What if Job’s trust was in his wife...

Edward Lee

Jun 1, 2021

 

The biblical story of Job, the richest man of his time is one that is familiar to many. From the life story of Job, many often ask the question, “why do bad things happen to good people”. The quick answer is that God is sovereign - meaning He knows all things and has a plan for all things. So what we consider and rightly know to be the bad things that happened to Job were also what God used to deepen and further shape Job’s understanding about the Lord. 

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Although that is often the question people ask from Job’s life, I find another question to be even more intriguing: What if Job’s trust was in his wife?


See, at the beginning of the biblical account of Job’s life (aka: The Book of Job), he is the wisest, richest man of the East. As a father he would wake up every morning and offer prayers and sacrifices for his 10 children, just in case any of them may have sinned. I never met Job but based on the account of his life I feel comfortable saying that Job was a good dude. 

Then, God and Satan had a conversation and God offered Job, his servant, as one He would allow Satan to test {Did you know, Satan has to get approval before he can mess with those that belong to God}. In the span of an afternoon Job lost every bit of everything he owned. In terms we can grasp, Job lost his job, 401k, life savings, house, his car and most devastatingly , he lost his ten children - in one afternoon. 


I have to be honest, if that was me, I would need some serious counseling. But Job retained his faith. So Satan was permitted to go a little further by then asking God to allow Job’s health to be impacted. So, by the second chapter of his life story, he has lost everything, is sitting on an ash heap that once represented all of his material wealth and earthly position while tending to infected sore boils - all over his body. 


A Love Story 

On the darkest most painful days of our lives we want our most trusted, closest friends and loved ones by our side. Well, on that day, Job had his wife by his side and her advice was for Job to stop acting so holy and to just curse God and die. Now, to be fair to Mrs. Job - she too lost everything and Job’s ten children were her children too. I once shared Job & Mrs. Job’s marriage in a couples Bible Study and I asked, “If you were Job’s wife how would you have responded”. It is so easy to beat her up for her response. But, what that class taught me is that 1/3 would respond like Job’s wife, 1/3 didn’t know how they would respond and 1/3 would have responded like Job by retaining their faith and leaning further into God. While it’s easy to give an answer where we are now, the reality of our country’s divorce rate and the reality of our own heart’s is that in life and in marriage specifically, things hit us that devastate us and we don’t know how we would handle it until we are faced with the challenge. 

At this point I can fast forward to the end and let you know that, it was a long forty more chapters to the story, but indeed, Job did hold onto his faith. Because he did, God eventually stepped in and restored Job’s losses by doubling all he had lost and then giving him ten more children. The point then being, when God restored Job he restored his wife as well. Without mention of divorce or her death, the only way Job had ten more children was through his wife. 


It is a powerful and amazing story of God’s grace, of God’s shepherding, of God’s plan and provision for us and our marriage. So then I have to ask again: What if Job’s trust was in his wife? What would have happened to him if when her understandable pain caused her to become stuck in her faith walk? How would Job have made it a place of restoration if his eyes were on his wife instead of his God?

I often say to couple’s: “As long as you are looking at your spouse, you will see your spouse, but if you can get your eyes off of them and onto the Lord, then you will see change and strength in your marriage relationship”. We place many labels on our spouse and their behavior - and we are right, or at least we think we are right. Whether our labels and perspectives are real or imagined as long as we focus on, “He is a procrastinator” or “She doesn’t communicate well” we will be right but also missing God’s strength to overcome. 


Which leads me to another statement I share often: “Whatever you desire in your marriage you must first seek it in heaven.” If you want better communication, look at your prayer life. If you want better intimacy, look at your intimacy with the Lord. If you desire to fix your finances, start by looking at your financial stewardship with the Lord. Anything, any area of your life and marriage finds it’s strength and direction in your relationship with the Lord. 


I wrote in more detail about Job and Mrs. Job in my first book: Husbands, Wives, God: Introducing the Marriages of the Bible to Your Marriage but I want to leave this blog post with this question: Where is your trust?

 

See, it is not our responsibility to save our spouse, we can’t save anyone, only Christ can. So, before we get tied up in our feelings about our spouse, is our own personal walk with the Lord able to be a source of reconciliation for our marriage? The health and direction of your marriage is up to you in the sense of the degree to which your trust is in the Lord not in your wife. The healing for your marriage is not in what you do but in who you trust. What if Job’s trust was in his wife...

Written by:

Edward Lee

Jun 1, 2021

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