During my time at seminary, I had the great privilege of studying Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s evangelistic ministry. As I began to develop a biographical sketch of Charles Spurgeon’s life and ministry, I was struck by the wonderful marriage that Charles had with Susannah. Though the sweetness of this marriage was highlighted by some biographers, it was often lacking. The average biographer would only spend a short paragraph or two explaining the Spurgeons’ marriage. As a result, I was left with a hunger to know more about this Christ-exalting marriage.
For example, a biography of Charles Spurgeon that I loved was Arnold Dallimore’s work. Dallimore did give a short glimpse of the Spurgeons’ marriage, but the reader was still left with wonder. What was it truly like? Dallimore writes:
The couple was molded for each other by the divine hand, and their union can only be considered as a fulfilment of Susannah’s anticipation – it was indeed a marriage made in heaven … Susannah worked with him, prayed with him, believed in him, and affectionately loved him through his many years of work.
After my studies, I wanted to know more about this ‘marriage made in heaven.’ A few months later, I would be marrying the love of my life and begin my first year of ministry. We wanted a godly marriage to emulate. We wanted to find ‘old friends’ that we could go to and learn from. We wanted to sit and study with a couple who has fought the good fight and finished the course. As a young couple, we needed to find heart-warming encouragement from those who have gone before us. This desire led us to ‘adopt’ Charles and Susie Spurgeon as one of our ‘spiritual mentors.’
Now, where could we go to learn about their marriage? Are there any books that can draw us into the depths of their marriage? How can we glean from their marital wisdom? How can we get a window into the Spurgeons’ love for Christ and their love for one another? We were left searching.
It is to our great delight and joy that Moody Publishers has published Yours, Till Heaven: The Untold Love Story of Charles and Susie Spurgeon, by Ray Rhodes Jr. This book invites us into the untold love story of Charles and Susie Spurgeon. In it, we are given a raw and unedited picture of a God-honoring and Christ-exalting marriage, a marriage made in heaven. As one reads through this book’s pages, it will become quite evident that the Spurgeons’ marriage revolved around Jesus Christ. The Lord Jesus Christ was the sum and substance of their marriage. Charles was to love Susie in a “special, constant, enduring, and delighted manner, for he took Christ as his Savior, his model, and his teacher.” Susie “felt that she was married to a man who loved her deeply because he loved Christ supremely.” Ray Rhodes helpfully reminds the reader that the “delightfulness in Charles and Susie’s marriage was inseparable from their Christ-centered piety.” Biographer Earnest Bacon wrote the following:
“God had certainly made them for each other. It was a love match, but also a spiritual partnership, as every true Christian marriage should be. Heavily did they lean upon each other. Closely were their hearts and aims intertwined. Richly did the Lord bless and use them together.”
So, who is this book for? Are you pursuing marriage? Are you newly married? Have you been married for years? Are you looking for an encouraging read that will give you a greater love for Christ, and as a result, move you to love your spouse more earnestly? This book is for you! As Hershael York wonderfully writes: “This book is at times devotional, a manual, an encouragement, and a biography, but always a beautiful love story that we will never forget and that, we pray shapes our own.” May God help us to love our spouses in a Christ-like manner.
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