We have been working (me included) on how we speak to one another in our family. About a month ago I was helping at a youth event when when the youth pastor used the toothpaste illustration to drive home the point that once words are spoken they can never be taken back. I immediately thought about our Proverbs study and our goal of using kind words at home. I revised the object lesson so that it would be geared toward younger children and came up with a printable to go along with the lesson.
Proverbs 12:18 Object Lesson:
Words are like a tube of toothpaste. If used the right way, toothpaste helps clean our teeth and keep our mouth healthy. Words are the same way. If we use our words to cheer someone up and say nice, helpful things, our words can bring joy (health) to another person.
Sometimes we can get sloppy with our toothpaste. It can leak all over the cap and make an annoying mess. Same with our words. Sometimes we aren’t careful and little cut-downs or grumbling slip out of our mouth. When we’re sloppy with our words, we make little messes. We end up with bad moods and hurt feelings.
Now if you squeeze really hard on a tube of toothpaste, all the toothpaste comes squirting out. What a mess that makes! Our words can do the same thing. When you open your mouth and speak hurtful, mean things, you make a huge mess! Have you ever tried shoving toothpaste back into the tube after it has been squirted out? You can’t, can you. The same with your words. Once you say those hurtful things, you can’t take them back. Saying “sorry” or “I was just kidding,” doesn’t take the sting of those words away. Long after you have forgotten what you’ve said, the person you talked mean to will remember it. You can’t take it back, just like you can’t put toothpaste back into the tube.
The Bible says “Reckless words pierce like a sword.” Those are the messy toothpaste words. They hurt people. They can make a mess in our lives and the lives of others.
The Bible continues to say, “but the tongue of the wise brings healing” Proverbs 12:18. We want our words to be helpful to people. Just like toothpaste when used right helps keep us healthy, we want to use our words right to bring joy and healing to our friends, family and neighbors.
We made this craft to help us remember the object lesson and the verse.
download Proverbs printable
1 band-aid per student
The yarn represents messy (reckless words) while the band-aid represents healing words.
Soft Words Proverbs 15:1
That is so totally cool! I'm noting this for later use.
Wonder Mom says
What an encouraging, creative lesson…
I love this! We'll have to do this with the kids. =0)
AHHHH!!! I LOVE IT!!! This is good for my soul as well!!!!!!
That is very interesting. I've never thought about this in that way. I love his comparison.
Wonderful!!! Thanks for linking up!!!!
My dad did this object lesson with us when we were little and it has stuck with me all of these years.
Using this in my Children's Church lessons! Thanks for an awesome idea that incorporates an object into the lesson.
This would be a great bulletin board too. thanks!
Wendy Young, LMSW, BCD says
This is fabulous. It inspires me to do a tweak of sorts, for therapy with kids. If I blog it, I will tag and link back to this post! Thanks for sharing the great idea!
Cathy Robertson says
This is awesome. I spend hours trying to create a lesson for students and then I came across your page. This is just what I need. Thank you for such a great idea!
You are welcome!
Thank you for blessing my kiddos in children’s church with this lesson! It was wonderful 🙂
Maureen Spell says
Thank you for letting me know! It always warms my heart to know that people are able to use things I share.
Beautiful lesson, thanks for sharing…. Useful for all ages!
Glenys Nellist says
What a great object lesson! I’m definitely going to use this! Thank you.
Thanks so much for this lesson. It’s simple and great for kids to understand. I’m using it for the children’s sermon this week at church. I ran across your site through a pin on Pinterest. Thanks for the resource.
Julia vanderwalt says
this is very true and inspiring for all ages. everyone should think this way. we all make mistakes, sometimes with the thinks we say or act. this is a simple but meaningful way to avoid these sort of mistakes 😉
This is a great object lesson! I am excited to use it this Sunday in our children’s church!
I love this! This is what I’ve been looking for! I can’t get the download to work. It’s missing or something. Any ideas?
Maureen Spell says
I have updated the link. It should work now! Thanks for letting me know.
Thank You, Thank You!!!
Thank you for this great idea! Using this as an object lesson for Elementary Chapel tomorrow. God bless 🙂
Thanks so much for this great lesson. I taught that same Proverb a few weeks ago but hadn’t seen it yet. This week I’m teaching Proverbs 16:24 “Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body”, so it still works perfectly. My class is 5 to 7 year olds and I’m certain they will just love the toothpaste object lesson. I’ll also send each of them home with a new mini tube of toothpaste with the “WORDS” wrap on it (like your photo) as a reminder of the lesson.
May the Lord bless you abundantly this year!