As I was studying this week, in preparation for the sermon I preached this morning, I came across some interesting quotes from John MacArthur. MacArthur has been preaching about Genesis 3:16 and the consequence of the woman’s sin. And along the way he pauses to celebrate the impact of godly mothers. This seemed rather appropriate for Mother’s Day. So here it is.
I think about Susanna Wesley, wife of a pastor and mother of 19 children. She’s gone down in Christian history as one of the greatest mothers. Here are some of her rules. Here are the rules she kept. No child was to be given a thing because he cried for it. If a child wanted to cry, cry softly. Nineteen children and it says, in her house was rarely heard loud cries. Second rule, no eating and drinking between meals except when sick. Rule number three, sleeping was also regulated. When very small the child was given three hours in the morning and three in the afternoon. This was shortened until no sleeping was allowed during the daytime to be productive. Four, punctually the little ones were laid in the cradle and rocked to sleep. At seven P.M. each child was put to bed, at 8 P.M. she left the room. She never allowed herself to sit by the bed until the children went to sleep. The little ones, fifthly, had their own table near the main table. When they could handle fork and knife they were promoted to the family table. That is a great idea. Sixth, each one must eat and drink everything before him. Seventh, children must address each other as sister and brother. Eighth, she never allowed herself to show through her ill temper or by scolding, she would always explain and explain. Listen, she spent one day each…pardon me, one hour each day shut up with God alone in her room praying for every one of her children. And her two sons under God brought revival to England while France was bathed in a bloody war. We know about John Wesley, but maybe behind all of that was a godly mother, surely that’s true.
G. Campbell Morgan, that great preacher said, quote: “My dedication to the preaching of the Word was maternal. Mother never told it to the baby or the boy, but waited. When but eight years old I preached to my little sister and to her dolls arrayed in orderly form before me, my sermons were Bible stories which I had first heard from my mother.” And G. Campbell Morgan, by the way, had four sons, all four of whom became preachers. And on one occasion when G. Campbell Morgan was explaining all the preachers in his family, someone said to him, “Who is the greatest preacher in your family?” And he replied without hesitation, “My mother.”
Joseph Parker once said that when Robert Moffat was added to the Kingdom of God, a whole continent was added as well and a mother’s kiss did it. Charles Spurgeon’s father once told Dr. Ford, an American minister, how when he had been taken away from home a good deal trying to build up congregations, there came a conviction that he was neglecting the religious training of his own children. So he decided that he would preach less. On returning home he opened the door and was surprised to find none of the children around the hall. Ascending the stairs he heard his wife’s voice and knew that she was engaged in prayer. One by one she named the children. When she had finished her petition and instruction, Spurgeon said, “I can go on with my work, the children are well cared for.”