When it came out just a couple of years ago, Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon offered itself as an unprecedented book (read the review of that book by clicking here). Both the content and the composition were extraordinary. It wasn’t just the topic of Susannah Spurgeon that made the subject matter unique, but the addition of a biography devoted solely to any pastor’s wife was a rare endeavor. Combined with Rhodes ability to craft the text, the biography is now one of my top recommendations.
As a result, the addition of Yours Till Heaven just two years later instantly became a must-read. God’s creation of unique beings means that every individual consists of many facets. When combined with another human being in marriage, the complexity of those facets merged with another person’s generates a beauty that may glorify God. That’s what we find in the merging of Charles and Susannah Spurgeon’s lives.
Building off of that first work, Ray Rhodes uses his extensive research to focus now on the marriage of this prominent couple. The book Susie was so well-done that releasing another book on the same topic (even if focusing simply on one of the facets of that topic) is treacherous. The standard set by the previous book automatically generates elevated expectations. And the author delivers, exceeding those expectations once again.
It’s worth noting that the book is physically exquisite. The details placed on the typeset, font, and physical flourishes match the theme of the book. While the notion that one shouldn’t judge a book by its cover, the beauty displayed by the physical characteristics of the book lend themselves to the reading experience. It is clear that the publisher was very intentional about the design of the book, and readers benefit from that thoughtfulness.
In one sense, Yours Till Heaven isn’t notable in that it’s a biography like any other. The pattern and content are similar to what one would find in any biography. Yet, Rhodes has chosen to deal uniquely by focusing exclusively on the relationship between Charles and Susannah. Individual background information about them both is limited to only what is necessary to see God’s glory in the melding of two dissimilar individuals.
Rhodes tells an amazing story of how Charles and Susannah chose to love one another. While one could say their story was one of self-sacrifice, what strikes me in this particular read is how their intense love for one another compelled an intense support for one another. The result is a book that tells more than their love for another, but it conveys their love for God and how they lived that out not merely as two individuals with shared lives, but as two people who lived on life together.
I admit, I tell you little of the content here. But all you need to know about that is that the substance is the relationship between Charles and Susannah Spurgeon. Indeed, it is a wonderful thing to gain knowledge about two of God’s servants. However, the real value of this book is the encouragement it gives towards marriage and the way in which God is glorified by both the story and the author’s ability to articulate the story. Ray Rhodes is masterful in his presentation of Charles and Susannah Spurgeon’s marriage, not presenting it as a perfect one, but as a godly one.Coffee Pairings: Every good book deserves to be paired with a cup of coffee. As much as I try to avoid Starbucks, I would pair this with Starbucks Odyssey Blend. The Odyssey Blend is blending of three different coffees, distinctive in flavor and origin that come together to create a well-balanced cup. That’s what we see from the lives of Charles and Susannah Spurgeon through this book. Despite their differences, the two individuals also blended well together to create a well-balanced couple.
To purchase a copy of either book or to learn more about them, click the following titles:
Susie: The Life and Legacy of Susannah Spurgeon
Yours Till Heaven
Disclaimer: I received a copy of this book from the publisher for the purposes of review. However, this review was not influenced in any way by the author, publisher, or anyone else associated with this book