“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.” Ephesians 4:29
Words are powerful! Whoever said, “sticks and stones will break my bones but words will never hurt me” was a liar! Or stupid. Words can build up … or tear down.
You’ve experienced the power of words–both positive and negative–in your life, right?
As parents, especially as our kids get older, we may wonder if our kids are really listening. If they were truly listening–even just a little–we wouldn’t have to repeat ourselves so often!
While we may wonder if our kids are listening, we can be confident that they are watching. They may not hold on to every nugget of wisdom–or even simple directions– but they do remember the big picture.
Think about a computer screen for a moment; the overall image is created by thousands and thousands of pixels (unless you aren’t on a Mac, then your screen probably has 20 pixels). When you look at the screen, you look at the entire picture, not each individual pixel.
Our kids perceive our words in the same way. They don’t remember every single word or each individual conversation, each if these are simply small pixels making up a larger picture. Every conversation is important! You can’t have a big picture without small pixels. But a single good conversation won’t overcome a hundred bad ones.
Consider your words from the past week or so. As you think about the things you said directly to your kids (and the conversations you’ve had with others in front of them), ask yourself the following questions:
- Did your kids form an overall picture what is wholesome?
- Did they see you building others up according to their needs?
As a church family, let’s make a commitment to using better words to and around our kids. When we choose to honor Christ in this way, not only do we build strong families, but we also have a strong “witness” to the world. People in our community will notice that we are different because of the way we speak to one another!