Proverbs 18:21: The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit.

1 Thessalonians 5:11 Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.

Our words matter.

A little quiet observation at just about any sporting event will remind you of how powerful a parent’s words are to their kids. While attending youth surf contests over the past couple of years, I have seen one too many parents welcome their kid out of the water with words of disappointment. Watching a young surfer come out of the water, already bummed about their performance, only to hear a public ridicule is painful. The depth of the wounds can be seen right on a child’s face.

I’ve been guilty: Even at surf contests I’ve caught myself, disappointed in the efforts that my surfer boys put into a heat. Knowing how much they’ve trained, and how prepared they are, I have caught myself speaking out of my own frustration: “WHAT were you thinking out there?” I have asked.
(Maybe more than once.)


In a stressful moment, the words can come all too easily. Whether we are speaking to a competitive child, or our own spouse, the words we choose absolutely impact other people’s lives. They have power.
Power to build up.
And power to tear down.
Power to give confidence.
And power to break it. Even when we find someone in the worst of circumstances, we have the opportunity to use our words to re-direct, and bring hope. In a child’s life, this can make all of the difference in the world.

What are you building with your words?
Consider using your words as instruments of peace and encouragement this week. As a family we are working on this one right now. In fact, here’s our family memory verse:

Ephesians 4:29 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.

Be blessed!