The Discouraging Wife’s Role in The Torment and Testing of Job

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For convenience, I’m writing this post with the assumption that my audience has a basic understanding of who Job is and where to find the book of Job in the Holy Bible.  If you have no idea what I’m talking about, I would love to help.  Please send me an e-mail!

Every Saturday, my husband and I participate in a fellowship group at my friend’s house where we share a meal and discuss Scripture.  A few weeks ago, we were reading through the book of Job together.

The next morning, my husband and I woke up and began our day as normal for weekends.  Except one thing was different.  For whatever reason, everything I said to my husband was laced with poison.  My few sharp words were so piercing, they gave me a jolt.  But each time, my sharpness and jolted conscious were immediately followed by justification.

There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.  Proverbs 12:18

I was demeaning my husband.  If he was an earthen stone, I was chipping him away.

As my husband walked outside with our 3 and 4 year-old in tow, I closed the door behind them and checked on the napping baby.  From the kitchen to the bedroom, God convicted me.  My thoughts went back to the book of Job:

“Why didn’t Satan kill Job’s wife?”

“Satan isn’t merciful, and he wouldn’t have forgotten anything.  His mission was to torture Job enough to cause him to reject God.”

“Satan destroyed all ten of Job’s children and all of his possessions in a single day.  His body broke out in horrible sores.  Satan took everything but Job’s very life (because it was the one thing God forbid).”

“Why not his wife?”

“Was it worse to have a discouraging wife than no wife at all?”

“Why not take his friends?  Was it worse to get beaten down by his own friends than to be left all alone with God?”

I am no theologian, and I’m open to correction if you have it!  But I believe that by leaving Job’s wife and his friends physically on earth, Satan used them as living tools to torment Job.  Satan used them to cut straight through to Job’s very mind and soul.

Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.  Proverbs 18:21

The words of Job’s wife and friends were intended to chip away at the one strength Job had: his faith.

Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast your integrity?  Curse God and die.” But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women would speak.  Shall we receive good from God, and shall we not receive evil?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.  Job 2:9-10 (emphasis mine)

Ladies, let us not be used as tools in the torment of our husbands!  Or anyone!  Let us not only encourage one-another, but encourage one-another to be encouraging and to be the help-meet’s we were created to be.  Let us live in such a way that the words of Jesus in Matthew 12:36-37 does not make us wince with worry

I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak, for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.

Let us pray at the beginning of our days

Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; keep watch over the door of my lips! Psalm 141:3

Let no corrupt talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Ephesians 4:29

Let each step be beautifully laced with this prayer on our lips

Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer.  Psalm 19:4

And let us say at the end of our day

You have tried my heart, you have visited me by night, you have tested me, and you will find nothing; I have purposed that my mouth will not transgress.  Psalm 17:3

Let us try.

The most encouraging, uplifting and honoring thing we can do as wives is to pray for ourselves and for our husbands.  There was a time when I didn’t know how to do this.  Then, a number of lovely ladies kindly recommended The Power of a Praying® Wife by Stormie Omartian, and I am so thankful for this book!

A note to the discouraged wife:

Dear wife and mother, if you are discouraged today, that was not my intent!  Your husband is not better off without you.  You two were brought together and united as one flesh.  If you are feeling discouraged this day, take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.  Put on the armor of God, and ride it out.  Let the Lord fight for you.  Take one step at a time, do the next thing, and let the waves pass over you and be gone.  Rest in the shadow of the Almighty’s wings.  Talk to your mother, sister, friend, or your pastor’s wife.  And feel free to send me an e-mail.  I will pray for you!

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