The following is an excerpt from a new book Angela and I are writing about parenting teenagers scheduled for release, Spring 2016. The title of the chapter is, “Words of Power or Words of Pain.”
Words are significant, they are forming, and they matter. So much so that the book of James describes the power of the tongue in James 1:4-5 like this: “Look at the ships also: though they are so large and are driven by strong winds, they are guided by a very small rudder wherever the will of the pilot directs. So also the tongue is a small member yet it boasts of great things.” The human tongue is powerful and the words that come from it are life giving or damaging. When it comes to parenting, we believe the power of the tongue is even more influential because God has given us a special level of influence in the lives of our teenaged children. We have been designed to speak into their lives so what we say, in effect, matters more than what everyone else says. This is a power that can edify for the Glory of Christ and the health of our child or it can cause the teenage soul to wither from the inside out. Just think about the things your parents have said to you throughout the years. Do you have thoughts of gratitude or tears of pain? Our words matter.