At first I found myself reading these words, not to 'use' in the parenting of my own children, rather they spoke directly to my own life and need for godliness. There are many times in a day when I succumb to things which will not have any bearing on my eternal future, but will certainly hinder my daily walk with God.
Susannah Wesley was one of the the great mothers of history. One day one of her daughters wished to do something which was not altogether bad, but which was not right. When she was told not to do it, she was not convinced.So I commend these words to you, short, yet profound. Use them to teach your children and moreover, apply them to your own personal holiness asking yourself this question: in doing this or that, it won't burn, but will it blacken?
It was late and she and her mother were sitting beside a dead fire. Her mother said to her: "Pick up that bit of coal." "I don't want to," said the girl. "Go on," said her mother. "The fire is out, it won't burn you." "I know that," said the girl. "I know it won't burn me but it will blacken my hands." "Exactly," said Susannah Wesley. "That thing which you wish to do won't burn, but it will blacken. Leave it alone."