Words for Family | James 3:2-12 | January 21, 2018

Warm Up: Words are more impactful than we think. The way we communicate and how we communicate will either lift up or tear down. Each family has their own way of using words. Some families live within a “brash, honest, and blunt” style of communication. Others adopt a “passive, sweep everything under the rug” way of communicating. How would you characterize the communication style of your home growing up? 

• Read James 3:2-12. James, very clearly, explains to us that our words (the tongue) are incredibly powerful. Our words have the ability to do much harm, or much good. What are the three analogies that James uses to describe the power of the tongue? Do you think they are accurate?

•  How have you seen words negatively influence relationships recently? 

•  How have you seen them used for good recently? 

•  Why do you think it is so hard to control what we say? How have you experienced victory in taming the tongue personally?  

•  Within family, the words we say carry a great deal of weight because family relationships run deeper. What we say and how we say it can set the trajectory of our family relationships for many years. Our words can literally set our family on either a path of godliness and faith or a path of godlessness and destruction.

•  How would you currently characterize the words spoken in your home? What style of communication is dominant? What may need adjusting? 

•  Discuss how words can be either be life-giving or life-sucking within marriage. (Share personal examples as you feel comfortable)

•  If you have kids, in what ways have you seen your words used to powerfully build up and instill confidence? Conversely, how have you seen your words discourage your kids? What lessons have you learned in this area? 

•  As Christians, we look to Jesus as our example of how we should communicate, and words we should use. John 1:14 says that Jesus came to earth “full of grace and truth.” Everything He did and said contained the balance of both grace and truth. 

•  Think of some teachings of Jesus. How did he display grace and truth with His words? 

•  Why is being full of both grace and truth so essential in doing family well? 

•  What are some examples how your family might be able to grow in grace and truth? 

Wrap Up: Imagine how different your family would look if your words were like Jesus’ words — “full of grace and truth.”  Our words are an outpouring of our heart condition. And the only one who can change our hearts is Jesus. Spend some time asking Jesus to change your hearts.