As I sat at my computer to compose this article, I found myself overwhelmed with topics. The headlines blare of very critical subjects such as the Supreme Court and same-sex marriage, riots in Baltimore fueled by race issues, the devastating earthquake in Nepal, and the ever present danger of ISIS and their cohort of minions. All of these issues are important to the future of our world.

My choice of topic this week ignores all of them in favor of motherhood. This week, we celebrate Mother’s Day. In a real sense, motherhood may eclipse the topics mentioned above in significance for the future of our world. Do you remember the old cliché, “The hand that rocks the cradle rules the world”? The saying may be old, but I would contend its wisdom is still valid.

Our mothers shape us like perhaps no one else on Earth. They teach us simple things like wear clean underwear every day and brush your teeth after meals. Or they help us eat with our mouth closed so as to not “smack.” Girls are taught how to sit in a ladylike fashion and how to dress modestly. (Not sure this one applies anymore!) Boys are taught how to treat a lady. I laugh sometimes when opening a door for a younger lady or allowing her to go first. They often say, “Oh no, you go ahead.” My reply is, “My momma would whup me if I did!”

These things our mothers teach us are important, especially today in a world where manners, for the most part, have been lost and there has been a blurring of God-given sexual identity. Our world is fast losing some of the mother-taught lessons that make us “ladies and gentlemen.” Yet, I assure you, when a mother teaches her daughter how to be ladylike and her son how to be a gentleman, her children will stand head and shoulders above the crowd.

Blessed is the child who has a mother who teaches and exemplifies godly character and deep abiding faith in Jesus. I have watched Polla shape and teach our children how to walk with God. Her lessons taught and correction given always came from the foundation of God’s Word and a daily walk with Jesus, and still does. Our children (and soon our little Lydia) see a mother who loves deeply because she knows the deep, deep love of Jesus. She sacrifices for them in ways they do not even know. Her actions are shaped by a daily walk in the Word and consistent yielding to the Holy Spirit. While she taught them the Word, she has lived the Word!

This will be my first Mother’s Day without Mom. I have felt the loss of her every day. On Saturdays, I find myself thinking I need to call Mom, because over the years it was my regular practice. People have asked me what I miss most about my mother. My answer is simple. I miss her passionate and consistent prayer support. During her life, she became a mighty prayer warrior. No one was more a recipient of her warfare than me.

Perhaps nothing a mother does to shape and protect her children excels prayer. No blessing is greater than a praying mother. My children will never know this side of Heaven the hours Polla spends every day praying for them. Only Heaven will reveal the times they were saved from catastrophe or made a right decision because their mother was beseeching the Father in their behalf. A praying mother is more valuable than all the gold on Earth.

No wonder one of the most cherished words on Earth is “Mother” or “Mom.” This week gives us the opportunity to bless our mothers. I encourage you to recognize her with acts of love and kindness. It is not the price of the gift, but the heart of the giver that will bless your mother. I assure you, a phone call or visit will mean more than flowers or candy. A handwritten letter telling her how much she means to you and how she has influenced your life would be the best. A handwritten note costs nothing but the most valuable thing you have—time.

Happy Mother’s Day!