“Even when I am old and gray, do not forsake me, O God, till I declare your power to the next generation, your might to all who are to come.” Psalm 71:18 (NIV)
Susanna Wesley’s life changed history. How? She gave a legacy of faith to her children. Born in 1669 to a Christian minister and his wife, she grew up in a culture of devout Christian faith. Susanna imparted her understanding of Christ to her own children, instructing them in biblical knowledge and praying diligently for them an hour each day. At least once a week she took them aside individually to discuss spiritual matters.
Her legacy to this world is John and Charles Wesley. Both of these men became leaders in the spiritual revival known as “The Great Awakening.” John Wesley founded the Methodist denomination and other Wesleyan denominations, as well as theological beliefs and traditions that are named after him. Charles Wesley not only preached but also wrote many of our traditional hymns.
Susanna’s maternal influence bore rich fruit in these men’s lives. The power of their Christian faith came about as a direct result of their godly mother. She actively lived out her faith in their home. Her accomplishments as a mother resulted in sons who continued to pass down her inheritance of faith.
Throughout Scripture, examples are given of women who influenced their children in a godly way. The mother of Moses hid him for three months and then placed Moses in a water resistant basket to save him from death. Moses led the children of Israel out of slavery. Hannah dedicated her three-year-old son, Samuel, to the Lord. He became a mighty prophet. The apostle Paul wrote about a mother and grandmother who influenced a young disciple named Timothy. “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also” (2 Timothy 1:5 NIV).
What word described their faith? Sincere faith. Timothy’s grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice, held a positive sway in the life of Timothy because of their sincere faith. I do not want my children to see my faith as a mediocre belief system. I want to leave them a legend of living and active faith.
Proverbs 17:6 states, “Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children” (NIV). Although I am certainly not Susanna Wesley, I hope my children take pride in me as their mother. (I am certainly glorying in my grandchildren!) I wait with great anticipation to see what Christian heritage will pass from me, to my children, and to my grandchildren.
So what will be our legend of faith? Shall we begin today to live out a dynamic faith that our children can watch, understand, and imitate?
Dear Lord, I desire to leave a legacy of faith to my children. Inspire me to pray for them daily. Instruct me on how I may leave an inheritance of godliness to my children, my grandchildren, and to others who look to me as an example. Lord, let my faith shine brightly even after I leave this earth. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
Do you know Him?
Make a list of things to share with your children about your relationship with Jesus. Determine to discuss things of faith daily with each child.
What will my children recall after I die?
Do I make a concentrated effort to teach my children about Jesus?
Do I pray for my children on a regular basis?
Proverbs 31:28-30, “Her children arise and call her blessed; her husband also, and he praises her: ‘Many women do noble things, but you surpass them all.’ Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting; but a woman who fears the Lord is to be praised.” (NIV)
Proverbs 17:6, “Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.” (NIV)
2 Timothy 1:5, “I have been reminded of your sincere faith, which first lived in your grandmother Lois and in your mother Eunice and, I am persuaded, now lives in you also.” (NIV)