Like a good Father, God wants us to grow in spiritual maturity. But there are areas where God prefers to take care of our needs, Himself, to avoid drama. And so are the injustices we can suffer.
The case is classic: the little sister irritates her big brother by taking his toy. The big brother tells her to stop. Once, twice, but she continues. At the end of his rope, the big brother pushes the little sister, who, offended at having been pushed, launches at her brother to hit him with all her might. Then long screams and tears from both sides. The mother (or father) comes to stop the battle. “It’s true that your brother shouldn’t have pushed you, but you shouldn’t have taken his toy. It’s true that your sister shouldn’t have hit you, but you shouldn’t have pushed her.” When discussions don’t work, ask an adult to step in, not take justice into your own hands. “I cannot punish your sister if you have done yourself justice. And I can’t punish your brother if you’ve done yourself justice. Because now you are both guilty.”
What we teach our children is what our Heavenly Father asks us to do as well. If we express our discontent and the other party continues to offend us. We must turn to God our Father. If we get justice for ourselves, He can’t do it the same way: He might have to rebuke both of us. (Which is never satisfying when we think we are the victim.)
That is what Jesus tried to teach us. “But I say to you who hear: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, and pray for those who spitefully use you. To him who strikes you on the one cheek, offer the other also. And from him who takes away your cloak, do not withhold your tunic either. Give to everyone who asks of you. And from him who takes away your goods do not ask them back. And just as you want men to do to you, you also do to them likewise” (Luke 6:27-31 NKJV).
That does not mean that we should remain silent when we experience aggression or injustice. After all, Jesus also said that the Spirit would help us defend ourselves. “But when they deliver you up, do not worry about how or what you should speak. For it will be given to you in that hour what you should speak; for it is not you who speak, but the Spirit of your Father who speaks in you” (Matthew 10:19-20 NKJV). Now, if it is the Spirit of God who speaks through us, our words will be true and not exaggerated. They will be full of with the fruit of the Spirit: therefore filled with love, peace, patience, goodness, gentleness, self-control, etc. (Galatians 5:22-23).
Anger is a very natural reaction in the face of injustice. God himself got angry at times. Anger is not a sin, but it can be if we choose to take justice for ourselves. “Be angry, and do not sin: do not let the sun go down on your wrath” (Ephesians 4:26 NKJV). This verse does not say that we must get ourselves justice before we go to sleep. Rather, it says that we must let go of anger before we sleep. So we have to bring our anger (and situation) to God, and then let the Holy Spirit deal with it or tell us how to deal with it with His help.
Oh, it won’t be easy! Some of us are very quick to give retaliative blows. It will be necessary to develop the wisdom of God. “In the multitude of words sin is not lacking, but he who restrains his lips is wise” (Proverbs 10:19 NKJV). We will certainly need the help of the Holy Spirit. “Set a guard, O Lord, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips” (Psalm 141:3 NKJV).
Single parents, it is even more important for you to let God defend you instead of badmouthing your “ex”. Because your children are watching you and they are uncomfortable choosing sides. By leaving vengeance to God, not only will you allow God to intervene, but your children will learn how to deal with their own conflicts by surrendering to God. Remember that if you take justice into your own hands, God will no longer be able to stand up for you, because then you will both be guilty.