We all know the story. In an attempt to make Job renounce God, Satan took away every good thing in his life. What did he lose? Seven sons, three daughters, seven thousand sheep, three thousand camels, five hundred yoke of oxen, five hundred female donkeys (remember, wealth was measured mainly by livestock in the patriarchal times), many servants, standing in the community, and even his health. About the only things he didn’t lose were his house (42:11), his wife, and his closest friends--if you can call them that. In fact, when you think about it, Satan probably knew those people would be a help in his own cause, and that is why he left them. He certainly would not have left Job with a support system if he could have helped it.
And that brings us to Mrs. Job. Now let’s be fair. When Job lost everything, so did she. And as I have grown older I have learned to be very careful about judging people who are going through any sort of traumatic experience.
Keith and I have been through a lot together. I have had to take food off my plate and put it on my children’s plates because they were still hungry and there was no more. We have dug ditches next to each other in a driving rainstorm to keep our house from washing away. I have held a convulsing child as he drove 90 mph to the emergency room thirty miles away. We have carried all the water we used in the house back and forth for a month because the well collapsed and we could not afford to repair it. I have bandaged the bullet wounds he sustained as a law enforcement officer. We have both endured threats on our lives and scary medical procedures. But all that happened over a period of forty years, not in one day. And never have I lost a child, much less all of them. What I would do if I were Mrs. Job, I do not know. What I should do is easy to say, but however glibly it rolls off my tongue, that does not mean I would have the strength to do it.
She was suffering just as much as her husband. But somehow, Job hung on, while his wife let her grief consume her. Job actually lost his wife in an even more painful way than death because she failed the test of faith.
So what happened to her afterward? Job did have a wife or he would not have had more children (42:13). Without further evidence to the contrary, the logical assumption is that it was the same wife. Since they had a continuing relationship perhaps he is the one who helped her, and she repented both of her failure to be a “helper suitable” and of her faithlessness.
So what should we learn about sharing grief as a couple? What I hope we would all do when grief and suffering assail our homes is support one another. The thing that Job did not have from anyone is the thing that should make all single people desire a good marriage: support and help. Troubles should pull us together, not tear us apart. What I cannot lift by myself, I can with help. Sometimes he is the reason she makes it over a personal hill and other times she is his light to make it through the dark places, and that is how God intended it.
Now here is the question for each of us. If Satan were going to test my spouse, would he take me, or leave me?
Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their labor. For if they fall, the one will lift up his fellow, but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up. Again, if two lie together, then they have warmth, but how can one be warm alone? Eccl 4:9-11