There’s a stand-out moment in the Old Testament story of Job that almost definitely has caught the eye of every married person who has read it. In Job 2:9, Job’s wife tells him to “Curse God and die.”
Curse God and die? What awful thing had Job done to her? Infidelity? Physical abuse? Verbal assault?
No. None of these or anything else like it. Her condemning anger toward her husband was in response to all the horrific things that God had allowed Satan to do to their family—including loss of children, destruction of property, and excruciating boils covering her husband from head to toe.
I’m sure most reading this say they are grateful that they cannot relate to the atrocious sufferings Job went through, and also that they cannot imagine ever saying to their spouse something as hate-filled as “Curse God and die!”
But have you ever deflected anger toward God at your spouse, even when he or she has been maturing in their walk with Christ and trying to better love and respect you? Because that is what was going on at the heart of Job’s wife. This is also what was going on at the heart of the wife of the husband who wrote me below. He shared with me about his wife:
She became closer with the Lord while I still was not; plus, I was working a lot. Three years later we had our second child and I noticed her walk with God starting to slip. One year later she told me she was not in love with me anymore, that she had given up on me. God was telling me this was my last chance to walk with Him or He was taking my family away from me. My life changed that day and I rededicated my life to the Lord and got baptized. Now my walk is awesome!
But then our marriage continued to suffer. We began meeting with some godly counselors and things started to get better. One of the female counselors told her that she didn’t fall out of love with me; she fell out of love with God.
I believe that is true. God answered my wife’s prayer (my walk is awesome and everyone around me knows that . . . and my wife knows that) but God did it on His time, not her time. This was hard for my wife. She wanted it to happen several years ago.
When we find ourselves not merely in a specific conflict with our spouse but actually feeling overarching resentment and anger toward who they are as a person, each of us must reflect on a profound truth: Are we mad at our spouse or mad at God?
On the heels of their tragedy, Job’s wife told her husband to curse God and die. I speculate she said that to her husband because in her heart she was cursing God herself and wanted to die. How sad that we blame our spouse when the fact is, we are angry at God.
In the case of the wife written about above, she closed off her heart to God and this resulted in her closing off her heart to her husband. This isn’t true for most, but it is for some. Are you one of them? Are you upset with your spouse who has changed but you resent all those years you suffered before they changed and that the change didn’t happen sooner? You felt so deprived during all those years that you do not rejoice and thank God for changing your spouse when He finally did.
Find comfort in God’s Word today. Ecclesiastes 3:11 says that God “has made everything appropriate in its time.” The psalmist was more than aware that God’s timing rarely matched his. So he encouraged us to “Wait for the Lord; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the Lord” (Psalm 27:14). And perhaps most importantly, we must not miss Jesus’s final words to His disciples before His ascension to heaven: “It is not for you to know times or epochs which the Father has fixed by His own authority” (Acts 1:7).
Even though it seems more than fair to wonder and complain that God did not “fix our spouse” before more damage had been done, causing pain and heartache that we believe could’ve been avoided, some things are simply not for us to know why God does what He does, when He does it. But the truth remains: God has made everything appropriate in His time. Wait for the Lord!
And as a final footnote . . . At the end of Job’s story, we are told that God gave Job twice as much as he had before, including seven sons and three daughters. Which means that even though his wife had told him to “curse God and die,” they persevered together, learned to show grace and forgiveness, and waited for the Lord.
If they can do it, you can too!
- How do you think you would’ve responded had your spouse told you to “curse God and die”? How have you responded to his or her deflected anger at you in the past?
- Can you empathize with wife who was angry at God for not moving in her husband sooner than He did? If she had confided in you as a friend, what would you have shared with her?
- Whether in your marriage or in another situation, when have you thought that you knew better than God about when and how He should have been intervening? What did you learn as you waited for Him?
- Have you ever thought about why Satan pretty much took everything away from Job except for his wife? Why do you think that is?