Francis Schaeffer (1912-1984)
Francis Schaeffer knew when the Bible said 'in your anger do not sin' it implied anger itself was natural but striking out unfairly because of anger was wrong. Yet he suffered outbursts of anger his entire life, and in his anger Francis did sin, long after he accepted the authority of the Bible. In his freshman year in college in 1931 he snapped and pummeled an abusive upperclassman.
But his uncontrolled anger was no more evident than in 1937, in the second year of his marriage to Edith. Edith was expecting their first child. On one occasion he had to rush her to the hospital in his Model A Ford, only to learn it was false labor. Furious, he ranted at his exhausted wife's 'mistake'. A few weeks later Priscilla was born but had to be resuscitated.
This minor miracle mellowed Francis not at all. Priscilla was only two months old when Francis and Edith moved to another apartment. During the journey in the Model A Priscilla's attack of diarrhea and the subsequent smell triggered an abusive outburst by Francis. "Don't you even know how to put on diapers?" he screamed irrationally at Edith. Distracted, he rear-ended a car in front of them.
Francis Schaeffer once said he could not stand this world if he did not understand it was abnormal - that it was not the way God made it. Anger fueled much of his calling. But did Francis ever conquer his 'sinning in anger'? Yes and no. He became almost legendary in his patience with hostility during his countless speaking engagements. Yet evidence seems to indicate he still exploded in private with Edith and their four children - even to wailing and beating his fists on the wall.
[source: The Tapestry by Edith Schaeffer, 1981]
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