Family Devotion Idea: Good and Bad Words
*About twice a month, we try to post the outline of a family devotion that you and your kids can do together. Carve out some time with your kids for a fun and creative discussion this week!
God wants us to use good words.
Proverbs 12:18 “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.”
Proverbs 25:18 “Like a club or a sword or a sharp arrow is the man who gives false testimony against his neighbor.”
Proverbs 15:4 “The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit.”
I Thessalonians 5:11 “Encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.”
Paper and pen
2 hats or 2 bowls
Option 1: Legos or building blocks
Option 2: Large flip-chart-size paper, tape, and marker
Cut slips of paper approximately 2” by 4”. For Option 1 build the shape of a person out of the Lego blocks.
Lesson and Discussion:
*Words that are written in bold are when you, the parent, are speaking. Feel free to use your own words.
What do you think the Bible means when it says, “Words can cut like a sword.” Listen to their answers. What do you think the Bible means when it says, “Kind words can bring healing.” Listen to their answers. There are good words and bad words. We are going to see how words can build people up and how words can tear people down.
First, let’s write on these slips of paper good words that build people up. And then we will write words that tear people down. Note: Children don’t have to know how to read or write. Parents can do all of the reading and writing.
Building up words (include words used by members of your family):
I’ll share with you, What’s your name?, I forgive you, I will be your friend, Can I help you?, Thank you, I like you, Please, Good job, Let’s play, Let’s work it out, You’re special, Praise God
Tearing down words (include words used by members of your family when they get upset):
You’re not my friend, I don’t like you, I won’t do what you say, Clumsy, Idiot, Ugly, You’re mean, Dumb, Stupid
Put the building up words in one hat or bowl and the tearing down words in a second hat or bowl.
Option 1: Bring out the Lego person. Children take turns pulling words out of the hat or bowl filled with negative words. Read the word and ask, “Is that a building up word or tearing down word?” Tearing down word. With each negative word take a block off the Lego person. The words are tearing the person down.
Repeat the activity using the hat or bowl with building up words and build the Lego person back up.
Option 2: Using the marker, trace each child on a large piece of flip-chart-size paper. Tape the body outline onto the wall. Caution: Be careful to use a marker that will not bleed through the paper and onto the floor. Use tape that will not pull off the paint or wallpaper.
Children take turns pulling words out of the hat or bowl filled with negative words. Read the word and ask, “Is that a building up word or tearing down word?” Tearing down word. With each negative word tear a piece of paper off the outline taped to the wall. The words are tearing the person down.
Repeat the activity using the hat or bowl with building up words and tape the torn pieces of paper back onto the child’s outline.
God wants us to use words that build others up, not words that tear others down. Even when we taped the pieces back together you can still see the tears. We can use building up words like “I’m sorry,” but part of the damage remains.
This week let’s practice using building up words. We will point out building up words and tearing down words.
If you like this devotion idea, there are hundreds more available from Family Time Training. See the link on the right side of this page for more information.