Compare some smelly garbage with “garbage talk,” and some “precious” coins with “precious words.”
Discussion point: Our words reflect the attitude of our heart – either sinful or pure.
Hold your nose! For this exercise, you will need a bag of rotten garbage and some shiny silver coins. These props will help to illustrate the truths in Luke 6:45 and also Proverbs 10:20.
- Plan ahead and don’t empty your kitchen garbage for a few days. Make sure some meat, vegetable and fruit scraps have been left to produce a rotten smell. Have your children observe the refuse. Ensure they get a big whiff of the dreadful aroma. Ask them if they see anything in the garbage that is worth keeping.
- Next, open your wallet or purse and show them some shiny silver coins. Ask your children if they see anything valuable in your wallet.
- The concept you’ll want to convey is that our attitudes and words flow from our hearts. Explain that when we have sinful or selfish thoughts in our hearts, what we say will be of little value – like the garbage. Words of little value can be silly talk, or words spoken with a selfish or mean intent. When our hearts are pure in thought (like the refined metal used for making coins), then the talk that comes from our mouths will be like precious metals – kind, gentle and respectful words that encourage others.
- Write each of the following examples of “garbage talk” and “precious words” on a separate slip of paper. Read the words aloud and ask your children to identify where the words belong – in the garbage or in your wallet. Scrunch up the garbage words and throw them away. Place the precious words in your wallet or a piggy bank. Feel free to add your own examples to this list:
“I hate peas!”
“This is a great supper, Mom!”
“Get out of here!”
“Please stop doing that.”
“I don't like you!”
“That is an ugly drawing.”
“I like your artwork.”
“I love you.”
“I’m glad God gave me you as part of my family.”
- Close by praying, asking that God would put kind and loving thoughts in everyone’s heart so that you will be a family who speaks choice words, rather than words of no value.
Reaffirm these truths with your children and have some fun by referring to “garbage talk” or “precious words” throughout the days to follow.
“The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.”
“The tongue of the righteous is choice silver, but the heart of the wicked is of little value.”