What the Bible Says About "Swearing" and "Dirty Words"

Let's see what the apostle Paul had to say about the language Christians should use: "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); "But among you there must not be even a hint of sexual immorality, or of any kind of impurity, or of greed, because these are improper for God's holy people. Nor should there be obscenity, foolish talk, or coarse joking, which are out of place, but rather thanksgiving" (Ephesians 5:3, 4).

While it can be interesting to trace the history of certain words in order to find out why they're now regarded as profanity, this information has nothing to do with the way people use such words in modern times. As Christians, we should consider how these words are perceived in our culture today. If we think about it that way, we'll realize that profanity is always negative and hurtful.

For example, what do people really mean when they use the "f-word"? What is it intended to communicate? How does it feel when someone says it to you? Is there any way to use the "f-word" to build others up? Does it ever benefit those who hear it? Of course not. In fact, it amounts to verbal abuse, and Jesus had some important things to say about the seriousness of that issue (see Matthew 5:22).

If you'd like to discuss this topic in greater depth, call us. Focus on the Family has a staff of pastoral counselors who would love to speak with you over the phone.


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