Behind Every Great Man…

This is another throwback post that I started but never published. Let’s take the way back machine to March 19, 2017, in the heart of church planting discussions between my wife Jenny and I. This post was really a celebration of Jenny and praising her support, but it came on the heels of a sermon from a volunteer from my old Youth Group named Chad.

Jenny is most definitely a “ride or die chick” (that will make sense after you read a little further), and contrary to what many may think or believe, so was Job’s wife. Enjoy.

My wife Jenny and I on a weekend getaway right before the church planting assessment.

My friend Chad teaching on Job to our youth group last year.

Behind Every Great Man… – From March 19, 2017

Earlier today my wife Jenny commented that all of our church planting planning and discussions were extremely tiring. She’s right of course, she usually is, but it got me thinking about how important it is to have the right woman beside you both in good times and in bad.

Last night, at our weekly youth meeting one of our amazing volunteers, Chad, taught on the first two chapters of Job. Job is a story that is near and dear to my heart because it made me realize some key things that led me to my call to ministry. I have a lot of thoughts and feelings about the book of Job and maybe soon I will write something about Job’s friends, but with the sermon last night, and Jenny’s comments this morning, I want to talk about Job’s wife.

I think that Job’s wife was a ride or die chick. In fact, I almost titled this blog update “Ride or Die Chick” but I wasn’t sure if everyone would get the reference. If you’re unfamiliar with the term Ride or Die Chick, it basically means a woman that will stick by you through thick and thin. One of my favorite articles on Job’s wife is the one from Today’s Christian Woman which I encourage you to read in its entirety here. In the article, author Daniel Darling argues that,

From the account in the first chapter of Job, this appears to be a fun-loving, God-fearing, tight-knit family. Who was the heartbeat of this home? Likely Job’s wife played a part in that. It’s unlikely he could be such an esteemed man in society (Job 1:1) if his wife was not an integral and influential leader in her own right.

No married man becomes a success on his own. My wife, though initially against the idea of planting a church, has become an invaluable resource to me as we look to the future. I can only imagine that Job’s wife was the same. This notion is contrary to what most people believe about “Mrs. Job”. As Darling wrote,

If the Proverbs 31 woman represents a model of Christian virtue, the wife of Job occupies the role of least desirable, sharing space in the Hall of Shame with the likes of Jezebel, Delilah, and Michal.

She may not have been the primary subject of the cosmic argument between God and Satan (1:6-11; 2:1-4), but she was still caught in the crossfire. You might argue that every hardship endured by Job was similarly felt by his wife…

I can’t stress how important it is and how strongly I recommend that you read this article, but in looking at Job’s wife and the hardship that she faced, I can only imagine how she must have felt having lost all of her children, most, if not all of her worldly possessions, watching her husband suffer horrendous physical, mental, and emotional torture, and living under the scrutiny of Job’s so-called friends. People forget that everything that Job lost, she lost too. Everything that he felt, save for the physical ailments, she felt too. And that’s what being a life partner is, isn’t it? Sharing both the good and the bad. Job was under a lot of stress, and so was his wife. Which brings to the part of Job’s wife’s story that everyone seems to know. Darling writes,

And we come back to those seemingly bitter words of resignation, the only recorded words of Job’s wife in the entire story. Words shared at the lowest point of her life.

“Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die” (Job 2:9, ESV). These are tough words that appear to reflect a heart bitter and angry toward God. This is where most commentators pounce, accusing Job’s wife of collusion with the Devil to force her husband to do exactly what the Devil predicted Job would do: give up on God. Many question her faith, wondering if perhaps her faith in Jehovah wasn’t real.

I find both scenarios difficult to believe. Every human has moments, words, thoughts we’d love to have back, shared in the crucible of a crushing trial. Imagine if those words were recorded in history for everyone to dissect and analyze.

Clearly God chose to record her thoughts in Scripture, yet sometimes I wonder how fair it is to define an entire life based on one conversation. Nowhere before or after this incident are we given any indication that Job’s wife was a perpetually bitter, unhappy wife.

Darling continues to detail facts that we know about Job’s wife and the circumstances she faced. Darling writes, “She watched her children die. She experienced dramatic financial lossShe became a caretaker for her disease-ravaged husband.” This was not easy for Job’s wife and yet we make assumptions about her character. Darling argues,

“perhaps her advice to Job wasn’t born out of her own misery, but out of compassion. Day after day, she witnessed her husband live out his days in utter agony, no relief in sight. Maybe she was seeking the most compassionate way out for Job. Curse God, pull the plug, and get it over with. Perhaps she longed to see an end to Job’s suffering, a painless journey to the sweet relief of heaven. This is certainly something Job himself desired of the Lord.”

Again, this post feels almost like a book report on Darling’s article but it was amazing to me at the time, I was blown away by it, that I found myself posting big chunks of his piece, but there is still so much more to read, learn, and enjoy. Darling finishes his article this way:

So what can we learn from Job’s wife today? Perhaps her greatest testimony is her simple presence during her husband’s lowest moments. At the end of Job, we read that his siblings and friends returned and “consoled and comforted him because of all the trials the LORD had brought against him” (Job 42:11). It’s easy and safe to show compassion after the fact, but during Job’s lowest moments, they were nowhere to be found.

Yet every single day, there was his wife, caring, loving, and enduring the trials Satan inflicted.

The trials that would split many marriages didn’t split Job and his wife. They stuck it out together. And at the end of this story, we read of them conceiving and raising another ten children.

Was her attitude perfect throughout the storm that engulfed her family? No. Did she say things she would later regret? Absolutely.

But through it all, she endured, her faith in God remained intact, and maybe, just maybe, her service to her husband should be held up as a model of biblical character.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *