Controlling the Tongue


How can you teach your children about the importance of watching their words?


Thank God for His Word and for making you in His image. Take turns offering a prayer of praise for the many ways God has gifted you to communicate with each other.


If possible, build a fire and enjoy the warmth together. If not, then simply recall a time when you enjoyed the warmth of a fire—whether during a special winter gathering or during a summer camping trip. Take turns describing your favorite fireside memories.


The fireside memories that you cherish have one thing in common: control. Any fire that is out of control is far from a cherished memory because it is extremely dangerous. James, the brother of Jesus, teaches about the importance of watching your words. He writes, "Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark" (James 3:5). If left uncontrolled, your words have the potential to cause great damage, just as a spark can ignite a terrible fire. You keep fire contained to protect your family from harm; in the same way, you can exercise self-control in your choice of words to avoid hurting others.


- What do you think James meant when he said that the tongue makes "great boasts"? Give some examples.

- How have you experienced the hurt that can come from a few "out of control" words?

- How can you be careful in your communication so you don't hurt others?

Proverbs 21:23

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