I would like to keep it real for a moment or two…my husband gave the okay. 🙂
Keeping It Real
My husband has been either in Bible college or seminary most of our thirty-six years of marriage! He is currently working on a PhD. Not only has this meant an increase in household responsibilities for me and a never-ending state of collegiate “poverty,” it has meant standing by him through the endless and tough moments of doctorate-level work. I must admit, it has not been easy.
I am worn out already…and yet I have two more full years to go! Can I handle…
One more sleepless night as he tosses and turns or comes to bed in the middle of the night? …One more groan that a rigorous academic program can reduce one to? …One more year of no summer breaks or vacations…even a tiny one? …One more denial of purchasing those pumps that have been in my online cart for over a year? …One more night of watching Perry Mason reruns alone while he studies in his basement office?
How long can I keep giving words of encouragement and pasted-on smiles as if I’m okay?
Many times I come close to a boiling point, and I stop short of saying something similar to Job’s wife, “Just quit!…please… Just quit today!! I can’t take this any longer!” By God’s grace I have not said it. I don’t want to imitate Job’s wife.
“His wife said to him, ‘Are you still maintaining your integrity? Curse God and die’” (Job 2:9).
Keeping It Godly
When Job needed his wife the most, she responded in emotion and failed him. She expected that God would certainly kill Job immediately if He would curse God. This would end Job’s suffering…and hers, too!
Oh, I have sensitivity for Job’s wife because she also suffered the loss of their children, servants, and possessions. Now she had to observe the intense physical suffering of her husband. Did this have a personal effect on her? Absolutely! But Job’s response to her implies that her words to him were an ungodly response. It was a response fitting of a foolish or unwise woman who rejects God. One who accepts the good from God but not the adversity.
“But he said to her, ‘You speak as one of the foolish women speaks…’” (Job 2:10).
There is no indication that in the example of the Proverbs 31 wife, that her husband had any sufferings like Job or otherwise. But we can be certain that every family has trials and tribulations that result in good or bad responses. Job’s wife’s response to the trial of her husband is infamously known as an example of failure, while the example of the Proverbs 31 wife’s treatment of her husband is one to emulate.
“The heart of her husband safely trusts in her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil all the days of her life” (Proverbs 31:11-12).
I love my husband and I want him to safely trust in me. I want him to experience gain…in this case, gain in further ministry preparation. And I want to do him good and not evil all the days of my life.
Should We Keep It Real or Godly?
I say do both….
1. Be Real because the challenge is real. Communicate with your husband how you really feel and how the pressures in the home are affecting you.
2. But be Godly as you confirm your commitment to be a supporter, encourager, and true helpmeet in the endeavors God has led him to pursue…even the ones that take years of sacrifice.
3. Have a special and godly confidant to counsel with when you need that extra encouragement.
4. The best place to start is with the Lord. Talk to the Lord often about the struggle.
- Ask Him to give peace that passes all understanding
- Exercise faith in the Lord to perform the things that He has appointed for you (Job 23:14).
- Seek to glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s
(1 Corinthians 6:19-20).
- And let God tame that tongue (James 3:1-12).
A Question for You
You may be in a situation where pressures have risen to the point in your home that your gut wants to yell out something emotional like Job’s wife did. Before responding, consider who you would rather imitate and why. Will it be Job’s wife or the Proverbs 31 wife?