Monday, April 03, 2006

Here I Stand

With the responsibility of a husband and two kids and all the daily tasks that fill my time as a wife and mother, I find it all too easy to let my walk with God exist but not grow. It's so easy to shift into a survival mode and not a thriving life style of growing in grace and the abundance of scripture.

I was thinking recently about Job's wife and how she told her husband to curse God and die. I wondered what ways I encourage or discourage my husband.

Obviously Job's wife didn't have a very close relationship with God but maybe she never knew that. Maybe she had convinced herself so strongly in her right to feel and say the things she did, that it didn't even dawn on her that a true follower of God does not speak such discouraging things.

Especially to one's husband.

In the end, God blessed Job with another batch of children equal to the ones that perished. It never says that he gave him a new wife to bear all those children so for all we know, that lady had to deliver a total of 14 babies. We all know children are a blessing but we can also agree that enduring pregnancy and childbirth, definitely does not feel like much of a blessing.

Multiply that 14 times and add age to it as well and let it happen to a sour old lady. Definitely not the picture you'd see on the cover of a baby magazine.

Job being one of the godliest men in Scripture, you'd think for sure he'd have a remarkable wife. One that knew God's word. One that encouraged others. One that lived for God. One that watched her tongue.

Instead, he had just a plain ole' woman like me. She was nothing very special nor did she have any hard to attain spiritual traits. She was just a mom and wife.

Certainly, being the wife of Job would've made that little lady a bit taken back by the things she said and did and the way she thought. I mean, she's married to a man of God. A man who's life story that is put in the Bible and is there for future generations to read.

But, nope, she just spouted off the first thing that came to her mind. She thought it, so she said it. She didn't care if it was right or not. For her, life was fair. Or at least it should be.

While Job sat in a pile of ashes and scraped himself with broken pieces of pottery, hundreds of gaping sores oozed from his body. All his finances had been destroyed as was his house and farm. His kids were dead and strangers had consumed his property. His health was failing. Life couldn't get any worse.

At a time when a man needs support from his wife, it's when that man is having a bad day. And Job was having a very bad day. While he sat suffering and scraping himself, who should come to him just then but his dear little wife...

"Are you still retaining your integrity?" She spouted at him from a distance, repulsed by the stench and site of his sores. Men are so stubborn, she was thinking in the back of her mind -- at least that seems logical that her thoughts were following that pattern because of the thing she said next:

"Just curse God and die," were her concluding remarks.

What foolish words from the wife of one the wisest men in history. You'd think Job's wife would've had more discretion for the way she acted. If she would've had just a run-of-the-mill husband like everyone else had, her response would've been more acceptable, if a wife's negative response is ever acceptable. But to talk like that to a man who is listed in the Bible? Unthinkable.

But, to Mrs. Job, she did have an every day husband. Her husband was the kind that left dirty socks on the floor, the kind that read books all the time, the kind that forgot to empty the trash, the kind that had little quirks like pop fridges and itchy backs. To her, Job was like every body else's husband.

She didn't know he was special and she didn't treat him as such.

She didn't know God called him a perfect man.

She didn't know that her husband was a one-of-a-kind man and the only like him in all the earth.

She didn't know he was considered upright.

Yeah, she knew he was a nice guy but he had his faults too. To her, those faults were obvious.

I've been challenged to think about my response to my husband in even everyday things. Do I encourage him? How do I discourage him? When Toby has a bad day, do I encourage him to throw in the towel and give up?

Or do I support him and bless him with the knowledge of knowing that though all the world is against him, at least I'm still on his side.

No matter how busy and active a young wife is, there is never time to NOT seek God's direction and wisdom for each day.

Here I stand with a new resilience to pursue the higher way. Though to me, my husband is "just" nice guy and not popular or famous, my response and actions towards him need to be motivated with an air of loyalty, honor and respect. I'm the only woman in the world that can give him the respect he needs and deserves. I'm the only one that can encourage him. I'm the only one that can discourage him the most.

I never want to leave an example to younger generations of having an indifferent and ungodly support to my husband. Unfortunately, we have Job's wife as that example. And her example is more than enough.

"But He knoweth the way that I take: when He hath tried me, I shall come forth as gold." Job 23:10


BrittLeigh said...

Aw Court, you're such a sweet wife! I loved those thoughts! Though I'm afraid I can't apply them to my life... I still need a Job!

Hannah Michelle said...

Courtney...if all wives are as sweet as you than I should say there is yet really is delightful to read your thoughts as a young and exhuberant married woman. :-) I'm in the same boat as Britt (and ain't it a grand one?!), but this "challenge", as it be, can apply to my treatment of the men in my life, especially my dad. At times I've wondered as I read, what possibly could have been going through "Mrs.Job's" mind to say such things when her husband needed her most...sadly, pressure often makes the worst in us come out, so it would seem happened in her case.

Ok, I better stop before I end up writing a post when you already did such so eloquently! :-)