Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Building Words

Shout those building words ...

Words ... they have such power.  Simple syllables strung together can break, heal, destroy and mend.

The world around us seems to have gone crazy with their words.  Have you heard some of the phrases dribbling out of mouths lately?  As a momma, how do I teach my lil' warriors to wield these weapons with grace and kindness? 

Honesty here, it's a battle I have fought as well.  Those sneaky syllables seem to slip out when I least expect it.   Discouraging remarks.  A raised frustrated tone.  Words ran rampant in our home, and not the best ones either.  

By no means am I an expert, but I am mom.  And we have been getting a tight grip on our words.  Wanna know how?  Happy you asked ...

Get creative.  March into battle.  Take it into our Treasure Time.

We call them building words, straight from Ephesians 4:29.  And yes, we sing that verse in our home as well.  (I'll video us and youtube it for you all if you would like :)   As for now, think of boys and mom singing a bit off key to our own tune with catchy hand signals ...

"Do not let any unwholesome talk, come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up ..."  

To teach the power of our words, we grabbed our wooden building blocks.  Any blocks will do ... We all took turns saying kinds things about mom.  I even joined in the fun.  With each kind thing, our tower built up, block after block, word after word.  Then, with one quick word of unkindness out of my mouth about myself, I hit the tower sending blocks scrambling to the floor.  Eyes popped wide.  Hearts ready to listen.

Words build up.  Words tear down.  Really, there is no in between.  This led to lively discussions around our home.  My boys, blesstheirhearts, really dig deep.  Is everything I say either building someone up or tearing them down?  What about hello?  (we concluded it was building someone up to say hello to them and greet them).  Can we really do this, ALL the time?  Would God give us this command if it was impossible?  And we dug together.

We encouraged building words by plopping marbles from our character jar each time we heard them.  We built each other up at every meal.  Mom sat with the boys as they practiced baseball and played together, catching them in wholesome words to mark it and celebrate.  When we oopsed, and tore down, we built them back up right away with 5 block building statements.  We created new habits ... of building others up.  

Its taken time and we're going strong.  As we grasp the power of our words, these boys and their momma might just change the world, syllable by syllable.


Anonymous said...

I love this! We've had some not so nice words being said among siblings ("You're dumb. You're annoying.") and we have talked about how words hurt but I like the visual with the blocks. Because sometimes I think they listen, but don't really hear. Maybe a visual will help send a better message!

Meliski said...

Thanks for sharing this!! I love the visual of building and tearing down. Powerful.

Anonymous said...

Oh how powerful are our words....we walk away thinking no real harm done but we do not see the wound our words as sharp arrows may have pierced another's heart...enjoyed your words of truth this morning!

Anonymous said...

I know what we're doing after lunch tomorrow. =) Thanks for sharing.

Unknown said...

BEAUTIFUL! Can't wait to use this example with the children :-D

Love you and building up with you!

xo Jill

Keystone said...

"...but ONLY what is helpful for building others up"
~~~Ephesians 4:29

One of my favorite books in all the Bible; Ephesians!

My girls were yelling at each other and had been told to stop. Finally, I went to their room to see what the hassle was. Both sides had their view.
I gave them Ephesians 6 and flatly stated to my girls:
"CHILDREN! Obey your Parents"

They were used to me flinging Bible at them.
And my youngest, Karli looked up with eyes of a first grader and replied:

"Fathers....do not exasperate your children!"
~~~Ephesians 6...the next verse I always leave out and she always remembers.

We laughed aloud.
Mental note made to self...."Self: think before you make a statement to that one!"

"...but only what is helpful to building others up"

Those are the words we need to employ always.

1 Peter 3:15 glimpses into that world of words saying THIS:
"But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord.
ALWAYS be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the REASON FOR THE HOPE that you have.
But do this with GENTLENESS and RESPECT"

(CAPS mine for emphasis)

I wish you good luck when your children learn Ephesians 6. Your days of exasperating the kids are over then!

Unknown said...

This is great!! Thanks for sharing:)

Anonymous said...

Just wanted to stop in and wish you a very Happy Mother's Day tomorrow...May your cup runneth over and Splash on somebody .....

Chris said...

Hi Sarah, just stopping by to say how delightful your blog is. Thanks so much for sharing. I have recently found your blog and am now following you, and will visit often. Please stop by my blog and perhaps you would like to follow me also. Have a wonderful day. Hugs, Chris