I will never forget the day that one of my church kids looked at a handicapped 9 year-old girl who was visiting and said, “Do you know that you are ugly?”
I was in shock.
Church is a place where people should feel loved, but sometimes that is not the case. The truth is that kids can be really mean when they want to.
When I was in High School there was three cliques, the Jocks, the Geeks and the Freaks.
- Jocks were kids who were good at sports.
- Geeks were the kids who were really smart.
- Freaks were kids who were good at having a good time.
These words were all designed to be “put-downs” or a ‘dis’.
- Instead of saying “you are good at throwing a football” we would say, “You’re a jock.”
- Instead of saying “you’re smart” we would say, “you’re a geek or a nerd.”
Ephesians 4:29 says, “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
We need to teach our kids to walk in the Agape kind of love. If we love like Jesus loved we will never use our words to put people down. We will only use our words to build people up.
Here is a link to an object lesson that I use to teach kids to use their words to build people up.