I tell my kids that people are like building blocks. Our words can build them up or knock them down. When conversations with a sibling take a negative turn, I sometimes start singing an oldie: “So build me up (build me up), Buttercup . . .”
It’s easy to recognize negative patterns in our children’s interactions. But those very same patterns can gnaw at the foundation of our adult relationships, weakening the base, chipping away its beautiful design.
Maybe it’s your marriage. After the euphoria of courtship and honeymoon, you got so comfortable that you started taking your spouse for granted. Contempt wasn’t far behind. The person you once saw with such starry eyes now seems . . . less than. Unwelcome thoughts fly into your mind and out of your mouth like popcorn in a pot with no lid.
Or maybe it’s your roommate, a parent, a coworker. You’re in danger of knocking down your relationship one eye roll or one sarcastic comment at a time.
Our Savior died for those sins. And he empowers us to regard others as he does—not with contempt but with a craftsman’s loving eye. “Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs” (Ephesians 4:29).
Stack a new brick. Acknowledge that differences aren’t bad. They add flavor. They challenge us. They remind us that there’s a place and purpose for us all in God’s kingdom.