Yours, Till Heaven • Ray Rhodes, Jr.

The Untold Love Story of Charles and Susie Spurgeon

February 2021 • Paperback • 978-0-8024-1952-1

Enter the remarkable untold love story of Charles and Susie Spurgeon.

Charles Spurgeon is esteemed for his writing, preaching, and passion for the Lord. But behind the great man was a great wife – and between the man and wife was a profound marriage. 

Yours, Till Heaven invites you into the untold love story of Charles and Susie Spurgeon to discover how the bond between this renowned couple helped fuel their lifelong service to the Lord. Discover how Charles and Susie traversed the challenges of loneliness, physical affliction, popularity, controversy, and other trials together with a heavenly vision. Just as the Spurgeons lived their lives as witnesses of Christ, in Yours, Till Heaven their marriage continues to be an example for how all marriages today can remain faithful, loving, and joyful despite the challenges that life may bring.

With historical precision and narrative craft, Spurgeon scholar Ray Rhodes, Jr. captures the inner life of this Victorian romance that not only served the Spurgeons in their day, but that can also continue to empower and encourage couples today. For more on the lives of the Spurgeons, find Susie by Ray Rhodes, Jr.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Ray Rhodes, Jr. serves as founding pastor of Grace Community Church of Dawsonville, GA and as president of Nourished in the Word Ministries. He has served four congregations over three decades of pastoral ministry and for fifteen years, he has led Nourished in the Word. Ray has published several books and holds theological degrees from New Orleans Baptist Theological Seminary (M.Div.) and The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary (D.Min.). He is married to Lori and they are blessed with six daughters and four grandchildren. Ray has long been a Spurgeon enthusiast, and his doctoral thesis focused on the marriage and spirituality of Charles and Susannah Spurgeon.

CONTENT PREVIEW

With the plethora of labels (“Prince of Preachers,” “The Modern Whitefield,” etc.) placed upon Charles Spurgeon by authors, his students, and even Susie, there is one never before attached to the famous preacher: the great lover. There you have it. One of the greatest Christian leaders of all time was a great lover at heart. He was a lover of Christ and the lover of one woman, and one woman only, for all his life. Similarly, Susie’s love was focused on Christ and on her husband, Charles, exclusively. Indeed, theirs was a love “till Heaven, and then.”

The earliest biographies of Spurgeon were bound by “Conventional phraseology,” and they had little to say about Charles and Susie’s romance. Biographers opted to simply point out a few “common-place details” but concealed what Susie called “the tender truths and sweetness of our mutual love story.”

Spurgeon biographer George Lorimer asserted, “Home is, in a peculiar sense, the domain of the wife, and without her consent its sacredness should never be violated.” The good news is that Susie gave her consent. She knew that providing such an intimate narrative of her marriage would be considered “unusual” by some. However, she felt that the story should be told. Susie’s openness in sharing means that one of the great romances in Christian history is preserved and can serve as an inspiration and encouragement to Christian couples today.

Charles and Susie’s love story is a tender narrative. Charles proudly flew a “banner of love” over Susie. He cared little for Victorian privacy in this regard – or in anything else for that matter. “You might write my life across the sky,” he said, “I have nothing to conceal.” He once told his students that he hated the fashions of society and detested convention. After Susie died, Thomas Spurgeon, in tribute to his mother, wrote: “That [Susie] was a true helpmeet is proved by my dear father’s repeated testimony to her worth, by word of mouth and by the fact that he set it down in black and white again and again.” A lovely testimony of Charles’s unashamed love and respect for Susie – he didn’t write of her value once or twice but again and again.

Why shouldn’t Charles and Susie’s love story be told? There is no marital disunity to hide and no salacious backstory to cover up. Theirs was a public affection that neither were ashamed of. And though we are over 160 years removed from their wedding day, we need Charles and Susie’s example. We need to see them as they were and their marriage as it was – warts and all. 

ENDORSEMENTS

An unlikely couple with strong personalities and a deep sense of humor, Charles Spurgeon and Susannah Thompson stand out for their faithfulness to each other and commitment to the Lord. In Yours, Till Heaven, Ray’s careful research and thoughtful retelling of their unlikely relationship create a marital treasure that inspires and challenges us at the same time.

– Stephen McCaskell
Award-winning director, Through the Eyes of Spurgeon, LUTHER: The Life and Legacy of the German Reformer, and EPIC: An Around-the-World Journey through Christian History

Ray Rhodes takes his readers on a delightful journey into the little-known world of Charles and Susannah Spurgeon’s love story. We found ourselves captivated by how they loved, and we were compelled to follow their example. Encouraging, and at points convicting, Yours, Till Heaven is just what’s needed in today’s climate of self-centered approaches to love and marriage. Theirs was a love centered on Christ, a love that flowed into a joy-filled journey through both tragedy and triumph.

– Jeremy and Jinger Vuolo
Stars of the TLC series Counting On; host of the podcast The Hope We Hold

Ray Rhodes has given us a beautifully written account of the love story of Charles and Susie Spurgeon in Yours, Till Heaven. I am truly very thankful for the deep love that my great-great grandparents shared for God and for each other, and I have learned valuable lessons from reading about their lives together. Today, I fear that marriage is losing its God-given meaning as a picture of Christ’s love for His church, and people enter into this sacred union with little thought of what their marriage should look like in the day-to-day. As you read Yours, Till Heaven it will encourage you to love your spouse better, to support them through all the difficulties life can bring, and most importantly, to build your marriage on the sure foundation of Christ.

– Susannah Spurgeon Cochrane
Great-great granddaughter of Charles and Susie Spurgeon