As the Bible describes in James 3
, the tongue may be small, but it can do an awful lot of damage. Unfortunately, name-calling, cursing, bickering, whining, and putdowns find their way into most homes. Yet our words also have the power to heal, mend rifts, encourage other people, and praise God. Proverbs 25:11
compares well-chosen and well-timed words to “apples of gold in settings of silver.” Here are some tips to help you get started:
Walk the walk, talk the talk. Kids are listening, so watch your own language and model appropriate talk—even when you think little ears aren’t listening.Teach children how to apologize.
Hurtful words can’t be “unsaid,” but people can offer heartfelt apologies and change their ways. Offer examples of how to say sorry, and remember to seek children’s forgiveness when you mess up.Listen up! Proverbs 10:19
contains valuable advice that often goes unheeded: “Be sensible and keep your mouth shut.”
Help children understand the importance of stopping to think before you speak. When in doubt, it’s always better to seal your lips rather than say something you may regret.Praise God throughout the day.
Talk frequently about how good God is and thank him for his many blessings. Share favorite Bible passages, pray with one another, and brainstorm ways you can serve God and other people. When we focus on God and good words, our mouths and lives will bear good fruit.