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Marriage Meditation — Don’t Go to Bed Angry

A Black couple talks while laying across a bed
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Don't go to be angry. You've heard it before. Why is it important? The Bible has much to say about anger and the damage it causes a marriage.

Getting Started

  • Watch today’s Marriage Meditation video.
  • Read today’s marriage devotion.
  • Share today’s question with your spouse.

Today’s Devotion

“Never go to bed angry.” — Best Marriage Advice, from a Focus on the Family Facebook Post.

What is the best marriage advice you’ve received? Did someone share words of wisdom at your wedding ceremony? Was it something a friend told you as you walked through a difficult time in your relationship with your spouse?

During a recent Facebook live event, Dr. Greg and Erin Smalley — authors, counselors and Focus on the Family’s marriage experts — asked viewers to share their best marriage advice. We’re sharing those thoughts as part of the Marriage Meditation series and taking a look at what God’s Word says about these tidbits of truth.

Reconnected: The Digital Experience

Is the love there, but not the spark? Reawaken fun in your marriage and move from roommates to soulmates again with the help of this 7-part video series. Learn how to connect emotionally and spiritually as husband and wife using techniques such as dreaming together and establishing deep, heartfelt communication. The Digital Experience includes 7 teaching videos, an online study guide and access to additional resources to help spouses reconnect.

Scripture Reading

  • Ephesians 4:26-27 – “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.”


“Only you can prevent forest fires.” Since 1944, Smokey Bear has reminded Americans to extinguish campfires before breaking camp and heading for home. It’s important advice since a spark or unattended fire can start a blaze that destroys forests and homes. Forest fires cause such damage that the land may take years — sometimes centuries — to recover.

Fire, anger and your marriage

If you haven’t heard it already, at some point in your marriage, some well-meaning person will say, “Never go to bed angry.” The advice is usually coupled with the tale of a sleepless night because the couple couldn’t resolve a conflict or agree to table the issue until the next day.

It’s good advice. But there’s more to it than avoiding a grumpy partner who steals the sheets because of something you said. Smokey Bear knows why you shouldn’t go to bed angry (and he’s not even a marriage counselor). His secret is simple: “Only you can prevent forest fires.”

Extinguish the little fires quickly

Ephesians 4:26-27 says, “Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil.” We’re human. We all lose our tempers. We all say things to our spouse that are better left unsaid. Our words can hurt.

When our spouse hurts us, it’s natural to feel angry. But you don’t have to respond in anger. Anger is like a spark that starts a fire in your marriage. Unless you extinguish the blaze quickly (“Do not let the sun do down on your anger.”), those sparks can grow into a raging fire that destroys your marriage. A raging wildfire takes time to contain and extinguish. Likewise, you and your spouse may need time to solve your disagreements. Not going to bed angry doesn’t mean that you have to solve a problem when you’re exhausted and more likely to make things worse. It means that you and your spouse acknowledge that you’ll discuss the issue in the near future when you’re both calm and rested.

The Bible also tells us that anger can lead to spiritual struggles. When we stoke those little disagreements, we’re giving Satan an opportunity to heap more fuel on the fire. He is the Destroyer. He wants nothing more than to see your marriage burn to ashes. So, prevent a wildfire in your marriage. Extinguish the little disagreements quickly. And if the fire is too big, call for help. God wants to help your marriage grow.

Only you can prevent forest fires. Start by extinguishing the little ones that pop up during the day. You may just get a better night’s sleep.


Heavenly Father, help me avoid responding in anger; and when I do, please remind me to extinguish the little fires quickly.

Today’s Question

What is a healthy way to recognize when we’ve responded in anger and then work to put it out quickly?

Additional Resources

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Entertainment Reviews Your Family Can Trust

Plugged In shines a light on the world of popular entertainment while giving families the essential tools they need to understand, navigate, and impact the culture in which they live. Let us help your family make wise and informed choices about movies, TV shows, music, video games, and more!
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Talk to a Counselor

If you need further guidance and encouragement, Focus on the Family has a staff of licensed, professional counselors who offer a one-time complimentary consultation from a Christian perspective. They can also refer you to counselors in your area for ongoing assistance.
Reach a Focus on the Family counselor toll-free at 1-855-771-HELP (4357).

Understand How to Respect and Love Your Son Well

"Why doesn’t my son listen to me?" Have you ever asked yourself that? The truth is, how you view your son and talk to him has a significant effect on how he thinks and acts. That’s why we want to help you. We’ve created a free five-part video series called “Recognizing Your Son’s Need for Respect” that will help you understand how showing respect, rather than shaming and badgering, will serve to motivate and guide your son.

Focus on Parenting Podcast

Mom or dad, could you use some encouragement and support? Put your ear buds in for this Christian parenting podcast and get practical, faith-based inspiration through all stages of parenting. Hosted by Dr. Danny Huerta, in every 8 to 15 minute episode, you’ll hear parenting experts share Biblical truths, effective parenting techniques, and useful resources that will help you feel equipped as a mom or dad in today’s culture.
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Learn How to Speak Your Strong-Willed Child's Language

In this free 6-part video series, Cynthia Tobias, author of many popular parenting books including You Can’t Make Me, explains why your strong-willed child thinks in certain ways and gives you effective tools you can use when communicating with him or her. Start today!

Get Equipped With the Truth So
You Can Bring Light to the Lies

Abortion is not an easy subject to talk about. You want to defend the truth, to expose the realities so easily confused during these times. Yet, it is so easy to tense up, to get nervous, to get so concerned with wanting to say the “right thing” that you end up saying nothing at all. If you feel at a loss when these conversations come up, this video series, “8 Lies About Abortion,” can help equip you with the truth, and the confidence to engage in the discussion.

Next Steps: Marriage Assessment

We want your marriage to be thriving and healthy. Take the free Marriage Assessment from Focus on the Family to learn how to strengthen your bond with your spouse and get the tools to help you need to grow closer together. 

Next Steps: Fruit of the Spirit Devotionals for Couples

The Fruit of the Spirit Devotional is a free series of nine short videos to get you into God’s Word and inspire you to seek the Holy Spirit’s help in loving your spouse.


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