As a lawyer, as a congressman, as Governor of Ohio, and as President of the United States, William McKinley had a close relationship with his mother. He either visited her or sent a message to her every day.

When she became seriously ill, he arranged to have a special train standing by, ready to take him to her bedside. Mrs. McKinley died December 12, 1897, in the arms of her 54-year-old son. Her gentle, Christian virtues helped mold the President’s character, for when he was gunned down in Buffalo, New York, about 4 years later, he showed no bitterness toward his assassin. With Christian courage he said, “God’s will be done.” Before he died, he asked to hear once again the hymn “Nearer, My God, to Thee,” which his mother had taught him.

Perhaps you too have been blessed with a Christian heritage. But unlike McKinley, you’ve strayed from God. On this day set aside to honor mothers, confess your sin and come back to the Lord. Let the precious memories of that special person in your life, who all these years has been pointing you to God, awaken in your heart a new desire to live for Him. Don’t turn your back on the influence of your godly mother.