As it concerns the power of example, the words of a children’s ditty strike to the heart of what should be on the minds of Christian parents. In sequential order, the song cautions little eyes, ears, and hands to be careful about what they see, hear, and do. The chorus provides reason for such earnest care, saying, “For the Father up above is looking down in love.” It is great song with great implications.

Love is the compelling motivation for obedience. Jesus says, “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments” (Jn. 14:15). Paul stresses the same, saying, “For the love of Christ controls us, having concluded this, that one died for all, therefore all died; and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf” (2 Cor. 5:14-15).

Then, there is the matter of the Father’s awareness of what is going on in our lives. He is looking down in love. In the context of coming persecution, Jesus told His chosen disciples of the Father’s care reminding them that He is aware of every sparrow that falls to the ground (Mt. 10:29). Such a Father as ours will surely give what is good to those who ask Him! (Mt. 7:11).

But, let us not forget another important application. Most often the things seen and heard by our children are the things they see in our homes. It is very difficult to teach children out of their parents’ bad examples and misplaced priorities. It is not fair to expect little children to have developed such discernment as to turn their eyes and hearts away from the bad examples of their parents! Demonstrating the importance of humility, Jesus set a child before the disciples (Mt. 18:1-2). While commending humility, Jesus also warned against causing such a one to stumble, saying, “whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in Me to stumble, it would be better for him to have a heavy millstone hung around his neck, and to be drowned in the depth of the sea” (vs. 6). Be careful parents, what little eyes see in your neglect and disobedience.

— Glen Elliott —