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”Death and life are in the power of the tongue . . .” (Proverbs 18:21, CSB).

Two days before my wedding in 1978, I talked to my mother on the phone. When I excitedly asked if she was all ready for Saturday (the wedding), she replied indifferently, “Why? What’s going on Saturday?” Our conversation went downhill from there, and ended with her telling me I would never be happy. Though nothing could dampen the joy of my impending wedding, her odious words ring in my heart still.

This incident is one of many that took place when I was growing up, and later into my adult life. I painfully learned Proverbs 12:18 firsthand: “Reckless words pierce like a sword.” After I came to know Christ and began reading the Bible, Psalm 27:10 proved a great source of comfort: “When my father and mother forsake me, the Lord will take me up.”

Reckless words. Few people get through this life without having been pierced by them—and some of us are ashamed to admit we have done a little piercing ourselves. Yet God commands us to be pure in thought, word, and deed.

This unit will explore:

  • How our words impact others
  • Lives of biblical women, and how their words influenced generations after them
  • The root of our problem with words
  • The power God gives each of us to bridle our own tongue
  • Tips on transforming your speech, if you are given to negative and/or wounding speech

Recommended Resources

  • Jaynes, Sharon. The Power of a Woman’s Words: How the Words You Speak Shape the Lives of Others. Eugene, OR: Harvest House Publishers, revised 2020.
  • Meyer, Joyce. Change Your Words, Change Your Life. New York City: FaithWords, reprint edition 2013.
  • Morris, Robert. The Power of Your Words: How God Can Bless Your Life Through the Words You Speak. Bloomington, MN: Bethany House, 2009.
  • Webb, Rhonda Rizzo. Words Begin in Our Hearts. Chicago, IL: Moody Publishers, 2003.
  • The Power of Words: A Four-Week Devotional Study by Nancy Leigh DeMoss Wolgemuth. Niles, MN: Life Action Ministries, 2003.

About the Author

PATTY KENNEDY previously worked for AG Women as assistant editor, and now thoroughly enjoys editing books with her husband John. The Kennedys have three sons and daughters in law, and five grandchildren. They live in Springfield, MO.

All Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from the HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV®. COPYRIGHT ©1973, 1978, 1984 BY INTERNATIONAL BIBLE SOCIETY®.

All Scripture quotations marked CSB are taken from The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

“The Power of a Woman's Words” is published by the National Women’s Department at women.ag.org, 2020. Permission granted for personal use or within a teaching setting. Do not reproduce.