Understanding the Power of the Tongue as a Christian Mom

We often underestimate the power of the tongue. But have you ever angrily said something to your kids (or anyone) out of frustration, and then instantly regretted it? You want to know why you regretted it? Because you know that the words you choose to say to people can have a real impact.

The spoken language is a powerful tool. It amazes me that there are so many languages in the world with the ability to convey the same message. We open our mouths and we speak words that can be understood by thousands. A voice can choreograph full sentences, give instruction and express emotions that otherwise would be difficult to understand.

The tongue gives us the power of communication. And with the right words, we can share a powerful message that can change lives.

By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, their starry host by the breath of his mouth. He gathers the waters of the sea into jars, he puts the deep into storehouses. Let all the earth fear the Lord; let all the people of the world revere him. For he spoke, and it came to be; he commanded, and it stood firm.

Psalm 33:6-9

With words, God created life. He used the power of His tongue to speak forth all that’s before us. That is truly powerful! And then he tells us in Proverb 18:21 that “Death and life are in the power of the tongue. And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

Huh? Say what now? That is a strong statement. 

So because we have the knowledge that the things we speak can have such a monumental impact, we all should be very selective and careful with what we allow to come out of our mouths. Especially as parents!

Aside from the simple fact that kids repeat everything (and you don’t want them repeating the wrong thing), according to God’s Word, what we say to our kids or even about our kids holds a lot of weight. If death and life are somehow impacted by my words, I need to be extremely delicate with how I use my words with anyone, especially with the babies. What we say to them now can impact them years later in ways we least expect.

What Does the Bible Say About the Power of the Tongue

What does the Bible say about the power of the tongue? Well, both Proverbs 18:31 (death and life are in the tongue) and Psalm 33:6-9 (God spoke life into existence) speak volumes without the help from any other verses. 

Language is powerful. Language is so powerful that God used words to create life. God used words to bring existence into existence; to build worlds and people and animals; to design order in the chaos. God spoke, and it was.

So, knowing this, how can we not see how careful we need to be with how we speak to one another. 

Let’s look at another verse. The Bible says:

Have faith in God. Truly I tell you, if anyone says to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and does not doubt in their heart but believes that what they say will happen, it will be done for them. Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours.

Mark 11:22-24

Now granted, the above scripture is more about having faith than it is about the power of words. However, if we have faith, we can use our tongue to ask, pray, and petition for some pretty incredible things from the Lord. 

However, too often we use the gift of speech to put ourselves and others down; to complain and speak negatively about ourselves and our situations. We’re all guilty of it. I know I am. I’m a natural complainer. And it takes effort not to complain and grumble about the smallest things.

But that effort is so important. Because if what comes out of our mouths is as powerful  as the Bible says, who knows how much damage we are doing to ourselves spiritually? Who knows how much negative speech impacts the spiritual world that we cannot see. And the spiritual affects the natural world around us as well.

14 Bible Verses About the Power of the Tongue

Below I have shared 14 Bible verses about the power of the tongue. These verses are God telling us just how important it is to be very careful with what we say. Let’s take a look.

  1. Evil words destroy one’s friends; wise discernment rescues the godly. ~ Proverbs 11:9
  2. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but hard words stir up anger. ~ Proverbs 15:1
  3. Gentle words bring life and health; a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. ~ Proverbs 15:4
  4. A person’s words can be life-giving water; words of true wisdom are as refreshing as a bubbling brook. ~ Proverbs 18:4
  5. Wise speech is rarer and more valuable than gold and rubies. ~ Proverbs 20:15
  6. Telling lies about others is as harmful as hitting them with an ax, wounding them with a sword, or shooting them with a sharp arrow.” ~  Proverbs 25:18
  7. Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in Your sight, O Lord, my rock and my Redeemer. ~ Psalm 19:14
  8. Then keep your tongue from speaking evil and your lips from telling lies! ~ Psalm 34:13
  9. Set a guard over my mouth, Lord; keep watch over the door of my lips. ~ Psalm 141:3
  10. Too much talk leads to sin. Be sensible and keep your mouth shut ~ Proverbs 10:19
  11. The one who guards his mouth preserves his life; the one who opens wide his lips comes to ruin. ~ Proverbs 13:3
  12. The heart of the godly thinks carefully before speaking. ~ Proverbs 15:28
  13. It’s not what goes into your mouth that defiles you; you are defiled by the words that come out of your mouth. ~ Matthew 15:11
  14. 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. ~ Ephesians 4:29

These verses on the tongue say it all. They warn us what bad-mouthing can lead to, and how speaking good things can have positive outcomes. Let’s keep these scriptures close to our hearts because we use our voices every day. And every day is an opportunity to use the power of the tongue for good or evil.

The Power of  Life and Death lies in the Tongue

As God’s word says, the power of life and death lies in the tongue. But what exactly does that mean?

Well, the words we choose to speak over ourselves and those around us impact us in real ways that I don’t think we fully understand. If God used words to bring forth life, and we are made in the image of God and have received His Holy Spirit, our words must hold some serious weight.

No, I’m not talking about in a “wave your wand, say a magical spell” and things will happen kind of way. But God has given humans some authority. He gave Adam the authority to name the animals. And told both Adam and Even to subdue and take dominion over the earth.

Then God said, “Let us make man in our image, after our likeness. And let them have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over the livestock and over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.

Genesis 1:26

He has given our spoken words some authority; a borrowed authority only God can provide.

Additionally, God’s word is called the living word. Why is it living? Because it has life, and when spoken can change things.

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

The right words said at the right time can encourage, edify, and influence. And the wrong word said at the wrong time can do the exact opposite. A word given at the wrong time can really hurt someone and influence them to make a wrong decision. 

