In Memoriam: A Song of Sighs by Susannah Spurgeon (How she dealt with the
death of her beloved husband, C. H. Spurgeon)
A Basket of Summer Fruit by Susannah Spurgeon (written after the death
of her beloved husband, C. H. Spurgeon)
“The marriage of Charles and Susannah Spurgeon provides an encouraging example of what love and marriage can be when Christ is front-and-center in the relationship.
Charles Spurgeon had a realistic view of marriage, realizing it “is not all sugar.” However, he also believed that “grace in the heart will keep away most of the sours.” He wrote: “It should be the husband’s pleasure to please his wife, and the wife’s care to care for her husband.” Encouragingly, Spurgeon counseled, “When home is ruled according to God’s word, angels might be asked to stay the night with us, and they would not find themselves out of their element.” What Charles and Susannah provide for those who will contemplate the pattern of their lives is not only a vision for a happy marriage, but also Scripture as an anchor that holds strong amidst trials and temptations.
Spurgeon considered the family to be “the grandest of all institutions.” He sought to please Susannah, even in the small things of life. As Susannah recovered from surgery in 1869, the Spurgeons were also relocating to a new home. Susannah’s affliction was so severe that she could contribute little in the way of planning for their move. Lovingly, Charles took the lead and purchased items for their new home that would make it more enjoyable and accessible for Susannah.
It is impossible to contextualize the greatness of Charles Spurgeon apart from the contribution of Susannah. Spurgeon biographer Russell Conwell wrote that Susannah “was as remarkable a woman as he was a man.”
Once while Spurgeon was traveling for ministry, he wrote a love song to Susannah titled “Married Love.” His beautifully crafted words include:
Over the space which parts us, my wife,
I’ll cast me a bridge of song.
Our hearts shall meet, O joy of my life,
On its arch, unseen, but strong.
Some years after Spurgeon died, Susannah reflected:
‘None can be expected to feel the same rapturous delight in the sweet verses as I did, when I first read them; I was far more proud of them that I should have been of chains of gold or strings of pearls; and they have still the power to move my soul to an overwhelming tenderness both of memory and anticipation;—but they may at least touch a chord of sympathy in some loving heart, and set it trembling with the tones of the long-forgotten music of bygone years.’
Spurgeon reveals a husband who was in tune with and who delighted in serving his wife. He believed that it was a husband’s responsibility to put his wife above himself, and he therefore opposed any postulating that man was the center of all things.”
~ Ray Rhodes Jr.
— with Annie Hegr.