Wednesday, September 12, 2007

The TRUTH on Susanna Wesley

How often have we mothers heard it? "Susanna Wesley had nineteen children and spent one hour a week with each one!" Hence, another ideal and lofty goal is set for the Christian mother.

Let me set the record straight. Susanna was, truly, a strong woman. She was married to a... well...jerk - who kept the family in debt for their entire married life. She struggled on to make a home for their children. She mourned the death of 9 youngsters and carried on after, at least, two major fires. She is, indeed, an example of strength.

However, if you do the math, Susanna Wesley did, in fact, bear 19 children, but only 10 of them lived much beyond toddler-hood. By the time she instituted the "one hour a week discipleship program," only 8 were still at home (Samuel and John were already off at school). As she combined the younger 2 children into the same time slot, this turned out to be one hour per day spent with a child. Far less time than the almost 3 hours/day we're usually led to believe.

Susanna Wesley set a great example for us mothers in spending time with our children teaching them the things of God. However, let us keep it in perspective. Don't be overwhelmed in the exaggeration, be encouraged in the truth.


Janice said...

Whew! I had heard that "fact" myself, and was overwhelmed at the thought. Thank you for digging up the truth! I think I can do one hour/day with one... In fact, if I consider school as "one on one" time, I think I am well on my way to actually accomplishing the goal!

Lisa said...

Wow, your study certainly shows Susanna's example to be much easier to follow! I'll keep this info in the back of my mind for days ahead! :-)