But for a few, greatness is awarded for a lifetime of dedication that made a significant difference in the lives of others.
As a differentiating value, Greatness means remarkable; of major significance or importance; larger than others of it’s kind.
There are selected men and women who are heralded for their remarkable achievements. But few married couples would be added to this list.
Charles and Susannah Spurgeon are one of those rare couples. They were truly one of the greatest couples of their time.
At age 22, Charles Spurgeon was the most popular preacher of the day.
Spurgeon was the Billy Graham of his time. Known in Britain as the ‘Prince of Preachers’ it is estimated that Spurgeon preached the Gospel of Christ to 10 Million people during his lifetime.
In 1850, the year he turned 16, Spurgeon converted to Christianity and preached his first sermon that same year. By age 19 he was preaching in the largest Baptist congregation in London, England where he would pastor for 38 years.
Many of Spurgeon’s sermons were transcribed as he spoke, and also translated into many languages. Today his messages are considered among the best in Christian literature.
Spurgeon grew to greatness by inspiring others to repentance and ultimately conviction to Christ, following the teachings of the Bible.
But he had help. Firstly, from God. Secondly, he was blessed with a supportive spouse.
If greatness is measured by the good one does in the world around them, then Susannah Spurgeon was one of the greatest women of her time.
Having heard the man – who would become her future husband – preach for the first time when she was 21 – and he was only 19 – she was not impressed. But in time she came to appreciate his sincerity, passion, and ministry. She fell in love with the man and his mission.
They were married and had 2 children – twin boys.
Unfortunately, by the age of 33 Susannah was often bedridden and could no longer leave her home to hear her husband preach. Yet, her support for him continued, and she faithfully raised their two boys based on Christian values. Both boys went on to also become preachers.
One of the most notable tributes to Susannah’s work was the creation of the Book Fund. Because of her, hundreds of poor ministers would receive books that would increase their knowledge and improve their ministries. The Book Fund still exists today!
Against the odds of poor health and lack of funds, Susannah demonstrated the admirable qualities of a supportive spouse. You can read more about this remarkable woman on Lori’s blog, the first one here and the second here.
Charles and Susannah Spurgeon arose to achieve the value of greatness. This was not something desired or aspired. Rather, they were a husband and wife team who demonstrated a love for the Lord and each other, maintained a loyalty in spite of many challenges, and dedicated their lives to serving others, leaving a legacy that has lasted to today.
What can couples today learn from Charles & Susannah Spurgeon?
How can you and your spouse make a lasting impact that will be remembered 100 years from now?
In an effort to link the various posts on marketing, leadership, and marriage, the values highlighted this week are all from the category “Creativity-Uniqueness”, based on the e-book Developing Your Differentiating Value. I’d appreciate your feedback on this approach. You can send me an email at Robert@FergusonValues.com.