it has also been one that has included anger. Anxiety and stir-craziness makes tempers run short at home, and injustice and fear manifests itself in anger in the streets all over the country. I encourage you to use the resources Mister Mark sent out to talk to your kids about current events, and in this resource, we’ll focus on anger more generally: how it helps us, hurts us, and how we respond to the anger of others in a way that is full of mercy, grace, and justice.

The Set-Up 

Ask (younger children):
  • When was the last time you got angry?
    • What were you angry about?
    • How did getting angry help?
    • How did it not help?
  • When was the last time you saw a grown-up get angry?
    • What were they angry about?
    • How did you feel when you saw they were angry?

Say: Anger, like sadness, or fear, is one of those feelings we can think of as “bad,” but just like sadness and fear, anger can teach us things, help us, and is a normal part of life. Its ok to be angry sometimes, just like its ok to be sad sometimes. We’re going to talk about what we can learn from anger and how we can help others that are angry.

Ask (older children):
  • What does anger feel like to you?
  • Where do you feel it physically? (Does your face get hot, do you tear up, do your palms sweat?)
  • How do you respond to it?
    • Are there ever times when you are angry, and you don’t know why?
    • Or times you are angry, and you know the reason but it’s silly?
  • What usually helps you calm down?
  • When does anger hurt us?
  • When can anger help us? 

The Lesson

Say:  Anger isn’t all good or all bad. Its ok to angry about things like injustice, people using their power in ways that hurt people. But being angry because you didn’t get exactly what you wanted, or because someone made a choice that was good for them, but that you didn’t want them to make (choosing to hang out with someone new, doing better than you at a game or project) isn’t ok. It can be hard to know what anger is helpful and unhelpful, but the good news is that the right way to respond to it is often the same:

  • Listen, 2) Say sorry, 3) Help find ways to heal. 
Ask (older children):
  • Think of the last time you were angry (can be a good reason or a bad reason, doesn’t matter), did your family listen to you?

If they didn’t, tell them about why you were angry now, and family, practicing listening. You don’t need to say anything in response right now.

Say: The second step is to say sorry. Maybe the thing is something the family needs to apologize for, maybe its not. Maybe you’re saying “I’m sorry that I upset you” or maybe you’re saying “I’m sorry that that happened, it must have been really hard on you.”  

Take a moment to say sorry to the older children, or whoever shared before. 

Ask (adults):
  • Think of the last time you were angry, did anyone say sorry for whatever the thing is that hurt you?
    • If not, take a minute to explain why you were upset, and have everyone say sorry, even if its just “sorry that that happened.”

Say: The last step is to try to help find ways to heal. Anger is a response to hurt. Maybe its our hurt, maybe it’s the hurt of others, maybe it’s a really serious hurt, maybe it’s a minor one, but its always some kind of hurt. Once we name that hurt, we can think of ways to heal it.

Ask younger children more about the last time they got angry (answered at the beginning of the lesson) and help them figure out what the hurt was.  

Ask (younger children):
  • How can we heal that hurt together?

Say: Anytime someone gets angry, for good reasons or bad reasons, we can respond to them with these 3 things – listening, saying sorry, and helping them find ways to heal the hurt. We can even do these steps with ourselves! Anger isn’t bad, it points us to where the hurt is, and once we find the hurt, we can heal.

Take a minute to close in prayer together.

6.7.20 Family Sunday School Guide

Subscribe to E-News

Subscribe to Newsletter Footer