Family Life, Prayer & Devotion

My Building Blocks

[6/365] Eric Carle StickersWhen our son, Gabriel, was 3 years old, he received these beautiful “Eric Carle” stacking/nesting blocks for Christmas. On one side of each block was a colorfully painted number, going from 1 to 10. On the other side was an animal illustration from Eric Carle’s books, embellished with a different texture (such as soft fur or ridged cardboard) for tactile learning. These blocks were well-loved. And, as much as I wanted to keep them forever, they eventually fell apart after many little hands have played with them and many drooling mouths have gnawed on them.

I recall one night I was helping Gabriel stack them, counting along as he carefully placed the next block on top. His face lit up as he saw how high we were able to build the tower, almost taller than he was. When he was about to place the #9 block ever so gently, one-year-old sister Tamara snuck up behind him and with one swing, knocked the whole thing down. As you might guess, he wasn’t too happy about that. He cried in my arms while baby sister looked “innocently” on.

Oops!This typical playtime scene really gives us a good picture of how we use our words with one another, both positively and negatively. It takes time, effort, and careful attention to use what we say so that it has a positive effect on our hearers … just like Gabriel’s tower-building. On the flip side, it doesn’t take much to tear down the positives that we have built with just one thoughtless word … just like Tamara’s sudden swing at the stacked blocks.

Ephesians 4:29 says, “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” We ought to use our words to build others up, to edify, make strong, and encourage. We need to say what is fitting or appropriate for that moment. As much as I want to say everything that is on my mind, I know I need to take the time to edit myself and make sure that what I’m saying is truly needed. We should also make sure that the words that come out of our mouths bestow favor on the hearer. They ought to be a reflection of our gracious God (1 Peter 4:11).

My immediate application of this verse is in my communication towards my children, since I am with them all day. The words I exchange with them are innumerable. How many careless words have been fired from my mouth, aimed directly at my children’s hearts? Far too many. Those darts fly quickly, just like Tamara’s swift arm that toppled Gabriel’s tower down. It takes very little work. On the other hand, words that build up my children will take time and effort. It will require me to listen better to them, to take the time to ask questions, to study them and understand their personalities, and to be in the Word, meditating on it throughout the day. But I have no doubt that the end result will be a sight to behold.


(Photo credit 1: goaliej54)
(Photo credit 2: msaari)

30 thoughts on “My Building Blocks”

    1. Thank you! I’m glad you stopped by to visit. Looking forward to see what you’ll be sharing on your blog … I’m always looking for activity ideas to do with my little ones. God bless!

    1. Oh, how I miss those blocks! I saw them on amazon if you want to see what they look like. I’m tempted to buy another set. It’s something I would want to put on display in the kids’ room.

    1. It’s an area that God has been impressing upon my heart lately. I’m thankful others can be encouraged by His Word, since I know I’m not alone in this. Thank you for stopping by!

  1. We are reminded that no woman is ever “just a mother.” There is no more important “job” in the world than the care and nurture of the next generation. Thank you for your words of wisdom, Eternity is likely to show that mothers were more important than heads of international corporations or famous athletes or entertainers, though the world thinks more highly of them, and looks down on “just mothers.” God bless you.

    1. Thank you for your comment! I think that’s what I get convicted about the most when I have hurt my children with my words. The Lord has entrusted me with the task of protecting them, especially in these early years, from the corrupting talk in this world and share with them the truth of God’s Word.

      1. It’s when you hear your negative tones of voice in the way they speak to one another……..that’s the thing that really drives the knife into your heart. I have four teens and for the most part they are really loving towards each other but I can hear all the times I have messed up coming out of their mouths and its painful. You only get one chance to get to right with your kids. There is so much I wish I could go back and do differently even though they have turned out as wonderfully as they have. I am proud of them all but I know that I have made some serious fundamental errors.

        1. Yes, I’ve been there and am still there. I’m thankful to The Lord for blessing me with my children and that He is also using them in my life to sanctify me.

        2. It is encouraging to hear from parents who have grown children, who are following Christ. I know we are nowhere near perfect parents, and we have an ugly, over-stuffed box of our mess-ups in life. But The Lord can take that and make it into something beautiful! His grace abounds!

  2. Great message. I had a trance/dream once in which I went to Heaven. While there Father pulled me up on many of the things I had done (and praised me for many good things). One was the terrible words I had said to people, and to Him. I had not even realized I had said anything wrong to most of them yet they were abominable to Him. Right now I am really working on that in my life. Words can even kill.

    1. Thank God it was only a dream! Praise The Lord that His people do not have to stand before His judgment seat and hear about all the sins committed. I cling to His promise, “I will remember your sins no more.” Jesus has paid for our sins and He has clothed us with His righteousness! Though we don’t deserve it, He has washed us clean from our corrupting talk and so many other sins. And, He can enable us to walk this life in a manner worthy of our calling.

  3. Reading this post brings to mind many of the thoughtless, hurtful words and acts I said and did in moments of frustration trying to balance work and home life. wretchedI regret these very much and while they happened mostly spontaneously, there was really no exonerating excuse – bit I thank God that in Him is no condemnation and Hw will turn everything out for good for those who love Him. My two boys are young men now, both educated professionals and loving Jesus in his own special way. Just sharing this to encourage mums and dads that when the bricks fall and tumble, Jesus will pick up the pieces and build something more beautiful.

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