Suzanna Wesley was the mother of 19 children, including John and Charles Wesley.  She dedicated her children to God and consulted the Bible as her only child-rearing textbook.  To other mothers, she presented the following rules that worked for her:

  1.  Eating between meals is not allowed.

  2.  As children, they are to be in bed by 8:00 p.m.

  3.  They are required to take medicine without complaining.

  4.  Subdue self-will in a child, and thus work together with God to save the child’s soul.

  5.  Teach a child to pray as soon as he can speak.

  6.  Require all to be still during a Family Worship.

  7.  Give them nothing they cry for, and only that which they ask for politely.

  8.  To prevent lying, punish no fault which is first confessed and repented.

  9.  Never allow a sinful act to go unpunished.

10.  Never punish a child twice for a single offense.

11.  Commend and reward good behavior.

12.  Any attempt to please, even if poorly performed, should be commended.

13.  Preserve property rights, even in smallest matters.

14.  Strictly observe all promises.

15.  Require no daughter to work before she can read well.

16.  Teach children to fear the Lord. 




I took a piece of plastic clay and idly fashioned it one day

And as my fingers pressed it still, it moved and yielded at my will.

I came again when days were past.  The bit of clay was hard at last.

The form I gave it still it bore, but I could change that form no more.

I took a piece of living clay and gently formed it day by day,

And molded with my power and art, a young child’s soft and yielding heart.

I came again when days were gone.  It was a man I looked upon.

He still that early impress bore and I could change it nevermore.

                                                                        – Author unknown



                                                                        by Peter Marshall


            “On this day of sacred memories, our Father, we would thank Thee for our mothers who gave us life, who surrounded us early and late with love and care, whose prayers on our behalf still cling around the Throne of Grace, a haunting perfume of love’s petitions.

            “Help us, their children, to be more worthy of their love.  We know that no sentimentality on this one day, no material gifts — no flowers or boxes of candy — can atone for our neglect during the rest of the year.  So in the days ahead, may our love speak to the hearts who know love best — by kindness, by compassion, by simple courtesy and daily thoughtfulness.

            “Bless her whose name we whisper before Thee, and keep her in Thy perfect peace, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.  Amen.”        

(Peter Marshal (1905-1949), pastor of the New York Avenue Presbyterian Church and Chaplain of the United States Senate,  was a Scottish immigrant who became one of America’s greatest preachers.)