The influence of a mother's teachings and example

("Golden Thoughts" 1879)

Next to the sovereign grace of God, the influence of a mother's teachings and example is the most effective in molding character and shaping destiny. It is in the direction of moral training and the development of character, that the influence of the mother is most powerfully felt. The mother, more than anyone else, helps to clothe the immortal soul in garments of holiness and loveliness--or else in garments of sin and sorrow and shame. She weaves her child's habits of thought and conduct. She does this not only by direct deliberate teachings--but by little words and acts, and by silent unconscious influence.

Occasional exceptions do not shake the solid certainty of this rule: Show me the mother--and I will show you the man!