A few years ago, a contractor we hired poured some concrete slabs on the sidewalk outside the parsonage. The morning after the work was completed, I noticed someone had carved a “design” in the concrete. It’s still there today. When I think of the power of a mother, I think of the imprint on wet cement. For both good and bad, the imprint of a mother on her children remains for years…and even for the rest of their lives. The Apostle Paul alluded to this power when he wrote to the believers at Thessalonica: “As apostles of Christ, we could have been a burden to you, but we were gentle among you, like a mother caring for her little children. We loved you so much that we were delighted to share with you not only the gospel of God but our lives as well, because you had become so dear to us” (1 Thessalonians 2:6b-8). Paul is saying here that his motive for challenging the people was like a mother who loved and cared for her children. He knew people respond more to love than to brute force. In other Scriptures, we discover the Lord is our Shepherd. He doesn’t drive us like cattle, but He leads us like sheep. If you had the blessing of a caring mother (and she is still alive), let this day be a reminder of your opportunity to express gratitude. If memories of your mother are filled with pain and grief, ask the Lord to help you forgive your mother from your heart. Try to remember the good that came through her life to yours. Because of our sinful nature, there is no such thing as a “perfect family” or “perfect mother.” If you are a mother, please never belittle or underestimate your role. You get to shape your children, eternal souls, who will in turn shape the world around them. Thank you, mothers, for your patience with your imperfect children! Like the Apostle Paul taught, you don’t just share your possessions and provisions—but your very lives as well. Your love is the greatest power of influence! Russian novelist Fyodor Dostoevsky wrote, “The second half of a man’s life is made up of nothing but the habits he has acquired during the first half.” While this quote doesn’t factor in the power of Jesus to change us, there is some truth to the reality of living what we have learned. I thank the Lord for a godly mother who taught me godly life-lessons and habits which are still with me today. Happy Mother’s Day!