Hands-on Faith for Families– week of 4/29/13

Controlling the Tongue

Proverbs 21:23

He who guards his mouth and his tongue keeps himself from calamity.

Talking to God

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.

Diving In

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.

Going Deeper

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.

Talking to Each Other

  • 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?

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From Focus on the Family's Thrivingfamily.com. © [2011] [Janine Petry]. Used by permission.