Can you imagine having ten children running around, home-schooling them, taking care of a husband and a home, grieving the loss of nine of nineteen children and two burned dwellings, dealing with financial crises and still keeping your cool? Maybe you can but I’m not sure how I would handle it. Well that’s the story of Susanna Wesley. This great mother of Zion is the mother of John and Charles Wesley, gentlemen who were very influential figures in the Christian church. She was an incredible woman, but what was the secret to her success? How was she able to manage without breaking down?
Here’s the answer and the thing that amazed me about her. It is said that she spent two hours with God every day. Two hours! How could she possibly find a quiet spot in a house full of children? Well… she didn’t always have that opportunity. Many times she just sat at the kitchen table with her apron over her head (smile) and her children knew this was a sign not to disturb her…and she made time for her God.
Unfortunately, sometimes we think of our time with God as something to fit in to our day when it is actually the most important part of our day. Our time spent with God ought to be treated as a priority and those around us must learn to respect it.
We have to be very purposeful and intentional about our time spent with God or else it will never happen. For me, I find this is best done at the beginning of the day before everything heats up. When I nourish my relationship with God, I am more calm, gentle, focused and pleasant and as you may already be aware, what you exude is what your home will be like. So if I’m flustered and uneasy, my child usually picks up on the vibe and it makes for a crappy day but when I’ve spent time with God and allowed Him to minister to my spirit, O what a difference! I also find that maintaining that atmosphere of worship and praise throughout the day helps as well, so listening to praise music or just keeping a song on my lips and a prayer in my heart really makes a difference. I guarantee that if you make God a priority in your life, you will be a much better parent. You will be under the influence of the Holy Spirit which will help you to be more patient, Christ like, gentle and wise.
Now in the midst of all she had to do, Mrs. Wesley also ensured she made “mommy time” with each child once per week and that was a high priority in her life as well. Once a week may sound very little but with ten children and all she had to do, I think she did the best she could and she was also spending time with them cumulatively in home school etc. all day long. Whatever works for your unique situation, ensure sure your children know that you love them enough to spend some quality time with them, to fill their little love tanks and encourage them.
I believe her example is proof that the most important thing for you to do as a Christian parent isn’t only to spend more quality time with your children, but also more quality time with God, then He will allow everything else to fall into place; in other words, God will teach you how to be a better parent. This is not a call to excess by any means. God does call us to be temperate in all things so you’re not allowed to lock yourself in your room all day long on account of spending time with God ok? (smile) However, this kind of commitment means no excuses. Does it mean getting up an hour earlier or skipping a show during your child’s nap so you can spend time with God? What do you need to do to make that time a priority?
“Seek ye first the kingdom of God…”
So I’d like to know, how do you make God your first priority and how does it help you to be a better parent? Share in the comments below!