Friday, February 19, 2021

Do the Words We Write Matter?

by Crystal Bowman

With many different genes, there are countless ways our words can make a difference in the lives of others. When I was a stressed-out mom of three little ones, reading a chapter or two of a novel before I feel asleep provided a therapeutic escape from my mommy world. Books for children, teens, and adults can be entertaining, inspirational, educational, and many can bring readers to a deeper faith. 

With books being translated into multiple languages and distributed globally, we will never know the full impact of our words. And maybe that’s a good thing, because then God gets the glory. But sometimes God gives us a glimpse into our writing ministry—a few words of affirmation from a reader to let us know that God is using what we write to bless and impact others. It’s just enough to encourage us in our calling to write, but not too much to inflate our egos. 

How can we know if our words make difference?
  • It may come through an Amazon review when someone says that your book was exactly what they needed to get through a difficult time. 
  • It might come from the contact form on your website—like the time a mom sent me an email to let me know her little girl learned to pray from one of my children’s books.
  • You might get a message on social media from one of your biggest fans thanking you for writing your book. 
  • If you are a speaker, you might have a conversation with someone who enjoys your books. As a mentor for MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers), I have opportunities to connect with mothers who read my books to their children. One mother shared that she didn’t know how to teach her children about God. She said that reading my children’s devotional books not only helped her teach her children about God, but that she was learning along with them.
And sometimes God uses our words in ways we can never imagine.

In the summer of 2001, I wrote the curriculum for the fall semester of our women’s Bible study program. When the ministry director first asked me, I said no. She asked again and I said no. When she asked a third time I felt like Moses at the burning bush. I finally said yes. 

From June through August I wrote lessons on the book of Joshua. It was hard, but I enjoyed it and learned a lot through the process. The stories of crossing the Jordan, sending spies into the land, and marching around Jericho were exciting. The more I wrote, the more I became absorbed in these stories.

I was excited for our first meeting. It would be a morning of orientation, assigning of groups, and passing out the lessons that were now printed and ready to go. As I was getting ready, I heard an announcement on the radio that an airplane had crashed into the north tower of the World Trade Center. I turned on the television and watched the second plane crash into the south tower. I trembled as I drove to church, not knowing what was happening. 

The ladies arrived and we had our orientation meeting as planned. Then our women’s ministry director gave us an update and said the towers had tumbled down. We got on our knees and prayed. In the weeks that followed, I wept as I read the lessons—those words that God put on my heart to write. Here are two questions from the study: 

1. Read Joshua 5:1: Now when all the Amorite kings west of the Jordan and all the Canaanite kings along the coast heard how the LORD had dried up the Jordan before the Israelites until they had crossed over, their hearts melted in fear and they no longer had the courage to face the Israelites.

What events today might cause our hearts to melt in fear?

2. Read Joshua 6:20: When the trumpets sounded, the army shouted, and at the sound of the trumpet, when the men gave a loud shout, the wall collapsed; so everyone charged straight in, and they took the city. ()

How can we relate to walls falling down?

As I worked on those lesson in the summer of 2001, I did not know what was about to happen on September 11. But God knew. 

Do the words we write matter? Yes, they do. 


Crystal Bowman is an award-winning, bestselling author of more than 100 books for children and four nonfiction books for women. She also writes lyrics for children’s piano music and is a monthly contributor to Clubhouse Jr. Magazine. She loves going to schools to teach kids about poetry. She also speaks at MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) groups and teaches workshops at writers’ conferences. When she is not writing or speaking, she enjoys going for walks, working out at the gym, and eating ice cream. She and her husband live in Michigan and have seven huggable grandkids. 


  1. Just beautiful. Thank you for your encouragement.

    1. Thank you, Jaime. I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

  2. A good reminder of why we need to persevere in our writing.

  3. It’s wonderful when God gives us glimpses into how our words matter. I just had that happen with my book on prayer/ Their words encouraged me but also humbled me and surprise me that God would use what I wrote to encourage someone else. I always think—do they mean my book did that! No—actually God did that.

    1. I am sure your words bless many. And yes--it's all God.

  4. Your words are spoken so well. They are so helpful. Thank you for sharing with us.

    1. You are welcome, Diane. I just share what God puts on my heart.

  5. Thank you, Crystal. I needed to see this today.

  6. I am glad you found this helpful. Thanks for commenting, Marilyn.

  7. Thank you for your encouraging post.