Saturday, October 3, 2015

On Being a Wife - Job's Wife

"Why don't you curse God and die?" This is what Job's wife said to Job at the height of his suffering. Job had recently lost his livestock, his children, and his health. Job's wife was there as he was going through all of his losses, because she also lost possessions and her children also, but not her health. The loss of her children would be just as painful as the loss of Job's health; she was suffering in conjunction with Job.

Curse God and die - was this the raging of a mad woman or someone who was overly concerned for her husband?

If God knew Job was a righteous man, surely his wife knew. She knew his heart. Seeing him at his lowest point and not being able to do anything for him, she probably blurted out what she thought would release him from his misery - death. And since Job was so righteous the only sure fire way that she could think of for death to occur would be to curse God, anger God, reject the very deity that Job has been so faithful to his whole life; because in her grief, she had a warped view of God.

But Job's response indicated that he knew that she wasn't literally suggesting he do so - he said she speaks like a foolish woman, not that she was a foolish woman. Job knew his wife was not a foolish woman but again in her grief, she sounded like something she was not. Job was a smart man and recognized that. Because whatever his response and reaction to her, the Bible says, "In all of this Job sinned not."  He didn't sin in his response to her.  Sometimes in wanting the best for our spouses and doing all that we can but yet not feeling their pain, our anguished thoughts may not come out as clearly as they should. According to Job's wife, death would release Job from his suffering.

The Bible doesn't indicate that Job's wife suffered a greater fate for her words, and we know that Job was restored and went on to have ten more children. When we are suffering in marriage, the whole unit suffers, but we may not always express ourselves poignantly in our deepest grief to each other. This is where knowing each other's heart and having a solid foundation is important. This is why you never stop talking and communicating with each other.

If you've lashed out at your spouse because of their pain, I hope your spouse receives it in the spirit it was intended. I hope they understand that it pains you to see them suffer and if you could you would do anything humanly possible to stop their pain. I hope they don't respond in kind to you. I hope you get the opportunity to come back and clearly express yourself and perhaps ask forgiveness. Tricky times wreak havoc, but let's use it to come together, not pull apart. .

But Job replied, “You talk like a foolish woman. Should we accept only good things from the hand of God and never anything bad?” So in all this, Job said nothing wrong. Job 2:10 [NLT]

What can you learn from Job's wife?

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