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Summary: This sermon encourages parents to use words that build up their children instead of tear them down.

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I) DO NOT LET ANY UNWHOLSOME TALK COME OUT OF YOUR MOUTHS,

Words that tear down...

A) Words of abuse :

Parents who would never physically abuse their child may think nothing of verbal abuse.

1) Direct – name calling and put downs. Screaming tantrums,

2) Indirect - Sarcasm, teasing, harsh jesting.

Prov 26:18-19 (NIV) Like a madman shooting firebrands or deadly arrows is a man who deceives his neighbor and says, "I was only joking!"

Good news : you can use words that build up.

B) Words of : judgment, fault finding, criticism

1) Judgment –

Belittling - his feeling, thoughts, or accomplishments.

2) Fault finding and criticism –

Often a perfectionistic parent w/ unrealistic expectations.

Message - God and I don’t accept you.

Good news : we can overcome perfectionism.

C) Words of : frustration and anger

Venting anger on defenseless children is unfair, uncaring, and unloving.

Good news : Frustration doesn’t have to lead to anger, anger doesn’t have to lead to hurtful words.

D) Words that discount

A discounting message reduces the value of a person.

A message that discounts is no bargain.

It can be denying :

1)The existence of a child’s fear. e.g. Fear of the dark.

2)The severity of a problem. e.g. "Its no big deal".

3)The solvability of a problem e.g. "You’ll never make it to college".

They learn to blame and devalue themselves.

Good news : depreciation can be turned into appreciation.

II) BUT ONLY WHAT IS HELPFUL FOR BUILDING OTHERS UP

Root word – oikoj (House)

oikodomhn - Arndt & Gingrich Greek Lexicon – process of building, construction. Figurative of spiritual strengthening, edifying, or building up.

Four building blocks for building up children : Speak words of :

A) Appreciation

Definition : to increase in value.

Appreciate :

1) Specifically – what do they do especially well.

2) Personally - who they are, not just what they do.

3) Sincerely – show them how God thinks of them.

4) Generously – maximize the good.

When we appreciate we are :

1) Building - their confidence in the Lord.

2) Countering - what other’s may say about them.

3)Valuing – who they are.

God highly values each child.

Ps 139:13-16 (NIV) For You created my inmost being; You knit me together in my mother’s womb. I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.

B) Encouragement and Affirmation

This builds a child’s :

1) Identity

This shows their identity is in Christ, not in hairstyles, clothes, friends, etc....

2) Courage

They won’t feel as pressured to fit in with the crowd.

It allows them to say "I am accepted regardless of what others think."

3) Confidence

It lets them know that you believe in them even when they don’t believe in themselves.

Pastor Joel Smith of Wellspring Community Church - "Marcia was labeled a "slow learner" early on in school. Her parents decided to bless her with encouragement and affirmation. Rather than push her to "hurry up" they praised her for being so methodical and sticking with it. She was invited to help in her parents’ Sunday School class. They noticed that she was patient with the kids and they understood the things she taught, so they encouraged her obvious teaching ability. One day she announced, "I want to be a teacher." Her parents encouraged the dream. After 61/2 years of college and several tutors, she graduated with a degree in education. Soon after her graduation, Marcia, the "slow learner," was offered a teaching position by a principal who noticed her excellent work.

C) Blessing

eulogia ulogia - Arndt & Gingrich Greek Lexicon "Speaking in favorable terms, praise, act of benefit or blessing.

eu = well, logoj = word

Importance to fathers :

Dr. J. Dobson “Some years ago, executives of a greeting-card company decided to do something special for mother’s Day. They set up a table in a federal prison, inviting any inmate who so desired to send a free card to his mom. The lines were so long they had to make another trip to the factory to get more cards. Due to the success of the event, they decided to do the same thing on Father’s Day, but this time no one came. Not one prisoner felt the need to send a card to his dad. Many had no idea who their fathers even were. What a sobering illustration of the importance of a dad and his blessing to his children.”

How do we bless :

1) With our words

Dr. John Trent “A blessing becomes so only when it is spoken... Spoken words of praise and appreciation gives the child an indication that he or she is worthwhile and valuable. It is not enough to provide a roof over our children’s heads or to provide them with food and the material necessities of life. Without spoken words of blessing they are left unsure of their personal worth and acceptance.”

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