A cluster of young girls stood about the door of the schoolroom one afternoon, engaged in close conversation, when a little girl joined them, and asked what they were doing.
“I am telling the girls a secret, Kate, and we will let you know, if you will promise not to tell anyone as long as you live,” was the reply.
“I won’t tell anyone but my mother,” replied Kate. “I tell her everything, for she is my best friend.”
“No, not even your mother, no one in the world.”
“Well, then I can’t hear it; for what I can’t tell mother, is not fit for me to know.”
After speaking these words, Kate walked away slowly, and perhaps sadly, yet with a quiet conscience, while her companions went on with their secret conversation.
I am sure that if Kate continued to act on that principle, she became a virtuous, useful woman. No child of a pious mother will be likely to take a sinful course, if Kate’s reply is taken for a rule of conduct.
As soon as a boy listens to conversation at school, or on the playground, which he would fear or blush to repeat to his mother, he is in the way of temptation, and no one can tell where he will stop. Many a man dying in disgrace, in prison or on the scaffold, has looked back with bitter remorse to the time when first a sinful companion gained his ear, and came between him and a pious mother.
Boys and girls, if you would be honored and respected here in this life, and form characters for heaven, make Kate’s reply your rule: “What I cannot tell my mother, is not fit for me to know;” for no other person can have as great an interest in your welfare and prosperity as a true Christian mother.
Every child and youth should always remember that a pious mother is their best earthly friend, from whom no secret should be kept.
Sabbath Readings for the Home Circle, Vol. 1, ©1877, 220, 221