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Friday, May 14, 2010

The 16 Rules of the Household

I have recently become acquainted with the "mother" of the Methodist Church, Susanna Wesley.  She was the mother of 19 children - two of whom are associated with the foundation of the Methodist Church - John and Charles Wesley.  In a time when women were illiterate, it was she who actively pursued an education and was fundamental in homeschooling her own children.

I am especially impressed with the 16 rules by which she ran her household.  Her rules reflect the belief that a self-disciplined adult must first be a parent-disciplined child. 

Susanna Wesley's 16 Household Rules
1. Eating between meals not allowed.
2. As children they are to be in bed by 8 p.m.
3. They are required to take medicine without complaining.
4. Subdue self- will in a child, and those working together with God to save the child's soul.
5. To teach a child to pray as soon as he can speak.
6. Require all to be still during Family Worship.
7. Give them nothing that they cry for, and only that when asked for politely.
8. To prevent lying, punish no fault which is first confessed and repented of.
9. Never allow a sinful act to go unpunished.
10. Never punish a child twice for a single offense.
11. Comment 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 rod.

Over the next few weeks, I will examine each rule and see if they are still applicable in a modern context.

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