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As Unto the cord the bow is,
So unto the man is woman.
Though she bends him, she obeys him,
Though she draw him, yet she follows.
Useless each without the other.  -H.W. Longfellow

Indeed this is one of the great love stories, one of selfless commitment and deeply spiritual. Simply explained, the origin was heaven-born from Him Who is Love.

The young man’s first gift to his future bride was Pilgrim’s Progress.  At that point, his intent was to encourage her along the walk with Christ. Signed in the fly-leaf “Miss Thompson, with desires for her progress in the blessed pilgrimage,” then the date with no other indications. Still higher plans were divinely charted whether the two knew or not. Though soon he would hand a book about marriage and poems to this Susannah. In a soft voice as she read, he whispered, “Do you pray for him who is to be your husband?”

Almost two years after the first gift, the two became one in a beautiful early morning ceremony. Off to Paris for a ten-day honeymoon, and the start of a romance that was truly an ordained partnership. From lofty heights of ministry to plunging valleys where each must draw on the other, their love was their love for their Lord. Those years without a cloud, phenomenal success rose to the failing health of one and then the other. In sickness, invalidism, and even depression, their devoted love flowed ever sweeter, deeper, and more precious. After twenty years as husband and wife he wrote, “My heart flies to you. I love you now as then, only multiplied many times. I have served the Lord far more and never less for your sweet companionship! Bless your dear heart!….You are the precise form in which God would make a woman for such a man as I…”.

Susannah was a powerful inspiration to her husband. He would weep at her feet from exhaustion and the depressive load he bore. She was comfort and ministered he said as an angel from God with her faith, strength, and courage.

She called him Tirshatha. This was her name of endearment meaning, “Your Reverence.” Who was this amazing couple? He wrote this incredible description about his beloved: She delights in her husband, in his person, his character, his affection; to her, he is not only the chief and foremost of mankind, but in her eyes, he is all in all. Her heart’s love belongs to him and to him only. He is her little world, her Paradise, her choice treasure. She is glad to sink her individuality in his. She seeks no renown for herself; his honor is reflected upon her, and she rejoices in it. She will defend his name with her dying breath; safe enough is he where she can speak for him. His smiling gratitude is all the reward she seeks. Even in her dress she thinks of him and considers nothing beautiful which is distasteful to him. He has many objects in life, some of which she does not quite understand; but she believes in them all, and anything she can do to promote them, she delights to perform…Such a wife, as a true spouse, realizes the model marriage relation, and sets forth what our oneness with the Lord ought to be!” Such was a veiled description of Susannah by her husband.

The sad day came when she followed behind her beloved husband’s casket. The grief was so great until she remembered his sweet words of cheer when he must be away in travels: “Seeing me look so sad, he tenderly said, ‘What! Crying over your lamb, wifie? Do you think the children of Israel stood and wept over the lamb they laid on His altar?’”

Then the heart of Susannah found peace in tears. She looked at the great portrait of Tirshatha over the mantel and sobbed? “Ah, sweetheart! Was there ever one like thee? In all these forty years I knew thee, thou wert most tender, gracious! And now I am parted from thee, not for a few days only, as in that long ago time, but ‘until the day break and the shadows flee away!’ I think I hear thy loving voice saying again, ‘Don’t cry over your lamb, wifie,’ as I try to give thee up, ungrudgingly to God—not without tears—ah, no, that is not possible; but with that full surrender of heart which makes the sacrifice acceptable in His sight.”3

Who are they? This is the beautiful love story of Susannah and Charles Haddon Spurgeon.

Please take a moment to read Ephesians 5:21-32.