I’m willing to bet that if we start using our tongues to say good things every day, we would see amazing, maybe even miraculous, things happen in our life.

The Bible says for us to meditate on what is good, pure, and true. Well, what if we take that same idea and apply it to not just our thinking, but how we speak.

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Philippians 4:8

As I sit here, I’m wondering how many conversations I’ve had in my lifetime; how many opportunities I’ve been given to use my voice to speak some good. How many times my words have affected people, in small or big ways. I think about the conversations that I overhear in the supermarket or quick chats I hear in passing.

How many of those conversations did I use to complain about something or someone? How many of those conversations did I use to say something negative about a situation, or worse, make fun of someone? Did I encourage that upset friend, or did I join in and start fussing right along with her?

I think you get my point. We must do better. We are human, so we cannot be perfect. But we can be self-aware, intentional, and positive as often as possible.

I like how Tony Evans put it :

Only then, with the tongue submitted to the perfect will of God, can we hope to master this great power we have been given to bless Him and bless others with our loving and empowering words. Read more of his post here.

The Bible says in Mathew 16:19 that what we bind on earth is already bound in heaven. So the choices we make here in the natural world impact what goes on spiritually.

The choices we make based on words that have influenced us can lead us to life or death, spiritually or naturally. And the enemy is waiting for us to slip up because of our ignorance. The enemy is waiting for us to say just the thing to destroy someone’s confidence, relationship, or spiritual growth.

The Bible says in Hosea 4:6 that “my people are destroyed for lack of knowledge”. Well, we have been given the knowledge that words have major power and influence. That’s one spiritual truth that God has revealed to us. But unfortunately, most of us do not take it seriously enough.

Let’s not give the enemy an opportunity to use our God-given tongues for the enemy’s purpose.

 How to Tame the Tongue

Given all that we’ve discussed, we can see just how crucial it is to learn how to tame the tongue. Our words can impact us in several ways. Not to mention, the enemy is constantly seeking opportunities to steal our joy, deceive us, and harm us. And by listening to what we say, the enemy can use that to strategize against us.

But, how do we tame the tongue?  Especially when the Bible says this:

But no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison.

James 3:8

Gosh, that’s another really powerful verse. Our tongue is a restless evil, full of poison. And if no human can tame it, how can we even hope to control what we say? 

Well, we can’t do it ourselves, that’s for sure. We need help with taming our tongues. And Jesus is our answer.

The Bible tells us that with God, all things are possible. And that in our weakness, He is strong. So asking God to help us with taming our tongues is what will help us make the change.

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.

Mathew 19:26

If we can change our speech, even a little each day, to allow only the positive to come from our mouths, what changes would we see? If we stopped all the trash talking and profanity, and use our tongues ONLY for good, I wonder how that would change the world. 

God gave us our voices. He didn’t bless us with the ability to speak so that we’d blaspheme and use our words to harm others.

But thankfully, the work that Jesus did on the cross left us the Holy Spirit. And we can call on the Holy Spirit to help us in our weakest moments when we just want to spit out the worst things. And we can use scripture to speak against the temptation to speak evil.

Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.

Proverbs 21:23

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Teaching Kids that the Tongue is Powerful

So, how do we teach our kids about the power of the tongue, especially little kids? Well, I’m still learning a lot about being a mom, so I can’t say that I’ve started really teaching my son this yet. He is really only just now starting to string full sentences together!

However, one easy thing we can do is simply correct them when they say something wrong. Just like we correct them when they use the wrong pronoun, or mispronounce a word, we can correct them when they say something mean or a bad word.

Now, you might be thinking…duh. Of course, that’s what we should do.

But we’ve all witnessed parents who laugh at their kids when they say something bad. The child will say a curse word, and the parents think it’s funny or cute. And instead of correcting it they just laugh and even record it for all of YouTube to see! You might even be that parent.

I’m sure these parents are thinking it’s harmless. I mean, they are too young to truly understand what they are saying, right? Well, as I’ve learned, kids understand more than we think. And, habits start when they are young. If you allow them to speak a certain way now, they will think it’s okay. And laughing only reinforces their behavior.

Don’t get me wrong. I’m guilty of doing this myself on some level. My son went through a phase where he couldn’t say the word shark, his favorite animal. His SH’s sounded like F’s,  and his A’s turned into U’s. So it always sounded like he was yelling out F-bombs every time he asked for his toy shark.  

I had to keep explaining to people that he was not meaning to. But we laughed every single time! And even though this is slightly different because he wasn’t trying to say the actual curse word, even in instances like this we need to be careful. 

I know we think everything our kids do is so cute. And sometimes (depending on the situation), it’s probably harmless to chuckle a little. I mean, we don’t want to be humorless duds. But we just have to remember that the enemy is seeking any and every opportunity to lead us and our children to sin against God. 

My mom told me that when me and my siblings would say something unkind to each other as kids, she would make it a point to explain how it hurt the other person’s feelings. That’s another really great way to show our kids that our words can impact others.

So, even though our little ones will likely not understand the verse “there is power in the tongue”, we can still teach them the concept that what we say matters.


Words are powerful my friend. Clearly, as we’ve investigated, the Bible says there is power in the tongue. The things we say hold weight, according to God’s Word. The power of the tongue, although small, can cause great damage or bring about beautiful change. The Bible tells us that life and death are in the power of what we let come out of our mouths. Let’s take that word seriously, especially as parents raising babies who listen to us daily. What we say affects them in more ways than one.

I hope you will use the power of the tongue Bible verses in this post to help remind you to be careful with how you use the gift of voice God has given you. Use the prayers to help tame your tongue, and let’s try to use our tongues for good.

Here is a wonderful sermon by Jackie Hill Perry that sums up what this post is about beautifully: Watch Your Mouth.

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