Somewhere along the line I have heard this story, but to read it in Spurgeon's own words, was thrilling. If you are a parent, do not continue reading unless you intend to be serious about raising godly kids.
Spurgeon tells about how it was customary for his family to have devotions on Sunday evenings. He says his mom would sit them around the table to read and explain Scripture to them. Also, she would "plead" with them and ask specific questions about each of their souls. Then, she would pray. She would not just pray in vague generalities ("Lord, bless my children"). She prayed like this, "Lord, if my children go on in their sins, it will not be from ignorance that they perish, and my soul must bear a swift witness against them at the day of judgment if they lay not hold of Christ." Spurgeon recalls another time when she got on her knees with her arms around his neck and prayed, "Oh, that my son might live before Thee!"
In another incident, Spurgeon's dad was concerned about his time away from home while ministering. He was concerned that he was neglecting his own family while caring for other's souls. So, while traveling, he turned around and heading back home. He went up stairs and heard his wife praying. Spurgeon says, "On listening at the bedroom door, he discovered that it was my mother, pleading most earnestly for the salvation of all her children." Upon hearing this, he turned around and walked out the door in order to continue his ministering, feeling confident that his children were in good hands. As I read this, I simply wrote in the margin, "Wow."
Back to something Spurgeon's mom prayed: "my soul must bear a swift witness against them at the day of judgment if they lay not hold of Christ." This is amazing to me. No one is more quick to jump to a child's defense than his mother. It is mind-blowing to think of how a mother will believe her child in the face of condemning evidence, saying, "my boy would never do that." Well, not Spurgeon's mom. She knew full well that if transferred to the judgment seat at that moment, she would actually testify against her own children.
If I recall right: Piper quotes Jonathan Edwards in one of his books speaking to the question about the absence of sorrow in heaven (see Pleasures of God, p. 73). Someone has argued: How can there be no sorrow in heaven when we will be fully aware of who is NOT there? How can a mother be full of joy knowing that her children are eternally damned? Edwards proposes that the righteous will actually rejoice at the thought of the justice of God to send sinners to Hell.
Lord, make us God-centered parents who love your justice.