"Death and life are in the power of the tongue."
This verse is written on the white board.
Under it, I also wrote, as much a reminder to myself as to the children,
"Choose your words carefully. Think: am I speaking life?"
Words give life to our very souls.
We want to teach our children to understand that their speech can foster harm or health.
Psalm 34:12-13, one of the three rules in our home says:
"Whosoever of you loves life and desires to see many good days,
keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking lies."
Sarcasm and complaining are two negative habits that lead to death.
The Greek word for sarcasm literally means, "tearing flesh."
If we use sarcasm in the home,
our caustic words
rip at the hearts
of the one we speak to,
who they are.
I know this well, having a fresh experience with it just the other day.
I used a sarcasitc coment, thinking it would be funny,
but to my horror, the person I spoke to sort of wilted, obviously not seeing any humor in it at all.
I had already been contemplating this verse, and the lesson smarted.
As it should.
I was out of line, and I hope I can always recall how terrible I felt,
so that I can avoid such statements in the future.
For further contemplation, I have a list of verses to ponder...
perhaps to write out on 3 x 5 cards and place around the house to be reminders.
Prov. 16:23 "A wise man's heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction."
Prov. 16:24 " Pleasant words are a honey comb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones."
Prov. 10:20 " The tongue of the righteous is choice silver..the lips of the righteous nurish many."
Prov. 13:2 "From the fruit of his lips a man enjoys good things."
Prov. 13:3 "He who guards his lips guards his soul, but he who speaks rashly will come to ruin."
Prov. 13:14 "A gentle answer turns away rath, but harsh words stir up strife."
Prov. 25:11 "A word aptly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."
Practice words of life:
I love you.
I am proud of you.
I accept you.
God loves you.
I am sorry.
Please forgive me.
I forgive you.
You are such a blessing.
You are a treasure.
I knew you could do it!
You are beautiful.
I am so thankful for you.
"The good we could do in our homes with our tongues
if we would use them to the utmost limit of their capacity is simply impossible to compute.
Especially why should we ever pervert these gifts and use our tongues to do evil,
to give pain, to scatter seeds of bitterness?"
J.R. Miller, Homemaking pp 183
"Reckless words pierce like a sword,
but the tongue of the wise brings healing."
Am I speaking life, or death?