[This article was originally featured in our hometown newspaper, The Seymour Tribune under the title “Mother’s Lessons Key in Founding of Church.” For clarification: This article is for parents and especially mothers, encouraging them to redeem the time wisely and to invest their lives in eternal things. Its main point is not meant to be about the founding of the Methodist Church, even though that is an important point.]
In the eighteenth-century, Susanna Wesley, a mother of ten, spent Thursday evenings with her son, John. As she did with all her children, she spent time reading the Bible, praying, and introducing John to the gospel of Jesus Christ. What must have seemed at times like a mundane routine would, in time, have global significance and eternal impact.
You see, John Wesley grew to become the fiery evangelist and founder of the Methodist Church. Converted as an adult, Wesley’s heart was “strangely warmed” when the kindling of God’s word, which Susanna had stockpiled into his heart on Thursday nights, was set ablaze by the Holy Spirit. Under God, Susanna’s commitment to planting seeds each week was rewarded with an everlasting orchard.
So what are you doing this Thursday evening? Will you spend your time in something as significant as Susanna Wesley? Or will it just be another evening of work, play, or online chatting?
Considering Susanna’s model makes us think differently about how we spend our time.
First, Susanna was a Christian who made it her business to work with the most valuable (and eternal) commodities in the world—namely God’s Word and the souls of men and women. Second, as a mother, Susanna spent ample time with her children—shaping their character, interpreting life from a Christian worldview, and speaking grace into their lives. Third, she established a weekly pattern to discuss the gospel of Jesus Christ with her children. Not knowing the results of her labors, but praying and persisting, she relentlessly kept Christ in front of her children, believing that God would honor her evangelistic efforts.
At 35, John Wesley was converted, and from there this evangelist led countless souls to Christ, men and women who will give eternal praise to God for the fact that Susanna Wesley took Thursday nights to meet with her son.
May we consider Susanna’s life and imitate her faithfulness.
Soli Deo Gloria, dss