“Curse God and die!”
No, that would probably never come out of our mouths, but what else comes out of our mouths when we speak to our husbands that lead us down the road to becoming like Job’s wife.
Job, the very real, very discouraged, very Godly man in the Old Testament, had a wife who told him what to do when all was seemingly falling apart in his life (and in the life of his family).
Job 2:9 says this “Then his wife said to him, ‘Do you still hold fast your integrity? Curse God and die.’
Job had just lost his children, his property and his health. He was down and being tempted and tested by Satan (Job 1-2:8).
Taken from John Piper’s The Misery of Job and the Mercy of God:
“That day was like a hundred years. At dusk his wife returned. And she was brusque and cool. “Do you still cling to God?” she asked, and saw his wordless nod. “I think you are a fool. How much from him will you endure till such a love as this from God, the Great, is seen to be a form of hate? Here’s my advice for you to try: Curse God, tonight, and die. And I will follow soon – a widow robbed of everything.” And Dinah sobbed. And tears ran down Job’s horrid face. He pulled himself up from his place, and by some power of grace, he stood beside his wife and said, “I would, no doubt, in your place feel the same. But, wife, I cannot curse the name that never treated me unfair, and just this day has answered prayer.” “What prayer? What did you bid him do?” “That I should bear this pain, not you.”
Are we like Job’s wife?
When times are tough and ministry is discouraging? When our children are not following in the patterns that we have set up for them as parents? When life is depressing to our husbands and he wonders what to do…who are we to him? When he works on a project and doesn’t see it go anywhere? When his writing is slowly coming? When his students don’t do well on exams that he gives them? When God seems to be silent to him? When he has disagreements with co-workers? When people slander him in the workplace? Do we encourage him or do we tell him to curse God and die. Like I said at the beginning, I’m sure none of you would say this to your husband. But, do we say something similar?
Have words like the following ever come out of your mouth:
“Honey, just do _____________ and get out of the situation. I know its not quite right but what else can you do?”
“Dear, why are you always so miserable when you come home from the office? Don’t you know that I and the kids need you to be here.”
“_____, God really doesn’t care about us right now, and you aren’t leading us very well. Why can’t you lead better?”
“Oh, honey, please stay in bed, you know you don’t want to go to work today. It’s going to be a tough day. Home is better!”
Or maybe its not even what we say, but our demeanor when our husbands walk through the door at night. Are we comforting and make home to be a calm place for him to be, or do we demand to have our way, and try to offer our “opinions” on any given matter at work, claiming that we know better because we are women and have those great “personal skills” and “a woman’s intuition”.
If our adivce isn’t rooted in Scripture and Biblical principles, then we are not benefiting our husbands.
There are several truths of Scripture that come into play when the situation at home or our husband’s work is not what it should be, when we are faced with a discouraged spouse, or when life is just hard. Memorize these, ask the Spirit to help you the next time you really want to act out in the flesh, but instead you should be a helpmeet to your husband.
James 3:8-12: So also the tongue is a small member, yet it boasts of great things. How great a forest is set ablaze by such a small fire! And the tongue is a fire, a world of unrighteousness. The tongue is set among our members, staining the whole body, setting on fire the entire course of life, and set on fire by hell. For every kind of beast and bird, of reptile and sea creature, can be tamed and has been tamed by mankind, but no human being can tame the tongue. It is a restless evil, full of deadly poison. With it we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God. From the same mouth come blessing and cursing. My brothers, these things ought not to be so. Does a spring pour forth from the same opening both fresh and salt water? Can a fig tree, my brothers, bear olives, or a grapevine produce figs? Neither can a salt pond yield fresh water.
Proverbs 31:11-12, 25-26: “The heart of her husband trusts in her, and he will have no lack of gain. She does him good, and not harm all the days of her life. Strength and dignity are her clothing and she laughs at the time to come. She opens her mouth with wisdom, and the teaching of kindness if on her tongue.”
1 Peter 3:4-5, 10-11: “Let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious. For this is how the holy women who hoped in God used to adorn themselves, by submitting to their own husbands. For whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it.”
One of the aspects of marriage that I know is a blessing to my husband is a quiet peaceful home. Let me be honest – I was pretty good at this before getting pregnant, now…not so much. But my hormones and throwing up activities don’t warrant me to not aim for this type of home. Reading Tina Wright’s book this week has been a helpful reminder to me. Knowing how she lives her life is also a great reminder. What I’ve tried to start doing is not doing any housework when the hubs is home. Then I’m not stressing out, complaining about everything I have to do – and I’m able to sit with him, do activities with him, and just be near him. This is a way to be “not Job’s wife” for my husband.
What will it take for you to put aside your desire to be in control of every situation and be Job’s wife to your husband? I hope the above Scriptures will help and the following quotes will help as well. This is an area I DAILY need to work on and am thankful for the Spirit’s help as I pursue biblical womanhood.
“The goodness of the gospel news is the magnificent beneficial overflow that comes from the God who is bountiful in mercy to sinners like me.” – Sam Crabtree, Practicing Affirmation, pg 19
“The startling truth about speech is that our words either serve to glorify and please Him or they exalt and please ourselves. A wife who doesn’t control her language has the power to make her husband miserable” – Elyse Fitzpatrick, Helper by Design, pg 167, 173 (my number one resource for recommending to women if they are engaged or if they are already wives)
Elyse counsels women to follow this line of thinking/action when speaking to our husbands:
1. Speak to God first. I often do this in reverse. I say something, then speak to God, then have to apologize and seek forgiveness.
2. Use pleasant, helpful words (Prov 16.24). This goes not only for what you say but how you say it. I often don’t raise my voice (because I don’t see much use in it), but I can say hurtful, unnecessary words in a hushed tone.
3. Use graceful, deliberate words (Col 4.6). Do we talk just to hear ourselves talk or to make sure our husband knows what we want? Most of the time, this isn’t beneficial. I am quite opinionated, but my husband will not benefit by always knowing my opinion. That’s usually just my pride talking.
4. Use truthful, yet loving words (Eph 4:15). When we do have an opportunity to correct or exhort our husbands, how do we take care with that engagement to bless him? Do we show grace and mercy and apply the gospel and Scripture, or do we spout off whatever we feel and speak out of hurt or self-righteousness?
5. Use wise, kind, and comforting words (Prov 31). I need to ALWAYS work on this one. Thankful so much my husband is patient with me when I fail in this area.
May we serve our husband’s well by speaking blessings to them and not want and desire our own way when life isn’t going quite like we planned it.