This weekend is Mother’s Day, so consider this email a friendly reminder to make sure you do something special for your mom this Sunday. No surprise here, it’s going to take a little more thought and creativity this year to aptly celebrate the one who brought you into this world.

For most of us, it will be a different kind of Mother’s Day celebration. . . no lunch out, flowers are in short supply, and you may not be able to get any closer to your mom than six feet.

It’s going to be a different kind of Mother’s Day celebration for me, too, but for a different reason. My mom passed away in October. Last month our family celebrated her first birthday in heaven. This month, my sister and I will celebrate our first Mother’s Day without her.

So, if you will allow me, I’d like to give a shout out to my mom, which hopefully will also remind you of why you appreciate yours.

Mom was a covenant keeper. When she married my dad, she made a vow to have and to hold him, for better, for worse; for richer, for poorer; in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish him till death parted them. Those traditional vows include two commitments—to have and to hold and to love and to cherish—and four conditions—for better or worse, for richer or poorer, in sickness and health, and till death doth part.

When we marry, we tend to think most about the commitments. We’re so in love and geeked up on oxytocin—the bonding hormone—that we rarely think of the four conditions. Little did mom know that three short years from their wedding day, three of the four conditions would come into play with dad’s devastating accident . . . and for 56 years she kept the fourth one.

 Covenant keeping is the thread which is spun to create the beautiful tapestry of human existence. If people don’t keep their covenants (think commitments), families splinter, relationships fizzle, companies collapse, cultures rot, and countries implode. The biblical phrase the righteousness of God, in its purest sense, means God keeps his covenants. Dare to think what would happen if the God of the universe didn’t keep his covenants.

Mom, thanks for being a covenant keeper . . . the fabric of our family was never raveled or torn, and I’m the better for it. My wife and children are the better for it. And those with whom I have influence are the better for it.

Moms, I know you want to give your kids every possible advantage so they can succeed in life. The list of things our culture tells you to do for your kids is long and exhausting. But, the one thing you can do which will have the single greatest impact on your children and your children’s children is to be a covenant keeper with your husband.

And by the way, dads, the best possible Mother’s Day present you could give to the mother of your children this year, is to be a covenant keeper too.

A grateful son,