10 June 2012

All the Responsibilities

Your weekly dose of Spurgeon
posted by Frank Turk

The PyroManiacs devote some space each weekend to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive.The following excerpt is from sermon #762 on the text of Jeremiah 3:14, delivered at the Metropolitan Tabernacle.
y fourth observation is, that this marriage necessitates certain mutual relations. I cannot say "duties," for the word seems out of place on either side. How can I speak of the great God making pledges of faithfulness? and yet with reverence, let me word it so, for in any vocabulary I have hardly words to set it forth. When God becomes a husband, he undertakes to do a husband's part. When he says, "Thy Maker is thy husband," you may rest assured that he does not take the relationship without assuming (well, I must say it) all the responsibilities which belong to that condition. It is the part of God to nourish, to cherish, to shield, to protect, to bless those with whom he condescends, in infinite mercy, to enter into union. When the Lord Jesus Christ became the husband of his church, he felt that he was under an engagement to us, and inasmuch as there were debts incurred, he paid them.

"Yes, said the Son, with her I'll go,
Through all the depths of sin and woe;
And on the cross will even dare
The bitter pains of death to bear."

He never shrunk from the doing of any of those loving works which belong to the husband of his chosen spouse. He exalted the word "husband," and made it to be more full of meaning than it had ever been before, so that the apostle could see it glittering in a new light, and could say, "Husbands, love your wives, even as Christ also loved the church, and gave himself for it." Oh, yes! dear friends, there is a responsibility arising out of this relationship, but he of whom we speak has not departed from it; you know he has not. And now, what upon our side? The wife has to reverence her husband, and to be subject unto him in all things. That is precisely our position towards him who has married us. Let his will be our will. Let his wish be our law. Let us not need to be flogged to service, but let us say—

"'Tis love that makes our willing feet
In swift obedience move."

O Christian, if the Master condescends to say, "I am married unto you," you will not any longer ask, "What is my duty?" but you will say, "What can I do for him?" The loving wife does not say, "What is my duty?" and stand coldly questioning how far she should go, and how little she may do, but all that she can do for him who is her husband she will do, and everything that she can think of, every thing she can devote herself to, in striving to please him in all things she will most certainly do and perform. And you and I will do the same if we have realized our union with Christ. O beloved, do not grow sentimental and waste your energies in driveling fancies as some have done. Speak ye of a wife?—where the family is large, the work is heavy, and the responsibility great. I could fain remind you here, did time permit, of the words of King Lemuel, and the prophecy that his mother taught him. Bear with me at least while I admonish you to such a one, that the heart of thy husband may safely trust in thee. Let it be thy care to give meat to thy household. Lay thy hands to the spindle; suffer not thine industry to fail; eat not the bread of idleness. Stretch out thine hand to the poor, and reach forth both thine hands to the needy. Open thy mouth with wisdom, and in thy tongue be the law of kindness. Yea, and consider this with thyself, that in thy regard for all the duties of thy station, thou art fulfilling thy bounden obligations to thy Lord. Short words, but mighty, matchless deeds have told how Jesus loved us. Be it ours to carve our song of love to him on the hearts of some tender nurslings who are cast in our way, and committed to our care. O that the life I now live in the flesh, by faith in the Son of God, might become a poem, and a grateful response to him that loved me, and gave himself for me. I hope we do know, then, that when God says, "I am married unto you," it necessitates mutual relations.

C. H. Spurgeon

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