Your words are powerful. Let’s look at how they impact your family, and 6 Scriptures to help you speak encouragement for your family every day.
Want a happy home life?
One of the first things to take a look at is your WORDS.
How are you using your words with your husband? Your kids? What about with yourself, in your thought life?
Your words matter.
Friend, nothing will tear down your home faster than harsh words, angry words, thoughtless words… and even the silent lack of encouraging, compassionate, kind words.
So today, we’ll take a look at:
- why your words impact your home atmosphere so much
- how your words impact the people you love
- 6 Scriptures that show us how best to use words inside our homes
[This post may contain affiliate links. If a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission at no extra charge to you.]
As we’ve been diving deep into Proverbs 14:1, we’ve looked at a lot of things that impact your home life. From your attitude to apologies to fun activities, there is a lot that a wise woman focuses on in order to build a happy and godly home.
But today, I really think we’re looking at one of the most powerful pieces of the puzzle.
Our goal, of course, is to BE Proverbs 14:1 women. To be wise women building up our homes. And NOT to be the foolish woman who is tearing hers down.
Your words can easily be the deciding factor between which woman you are.
Are you the wise woman, building up her home with encouraging words for family? Or… are you the foolish women, tearing your home down with your own lips?
Words matter. They are powerful. And they play a large role in shaping not only our own happiness, but that of our family and our overall home life too.
Words are easy to mess up
Whether it’s our emotions, our stress, or the busyness of the moment, it is easy for our words to slip out and have a negative impact.
I think that’s why the Bible focuses so much on how we speak to one another!
Perhaps the most obvious (and long) example is in James 3. It is all about how hard it is to control our tongue, and how powerful our tongue is… for good or bad.
When your emotions are high, it’s easy to start yelling at your kids or snapping at your husband. Or, some of us handle that emotion by backing off and shutting down. Neither is helpful for building healthy, happy, and holy family relationships.
We want to be intentional with our words, so that we can have a positive impact on our family.
Nonverbals matter as much as words
Before we look specifically at the words we choose to say (or avoid saying), let’s take a moment and remember that our nonverbal are just as important as our actual words.
Nonverbal communication shapes how people receive what we are saying. For example, if you say “I love you” while yelling and crossing your arms, your daughter is not really going to walk away feeling loved. Your nonverbal were more powerful than your actual words.
If you want to speak encouragement to your family, it will take more than just the right words. (Which we will look at in just a moment!) It also takes these 5 nonverbal ways of communicating encouragement:
- Tone of voice – use a tone of voice that matches what you are trying to say
- Volume of speaking – speak with a soft or loud volume based on what you are truly trying to communicate
- Pace of speech – it is easy to speak faster when we are feeling stressed or emotions are rising, so be careful about how fast you are speaking
- Eye contact – if you want to encourage someone, make sure that you are making eye contact while you are talking (and listening) to them
- Turn toward them – I know you’re busy, but make sure to turn your body (or at least your head) toward the person you are speaking to, if you want to have a positive connection
Scriptures for the wise woman speaking encouragement
There are a ton of Bible passages about how to use your words well. And most of the time, the Bible talks about communication in a broad way, not specifically for family relationships.
You can get a lot just from reading through the Proverbs or diving into the epistles in the New Testament.
Let’s look at 6 powerful Scriptures that shape how you should use words in your home.
1. Proverbs 15:1
“A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.”
Here we see two opposite ways of communicating with our family members. Gentleness and harshness.
Obviously, gentleness is the way to go! Gentle words create a happy home life. They calm big emotions, encourage us on a hard day, and bring a sense of peace to the busyness of life.
But this verse also points out what outcome you can expect based on the words that you choose.
If you give “a gentle answer,” you can expect things to calm down. Emotions will be manageable. Relationships will be more pleasant.
However, if you choose a harsh word, you can expect anger to build. Conflict will rise. Relationships could get damaged.
As you are intentional with your words, be careful to speak with gentleness and to avoid harsh, emotional responses.
2. Ephesians 4:29
“Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen.”
This is one of my favorite verses about how to communicate well!
The starting point is obvious: avoid unwholesome talk. Don’t call people names. Avoid cursing and complaining. Do not let discouraging comments out of your mouth.
But the second half of this verse is just as important.
When you do speak, choose words that are genuinely helpful. Words that will build others up according to their needs. Choose words that benefit the other person.
