I am developing a teaching called the “Orphan Heart” from John 14:18. It contains a discussion about the role of the father versus the role of the mother in a child’s life.

By God’s design, the mother is the first one to transmit values. In fact, one Greek word, “storge,” refers to the love and values that a mother passes to her unborn child. During a baby’s first year of life, the mother holds her child more than anyone else does. As he grows, he naturally observes his mother’s interaction with life’s circumstances. He takes in her reactions and internalizes them as values.

On the other hand, the father is the one who gives the child identity. We see this in the baptism of Jesus, when the Father pronounced his blessing over His Son: “You are My Son, Whom I love, with You I am well-pleased.” (Luke 3:22) Jesus’ identity was settled and secure.

As I thought about fathers and mothers, I began thinking about our family and the many ways that having children changed our lives, especially . . . my wife’s. I discovered a list titled, “You Know You Are a Mom When. . . .” It reflected so many truths that I decided to share a few with you:

1. You know you are a mom when your feet stick to the kitchen floor, and you don’t care.

2. You know you are a mom when your idea of a good day is making it through without a child leaking some kind of bodily fluid.

3. You know you are a mom when you willingly kiss a child’s boo-boo regardless of its location or how dirty it might be.

4. You know you are a mom when saliva is your #1 cleaning agent.

5. You know you are a mom when you’re up each night until 10 p.m. vacuuming, dusting, wiping, washing, drying, loading, unloading, shopping, cooking, driving, flushing, ironing, sweeping, picking up, changing sheets, changing diapers, bathing, helping with homework, paying bills, budgeting, clipping coupons, folding clothes, putting to bed, dragging out of bed, brushing, chasing, buckling, feeding (them, not you), PLUS swinging, playing baseball, bike riding, pushing trucks, cuddling dolls, roller blading, playing basketball, playing football, playing catch, blowing bubbles, turning on sprinklers, sliding down slides, going on nature walks, coloring, doing crafts, jumping rope, PLUS raking, trimming, planting, edging, mowing, gardening, painting and walking the dog. You get up at 5:30 a.m. and you have no time to eat, sleep, drink or go to the bathroom, and yet . . . you still manage to gain 10 pounds.

6. You know you are a mom when you can’t find your cordless phone, so you ask a friend to call you. You run around the house, madly following the sound until you locate the phone . . . downstairs in the laundry basket.

7. You know you are a mom when every kind of cereal you buy contains marshmallows.

8. You know you are a mom when the kids are fighting and you threaten to lock them in a room together and not let them out until someone’s bleeding.

9. You know you are a mom when you are so desperate for adult conversation that you spill your guts to the telemarketer and . . . he hangs up on YOU!

10. You know you are a mom when a little child, blanket in hand, climbs up into your lap, wraps chubby arms around your neck and says, “I love you, Mommy” . . . then, safe in your embrace, falls fast asleep.

I was blessed to have a mom like this-a mom who loved, supported and encouraged me with the love that only comes from . . . above. Of my mom’s many wonderful qualities, the one I cherish most is that she spent her days pointing me (and hundreds of other children in our rural community) to her Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ.

I am also blessed to have married a wonderful lady who is an equally incredible mom. Like my mom, Cathy has lovingly pointed our sons to Jesus since they were in the womb. They are both grown men, but I still like to remind them that God has given them one of the best moms in the world-the one He chose just for . . . us.

“As Jesus was saying these things, a woman in the crowd called out, ‘Blessed is the mother who gave you birth and nursed you.'” (Luke 11:27) This mom, like many moms, made tremendous sacrifices to raise a child who followed His Father. Has God put this kind of mom into your life? Remind her today that as she blesses others, she is also . . . blessed.