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

Edited by Pastor Clement

If a man cannot take care of himself, his wit must be as scant as the wool of a blue dog. I don’t pity most of the men martyrs; I save my pity for the women. Every herring must hang by its own gill and every person must account for his own share in home quarrels; but I can’t bear to see all the blame laid on the women. Whenever a dish is broken, the cat did it; and whenever there is mischief, there’s a woman at the bottom of it: here are two as pretty lies as you will meet within a month’s march. There’s a “why” for every “wherefore,” but the why for family stores does not always lie with the housekeeper. I know some women have long tongues, then the more’s the pity that the husbands should set them going. As for the matter of talk just look into a bar when the men’s jaws are well oiled with liquor!

When I had got about as far as this, in stepped our minister, and he said, “You’ve got a tough subject, a cut above you; I’ll lend you a rare old book to help you over the stile.” “Well, sir,” said I, “A little help is worth a great deal of fault-finding, and I shall be uncommonly obliged to you.”

 He sent me down old William Seeker’s Wedding Ring and a real wise fellow that Secker was. I could not do any other than pick out some of his pithy bits; they are very flavorful and such as are likely to glue themselves to the memory. He says, “Hast thou a soft heart? It is of God’s breaking. Hast thou a sweet wife? She is of God’s making. The Hebrews have a saying, ‘He is not a man that hath not a woman.’ Though man alone may be good, yet it is not good that man should be alone. ‘Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above.’ A wife is God’s good gift, a beam darted from the Sun of mercy. How happy are those marriages where Christ is at the wedding! Let none but those who have found favour in God’s eyes find favour in yours. Husbands should spread a mantle of charity over their wives’ infirmities. Do not put out the candle because of the snuff. Husbands and wives should provoke one another to love and they should love one another notwithstanding provocations. The tree of love should grow up in the midst of the family as the tree of life grew in the garden of Eden. Good servants are a great blessing; good children a greater blessing; but a good wife is the greatest blessing; and such a help let him seek for her that wants one; let him sigh for her that hath lost one; let him delight in her that enjoys one.”

Marriages are made in heaven: matrimony in itself is good but there are fools who turn meat into poison and make a blessing into a curse. “This is a good rope,” said Pedley, “I’ll hang myself with it.” A man who has sought his wife from God and married her for her character, not merely for her figurehead, may look for a blessing on his choice. They who join their love in God above, who pray to love, and love to pray, will find that love and joy will never cloy.

He who respects his wife will find that she respects him. With what measure he metes, it shall be measured to him again, good measure, pressed down, and running over. He who consults his spouse will have a good counsellor. I have heard our minister say, “Women’s instincts are often truer than man’s reason”; they jump at a thing at once and are wise offhand. Say what you will of your wife’s advice, it’s as likely as not you will be sorry you did not take it. He who speaks ill of women should remember the breast he was nursed at and be ashamed of himself. He who ill-treats his wife ought to be whipped at the cart tail, and would not I like a cut at him! I would just brush a fly or two off, trust me for that. So no more at present, as the thatcher said when he had cleared every dish on the table.