Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Susannah Wesley...A Godly Mother

Here are Susannah Wesley's methods of teaching and training:

...the devout yet practical manner in which Susannah Wesley brought up her extensive brood - her child-rearing and educational methods. These methods found their roots in her own home background where her father saw the family unit, expressed in modern terms as a microcosm of the church - to quote Dr. Annesley's actual words:  
should not families be as well-ordered (little) Common-wealths, well-disciplined Churches ?
For Susannah this meant firm discipline, good education,  spiritual maturity and an unselfish concern for the well-being of others. In other words the development of a godly and gracious life-style.
To achieve these ends Susannah Wesley firmly believed that the self-will of the child should be broken or conquered as early as possible so that they can learn the importance of obedience to God's will. She didn't mean by this the destruction of a child's will-power so that they are cowed into a fearful submission, and the fact that most of her children developed into fairly spirited and strong-willed men and women, not least John Wesley, bears out her principle.
She also believed in having a systematic and well-ordered routine of eating and sleeping, of learning and exercise, of spiritual instruction including prayer and Bible study. In the spirit of the age she didn't shrink from using corporal punishment but insisted in fairness, honesty and that no child should be punished twice for the same misdemeanour.
In contrast to Samuel who, though basically a kind man could lose his temper, Susannah was herself extremely self-controlled and insisted that  we must correct with kind severity. Whilst she was light-years away from the modern educational philosophy of total self-expressionism, Susannah Wesley a true spirit of independent thought and action in her children. But above all, while she cared both for the physical and moral welfare of her children, she wanted in their hearts a true knowledge of and commitment to the redeeming love of God in Jesus Christ.

From this came her 16 Rules for teaching and training her children:

A Family Home Plan

~~Devise a regular routine of living in our lives:

daily family & personal devotions

daily schooling

daily snack & meal time

daily chore assignments

~~Develop consistent & proper study habits

~~Teach proper table manners:

Eat and drink at table, seated properly

Wait for meal blessing quietly

~~Respect for other's property

~~Unfailing courtesy, esp. with siblings

~~You receive nothing you cry or whine for

~~Praises always for obedience and acts of respect

~~Respect the Sabbath/Lord's Day

~~Teach purity of language -- no slang terms

~~Recognize and accept differences in ability & personality

~~Accept that problems and interruptions will occur

~~Assign regular & consistent family chores

~~Maintain proper priority of work & study

~~Accept responsibility for the education of children at home

~~Conquer the Will of your children, not their Spirit

~~Maintain consistent discipline:

encourage open confession & forgiveness of wrongs

praise all acts of obedience

allow no sinful act to go unpunished

never bring up past offenses

accept intention over perfect performance sometimes

maintain priorities

No indulgences of self will can be trivial, no denial unprofitable; Heaven or Hell depends on this alone. A parent who studies to subdue it in his child works together with God in the renewing and saving of their soul. The parent who indulges it does the devil's work, makes religion impractical, salvation unattainable, and does all that in him lies to damn his child, soul and body, forever.

Susanna Wesley
I am not a big fan of Wikipedia, but, here is their link on Susannah Wesley 
A great blog thought on Susannah Wesley...I have not reviewed this blog, only this particular entry I am linking
Seeking God, Susannah Wesley
History's Women, Susannah Wesley, the Mother of Methodism
Worldscope ChurchLink article on Susannah Wesley

1 comment:

e-Mom said...

Thanks so much for the link love. I hope you'll visit and review my blog, "for thinking Christian Moms."

When you get a chance, come visit my other blog, Susannah's {Kitchen} inspired by Susannah Wesley's prayer under her aprons.


e-Mom @ Chrysalis