“The child that never learns to obey his parents in the home will not obey God or man out of the home” – Susanna Wesley
Susanna Wesley was 19 years old when she married 26 year old Samuel Wesley. They had 19 children, nine of them died as infants and one was accidently smothered by a maid.
Susanna suffered many hardships throughout her life. At one point her husband, Samuel left her and the children for over a year due to a minor dispute. She wrote a letter to him telling him how she was going to allocate quality time for each child. Samuel was in prison twice because of his poor financial abilities and lack of money was a constant struggle for his wife. Their house burned down twice and John, one of their sons nearly died and had to be rescued from the second story window.
After the second fire, Susanna was forced to place the children in different homes for almost two years while the rectory was being rebuilt. It was during that time that Susana observed that her children were using improper speech and spent more time playing than studying.
Susanna made sure that the children began their formal education after their fifth birthday. They received a good education—six hours of class and they were expected to learn the entire alphabet on the first day. They all learned Latin, Greek and classical studies, the daughters included.
At church, the lack of diversity in the sermons moved Susanna to hold family services in her home. They sang psalms, followed by a sermon read by Susanna and closed with another psalm. The locals began to attend and soon the church attendance dwindled.
Susanna Wesley was a remarkable woman because “…although she never preached a sermon or published a book or founded a church, (she) is known as the Mother of Methodism. Why? Because two of her sons, John Wesley and Charles Wesley, as children consciously or unconsciously will, applied the example and teachings and circumstances of their home life.”
It is thanks to a strong, faith-filled and determined mother that her sons, John and Charles, “men of great faith and conviction led a revival within the Church of England that resulted in the spawning of the second largest Christian denomination in America”.
“There are two things to do about the gospel. Believe it and behave it” – Susanna Wesley