The power of life-giving words

Studying the word of God--together--a new weekly article for Itakejoy!

I receive so many emails from moms asking specific questions: How do I discipline my two year old? When should I start "school"? How can I build a stronger relationship with my teen who is more interested in spending time with friends than with our family? How can I love my husband when he isn't being the spiritual leader our family needs? As much as I would love to answer each email personally, there is just not enough of me to go around! As I've prayed and wondered how I can minister to more women, the idea of posting a weekly Bible study has come to mind. By taking an in-depth look at some of the topics I've written about, I hope that you will dig into God's Word and lean on Him to give you His strength and wisdom. You are the only one navigating the Mom Walk He has designed just for you.

This week, we are going to look at the power of words. I have been thinking about the importance of words lately - they bring life or death. Jesus was called the word and His life brought hope and redemption and truth and guidance. 

I have met so many young 20 somethings who have scars from their parents--mainly, I have heard stories of parents who never encouraged or had time to listen or believe in dreams or sympathize. "My parents never listened to me. They never understood me. They were always angry at me," is often what I hear. 

But if we were to look at the Word, Jesus himself, we would see intentional encouragement. "Peter, you are the rock. Thomas, a ma in whom there is no guile. The centurion--no one has had faith like you. Mary, your story will be told about you for all times." Jesus always took time to show love to initiate words of life--even to believe in Peter and encourage him as he was about to rebel against him. Peter, Satan has desired to sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for you......"

A word held back could keep a person from hope, faith, affirmation -- or it could keep them from scarring a child, building a wall, separating friends. James tells us that we should be very careful of our words and that we will be held accountable for them someday. Here are just a few thoughts on words from The Ministry of Motherhood.

Words are powerful; the Bible is full of that message. The whole universe came into being because God spoke the words. God's written word in the form of Scripture is central to his ongoing communication with his people. Jesus himself, God's ultimate form of communication, is described as the Word of God. And the Bible is clear that our words are important too. Many verses instruct us in the importance of words spoken as a source of life and encouragement. A few of these verses from Proverbs describe how precious words can be:

A soothing tongue is a tree of life. (15:4)

A man has joy in an apt answer,

And how delightful is a timely word! (15:23)

Like apples of gold in settings of silver

Is a word spoken in right circumstances. (25:11)

Encouraging and affirming words -- words of life, as I like to call them -- have the power to give hope, to strengthen others to keep growing in righteousness. And if I, a grown woman, need them to keep me going through hard times, my children need them even more. Positive words act as water and sunshine to our souls to help them grow strong.    taken from The Ministry of Motherhood, p. 41

In Proverbs 15:4, how is a soothing tongue a tree of life? How do bitter words stunt growth?

Proverbs 15:23 says a timely word is delightful. How can you encourage one of your children with a "timely word" today? Have you received a "timely word" in your quiet time lately? How did that encourage you?

Gold and silver are precious metals mentioned in Proverbs 25:11. Read this verse to your children and have them illustrate what they think this would look like. Discuss how our words can create a picture of beauty for others. End your time with an apple snack. =)

May the Lord bless you with creative ideas on ways you can speak life to your loved ones this week!