Charlene Notgrass

After the devotional with the whole church in the auditorium, little girls with freshly curled hair, frilly dresses over can-can slips, white anklets, and black patent shoes scrambled off to Sunday school in the basement. Little boys with Brylcreemed hair, white shirts, bow ties, dress pants, and black leather shoes joined the little girls. We all sat down noisily in little wooden chairs around little wooden tables where our teacher awaited us.

 We each licked a star to put on the attendance chart. We listened to the Bible story, used a brad to attach an object to our handwork for the day, and received our baseball-card-sized Bible story to take home. We sang “Jesus Loves Me,” “Jesus Loves the Little Children,” and “The Wise Man Built His House Upon the Rock.” We also sang:

Be careful little eyes what you see.

Be careful little eyes what you see.

The Father up above is looking down in love,

So be careful little eyes what you see.

We sang to our ears, telling them, “Be careful what you hear;” to our hands, telling them, “Be careful what you do;” and to our feet, telling them, “Be careful where you go.” Finally, we got to the verse:

Be careful little tongue what you say.

Be careful little tongue what you say.

The Father up above is looking down in love,

So be careful little tongue what you say.

Back then it was a little unnerving to know that my Father up above was looking at me all the time. Now I am comforted to know that He is looking down in love. I certainly don’t want Him to take His eyes off me for a minute. That would be a disaster!

We mothers need to carefully consider that last verse. One of our mottos should be, “Be careful little mama what you say.” How can something as invisible as a word be so powerful? Powerful for good and powerful for ill.

Some words should be avoided at all costs. Words like lazy, sloppy, and stupid–words that would make it into a G-rated movie, but just might be more harmful for our children to hear from us than one of the words that pushes a movie into other ratings.

Our job every day is to teach lifelong lessons to our children. Sadly, words like lazy, sloppy, and stupid have a way of sticking for life, but what we want to stick for life are words like:

“I have loved you since before you were born.”

“Wow, you are so good at ______________.”

“Of all the blessings God has ever given to me, getting to be your mother is one of my favorites.”

Don’t you know it made Jesus feel wonderful when He came up out of the water after John baptized him in the Jordan River . . .

And behold, a voice out 

of the heavens said,

“This is My beloved Son, 

in whom I am well-pleased.”

Matthew 3:17 NASB

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