In a day when there was no canned SpaghettiOs to be easily opened for dinner or a ready roasted chicken at the local grocery store, or even any of the conveniences mothers have today, Susanna Wesley raised her children in a pleasing manner before God.
In Proverbs 31 we read King Solomon’s insight about a mother who is pleasing to God. He writes in verse 27: “She watches over the ways of her household, and does not eat the bread of idleness.”
The successful mother in God’s eyes is one who watches closely over her household. The phrase used here in this passage is to peer into the distance and keep a watchful eye out for her children. A mother is anything but a second-class citizen. A mother is one who is constantly working and tending the needs of her children, preparing them to survive the future.
Susanna and Samuel Wesley had 19 children. Nine of them died while in their infant stage of life. Four of the children who died were twins.
And tragically, one of her other children was accidentally smothered by a maid. To say the least Susanna’s experience as a young mother was far from being a life of ease. Many who have never been in the shoes of motherhood picture it as a life of ease. But as we see in the life of Susanna, this “male-absorbed” disillusionment is most certainly far from reality. Can I hear an “Amen” from the mothers of the world?
Susanna Wesley seized her opportunity of nurturing up her children in the ways of God with a tenacious spirit like none other. She actually impacted the world by training her children to change the world.
John and Charles Wesley grew up to be mighty ministers of the Gospel and founders of the Methodist church. She could have said the devastation of losing children and being overwhelmed by the ones she had left was too much and curled up in a fetal position for her remaining days, but she didn’t. She embraced the challenge with a God-ordained calling. Susanna would give each of her children quality time with her individually. She also was very adamant that her children were receiving correct teaching from the scripture weekly even with her husband being gone often ministering.
These simplistic but deep teachings became books later. One of the most important habits she had was always making sure she had her time with the Lord. She knew where her source was.
Being a mother is hard work. I am not sure if it is totally true or not, but through the grapevine of media it has been said and repeated that by the time a child reaches 18, a mother has had to handle some extra 18,000 hours of child-generated work. In my guess-estimation I would say that mothers have done a lot more work than even that statement says.
Becoming a mother is definitely not for wimps! Mothers are God’s gift to the home! Jesus had an earthly mother and honored her. In John 19:26-27 we read where he made sure she was taken care of before he died.
We ourselves need to take his example and the exhortation in scripture to honor our mothers! Our mothers are God’s kiss to each home. Mothers shape each of us to conquer and impact the future.
Visit Bill Virgin’s blog at www.billvirgin.com. He is a speaker, author of several books and pastor. Bill and his wife Laurie pastor Life Christian Center and have four daughters.