As adults, we know that our mouths can either bring about great things or great destruction. The words that come out of our mouths can either build others up or bring them down. Even the words we speak to ourselves can have a great impact on our daily attitude and our walk with Christ.
Start the conversation by asking the following questions:
- Tell me about a time that someone said something not nice to you. How did it make you feel? Did it hurt your feelings?
- Have you ever said something that hurt someone else’s feelings? How were you feeling when you spoke not nicely? Were you mad? How did you feel when you found out that you hurt a friend with your words?
- Would you rather listen to someone who is yelling at you or someone who is talking nicely?
When we want people to listen to us, we may think that getting louder and yelling will get others to listen to us. It doesn’t work, does it? It usually makes others upset. Instead, we need to speak with a gentle and loving voice.
God knows all the words that come out of our mouth and He even knows when they are on our heart, even if we don’t actually say them.
Our words can really hurt others. We can say I’m sorry when we hurt others, but the hurt can still remain. Words can’t be undone once they are said. We have to be wise about the words we choose.
May the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be pleasing in your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. Psalm 19:14
He whose tongue is deceitful falls into trouble. Proverbs 17:20
I love listening to worship music with my kiddo. In fact, it is the only thing we listen to. He even has a radio in his room that either has K-Love or Family Life Radio on at all times. When he bust out lyrics to MercyMe, Tenth Avenue North or Casting Crowns, my heart soars! We always talk about what the words to the song mean.
Listen to these songs and talk about what the words of the songs mean.
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
This is a GREAT verse to memorize with your children. Discuss what this verse means with your children because it is the basis for our activity!
For this activity, you will need:
- Construction paper
I have created this super simple, cute printable for you to use for this activity. Download the Building up Others with your Words Printable.
Have your child cut out the shapes (working on fine motor skills here!). If your child is to young, cut the pieces out for them. Lay a piece of construction paper in front of your child and have the pieces to the house laid out to the side.
To earn a piece of the house, you will give your child a “not nice phrase” that they must turn into a “nice phrase.”
Feel free to come up with your own phrases. Here are some examples:
- Give me that toy NOW! ——-Please may have a turn with that toy when you are finished with it.
- Leave me alone! —– Please stop doing that.
- MINE! —- I am playing with this toy right now, but you can have a turn when I am done.
- Go away!—-I am upset and need to be left alone, please.
- You are mean! —– I do not like what you are saying or doing, please stop.
Your phrases and your child’s answers may be different. This activity is designed to reinforce respectful communication and help your child come up with different ways to “talk nicely.” As you do this project, remind your child that just as we are using “talking nicely and talking respectfully” to build our house, we use these same nice words to build other people up. Nice words make people happy and it pleases the Lord!!!