Words are Like a Tube of Toothpaste

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
white yarn
1 band-aid per student

The yarn represents messy (reckless words) while the band-aid represents healing words.

Related Lesson:
Soft Words Proverbs 15:1

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  1. Anonymous says

    Using this in my Children's Church lessons! Thanks for an awesome idea that incorporates an object into the lesson.

  2. 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!

  3. Sarah says

    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.

  4. 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 😉
    – Julia

  5. Amy says

    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?

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