Daily Devotion

May 14, 2024

The Impact Of Motherhood

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6


Susanna Wesley was a great English woman and mother who profoundly impacted American history. She was the youngest of twenty-five children. Once she wrote these words, "I will tell you of what I've observed when I was young and too much addicted to childish diversions." One has to wonder what kind of childish diversions she had back in the 1700s that can compare to the diversions that young ladies have today. “But I determined never to spend more time in mere recreation in one day than I spend in private Christian devotions. I will pray more than I play.” She was married at the age of 19 to a young, sometimes very foolish minister as history records . Because of his rash and crazy decisions he kept the family on the brink of poverty all the time, and she had to step up because he never would. Over the course of 19 years she gave birth every year to a child. She had 19 children in 19 years. Nine died as infants. Another one of her children was accidentally smothered to death and another child was crippled for life by a tragic accident. Twice their home was destroyed by fire. During the second fire, they got nine of the children out and there was only one left- a five year old son. He was up on the second floor and though they tried they could not find him. Susanna dropped to her knees and cried out for God to save him. And instantly in that moment, despite the flames and chaos, that child's face appeared in the smoke on the window and a man who was standing nearby jumped on the shoulders of another man and broke open the glass of the second floor and reached in and grabbed him and pulled him out. As soon as he got him out, the roof caved in and the whole house went up in flames. Her prayer was heard. 


Susanna experienced so many hardships. Finally, her “foolish” husband left her and the children over a minor dispute. She wrote this letter with the tongue of kindness. "I am a woman. I am also the mistress of a large family and though the superior charge of their souls lies upon you, their father, yet in your long absence, I cannot but look upon every soul you have left unto my charge as a talent committed unto me under a trust." She made this powerful statement, "I am not a man. I am not a minister. Yet, as a mother and the mistress of this house, I feel I ought to do more than I have done. I have resolved to begin with my own children, which I observe the following method. I will take as much time as I can and spare every night to have discourse with each of my children, apart from one another. On Monday I will talk with Molly, on Tuesday I will talk and spend time with Hetty, on Wednesday I'll meet with Nancy; on Thursdays I'll give special attention to Jackie, on Friday I'll spend time listening and talking to Patty, on Saturday I'll talk with Charles, and on Sunday I'll spend time with John." She was also the primary source of the children's education. 


The reason why we have 35 major church denominations including the Methodist and Pentecostal denominations is because of one preacher by the name of John Wesley, Susanna’s son. We are able to meet in churches today along with millions around the world because of one mother. Susanna held school with each of her children for six hours a day and all of them learned Latin, Greek, and English. Her son, John Wesley, wrote eloquent books that are now famous and modern preachers still reference his work today.


If you go back to the 1800’s, revival hit America, and that happened because one of Susanna’s sons preached. His name was John and her other son Charles wrote hymns. Those hymns are famous to this day. It all came about because a mother said "I'm going to cut a different path. The daddy is not here and he's not doing it but I don't have to let these children go down that road that leads to destruction. I will cut a road if I have to by myself and God will help me."


Watch the Full Sermon Here