This is not necessarily easy! On the good days, when everyone is cheerful and life is going pretty smoothly, this will be easy. But many days, you will need to be paying attention to what the person in front of you really needs.
- When your husband has a bad day at work… what does he need to hear?
- When your child is teased at school… what do they need to hear?
Everyone is different. Some will need a listening ear with very few words at all. Others will need verbal reminders of their worth and value. You might jump right into prayer, or need to wait to bring up God’s goodness until after there has been some emotional processing.
Know your people, and know how to use your words in ways that encourage them as individuals. How can your words benefit them?
3. James 1:26
“Those who consider themselves religious and yet do not keep a tight rein on their tongues deceive themselves, and their religion is worthless.”
It is easy to get comfortable at home, comfortable in your relationships, and stop keeping a tight rein on your tongue.
And this can be dangerous.
Of course, you want to be comfortable at home and with your people. That is a key part of enjoying Christian family life! But you don’t want to get so comfortable that you being letting the little things slide.
Especially when you start to see maturity and good habits developing in your family, don’t stop paying attention. Don’t deceive yourself.
Continue to be intentional with how you use your words.
4. Colossians 3:12
“Therefore, as God’s chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience.”
There is a lot here, and it will ALL help you speak encouraging words to your family.
First, we see a list of qualities that should describe our words. We should be compassionate, kind, humble, gentle, and patient. Not just with our attitudes, but with our actual words.
Are your words kind? Gentle? Do they show patience? Are they prideful and defensive, or humble and compassionate?
Second, we are reminded here that our words come from the overflow of our heart. Jesus tells us this in Matthew 12:34.
- Because you are chosen by God, you can speak with gentleness even when you’re feeling stressed.
- Because you are made holy through the blood of Christ, you can show compassion even when you’re hurting.
- Because you are dearly loved by God the Father, you can show patience to the people you love even when they are frustrating you.
Clothe yourself with words that are encouraging. Words that are for the good of your family.
5. Philippians 4:8
“Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
… and speak them!
Yes, this verse tells us how to think. Think about things that are good, true, and admirable.
But trust me, if I’ve learned anything as a counselor over these past years, it is the power of our thought life over what we say and do.
If you are thinking in line with Philippians 4:8, you will also speak this way. You will speak words that are pure, lovely, and admirable. Encouragement will flow from your tongue without much effort, because it will match what you are thinking about.
So yes, be intentional to speak words that can be described this way: true, noble, right, pure, lovely, admirable, excellent, praiseworthy.
But make sure to also think this way so that out of this overflow in your heart, your mouth will speak.
6. Psalm 138:1-2
“I will praise you, Lord, with all my heart; before the “gods” I will sing your praise. I will bow down toward your holy temple and will praise your name for your unfailing love and your faithfulness…”
As we reflect on how the Bible leads us toward encouraging words, we cannot forget the importance of gospel conversation in our homes.
Yes, you will want to speak words of encouragement that are specific to your people, their needs, their struggles, and their personalities.
But you also will create a happy home as you praise the Lord together! Sing his praise. Talk about what He has done. Share what you are reading and learning.
With your husband and your kids, praise the Lord’s name for his unfailing love and faithfulness.
Is anything more encouraging?
The impact of speaking encouraging words for your family
Let me close with a few reminders of how your words impact your family.
It is very common as a counselor to sit down with people and work on their negative beliefs about their identity, worth, or self-esteem. And so often, this is heavily influenced by the words that they heard in their home growing up.
Your words matter.
They have a huge impact on your husband and kids! (And how you talk to yourself, the thoughts inside your own head, have a huge impact on you, too.)
Here are a few ways that your words are impacting your family, for good or for bad. (Remember the foolish woman of Proverbs 14:1?) If you use positive, encouraging words in your home, you will:
- build their confidence in who they are and how valuable they are
- bring comfort, encouragement, and a sense of purpose
- fill them with biblical truth about their identity, value, and purpose
- protect them from needing to turn to social media or other people to give them a sense of value
- strengthen the intimacy and connection in your relationship
- shape how they think about the world and their place in it
- build their skills in emotional control
Listen to Episode #120
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Disclaimers: I am a licensed therapist but my podcast, blog, and resources are not professional or personal advice. I am an affiliate for many of the resources that I link to, and may earn a small commission if you purchase through my link. Read my full disclaimer here.