Charles H. Spurgeon
(From Spurgeon’s “Plain Advice for Plain People” or “John Ploughman’s Talk”)
Edited by Pastor

Dear Readers,

Proverbs 18:22 declare, “Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.” In addition, Proverbs 31:10 says, “Who can find a virtuous woman? for her price is far above rubies.” Therefore, godly husbands ought to love and treasure their wives, for they are God’s blessing to them. Alas, with time, it is easy for the husband to take his wife for granted. Thus, the Scripture warns, “Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”

The following article by Spurgeon addresses the belligerent attitude of some men towards their wives. May the Lord grant us godly families, where the husbands will keep loving their wives, to the testimony of Christ our Saviour.

Yours affectionately,
Pastor Clement Chew

It is astonishing how many old sayings are there against wives, you may find nineteen to the dozen of them. The men years ago showed the rough side of their tongues whenever they spoke of their spouses. Some of these sayings are downright shocking; as, for instance, that very wicked one, “Every man has two good days with his wife – the day he marries her, and the day he buries her”; and that other, “He that loseth his wife and his farthing, has a great loss of the farthing.” I recollect an old ballad that Gaffer Brooks used to sing about a man’s being better hung than married, it shows how common it was to abuse married life. It is almost too bad to print it, but here it is, as near as I remember it –

There was a victim in a cart,
One day for to be hang’d
And his reprieve was granted,
And the cart made for to stand. ‘

Come marry a wife, and save your life’,
The judge aloud did cry;
‘Oh, why should I corrupt my life?’
The victim did reply.

‘For here’s a crowd of every sort,
And why should I prevent their sport?
The bargain’s bad in every part,
The wife’s the worst – drive on the cart.’

Now this rubbish does not prove that the women are bad but that their husbands are good for nothing or else they would not make up such abominable slanders about their partners. The rottenest bough cracks first, and it looks as if the male side of the house was the worse of the two, for it certainly has made up the most grumbling proverbs. There have, no doubt, been some shockingly bad wives in the world, who have been provoking enough to make a man say,

If a woman were as little as she is good,
A pea-shell would make her a gown and a hood.

But how many thousands have there been of true helpmeets, worth far more than their weight of gold! There is only one Job’s wife mentioned in the Bible and one Jezebel but there are no end of Sarahs and Rebekahs. I am of Solomon’s mind, that, as a rule, “He that findeth a wife findeth a good thing.” If there’s one bad shilling taken at the grocer’s, all the neighbours hear of it but of the hundred of good ones the report says nothing. A good woman makes no noise and no noise is made about her, but a shrew is noted all over the parish. Taking them for all in all, they are most angelical creatures and a great deal too good for half the husbands.

It is much to the woman’s credit that there are very few old sayings against husbands, although, in this case, sauce for the goose could make capital sauce for the gander; and the mare has good reasons for kicking as the horse has. They must be very forbearing or they would have given the men a Roland for every Oliver. Pretty dears, they may be rather quick in their talk but is it not the nature of bells and belles to have tongues that swing easy? They cannot be so very bad after all or they would have had their revenge for the many cruel things which are said against them; and if they are a bit masterful, their husbands cannot be such very great victims, or they would surely have sense to hold their tongues about it. Men don’t care to have it known when they are thoroughly hen-pecked and I feel pretty certain that the old sayings are nothing but chaff, for if they were true, men would never dare to own it.

A true wife is her husband’s better half, his lump of delight, his flower of beauty, his guardian angel and his heart’s treasure. He says to her, “I shall in thee most happy be. In thee, my choice, I do rejoice. In thee I find content of mind. God’s appointment is my contentment.” In her company he finds his earthly heaven; she is the light of his home, the comfort of his soul, and (for this world) the soul of his comfort. Whatever fortune God may send him, he is rich so long as she lives. His rib is the best bone in his body.

The man who weds a loving wife,
Whatever betideth him in life,
Shall bear up under all;
But he that finds an evil mate,
No good can come within his gate,
His cup is filled with gall.

A good husband makes a good wife. Some men can neither do without wives nor with them: they are wretched alone in what is called single blessedness and they make their homes miserable when they get married. They are like Tompkin’s dog which could not bear to be loose and howled when it was tied up. Happy bachelors are likely to be happy husbands and a happy husband is the happiest of men. A well-matched couple carry a joyful life between them, as the two spies carried the cluster of Eschol. They are a brace of birds of Paradise. They multiply their joys by sharing them and lessen their troubles by dividing them: this is fine arithmetic. The wagon of care rolls lightly along as they pull together and when it drags, a little heavily or there’s a hitch anywhere, they love each other all the more and so lighten the labour.

(To be continued)