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Jobs Advice to Husbands and Wives
03/08/2009
Scripture: Job 2:7-9; James 5:11; Philippians 4:6-7
Track 4 of 11 in the Job: Endure to the End series
Running time: 57 minutes, 34 seconds.
I am impressed with Job when it came to listening to his wife. The scripture goes by this fact rather fast but Job did listen to his wife. He did ponder her words. He did not misunderstand what she said and he didnt ignore her. He heard what she said and he didnt interrupt her as she said it. Quite frankly, that puts Job in a unique class of men because men usually dont react that way when they receive wise advice from their wives, especially when they are hurting.



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Mike Nobis Speaker: Mike Nobis
Sunday School Teacher, Former Elder at Madison Park Christian Church. Mike is President of JK Creative Printers & Mailing in Quincy, IL. He is married to Pam and has three children, Tom, Tyler and Jennifer. Mike has three grandchildren: Ryne, Ivy and Alicia.

View all sermons by this speaker.


Job’s Advice to Husbands and Wives

A number of months ago in one of my lessons we talked about a term called, “the crucible”. We talked about it when dealing with Moses and the pressure he was under as the leader of the nation Israel while they wondered in the wilderness. The same is true with Job. Examining the life of Job is like crawling into a crucible. For the next few moments I want you to think about that word crucible. It even sounds tough and daunting. At the core of the word we find the Latin word, “crux”, which means the cross used as another word for torture.

We have other English words where the Latin word, crux, is the core such as “excruciating”. When someone states that they are feeling or experiencing excruciating pain, what are they telling you? What does it mean when the phrase, “A cross one must bear” is used? All of these terms or phrases fall within the realm Job found himself. For Job, his crucible would mean the pit of agony. Job’s agony could not be comforted nor would it go away. Day after day and night after night the pain would continue with no end in sight. For months Job existed like this.

Webster defines crucible, a sever test; a place or situation in which concentrated forces interact to cause change or development. The two words we need to focus on are the words “change” and “development”.

Let’s review a minute, how did Job end up in this situation he found himself in? What did he do wrong to deserve such punishment from God?

What we have to focus on when we speak about Job’s situation, both attacks from Satan happened not because of something Job did, but were brought on by what God permitted. In essence, God allowed Satan to take away from Job everything except his life. In reality, Job wished God would have permitted that act as well. Sitting day and night in such tremendous agony brought several requests to God to just allow him to die. But that was not God’s plan.

“Till Christ came, no soul was ever made such a battleground between heaven and earth as Job’s soul was made” Alexander Whyte

Job’s crucible was a battleground. What is interesting about this battle, we know what Job did not know. We know why it happened and we know how it came about. Job knew none of that. All he knew was at one moment life was moving along fine and then the next moment everything was lost. He had no knowledge what took place behind the scenes nor did he know why. When we remember Job, we shouldn’t remember him for all the suffering he went through, but we should remember him for all the endurance he displayed.

James 5:11 As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.

We have to remember what it meant for Job to preserver. List for me all the things Job had to overcome?

When the dust settled, all that Job had left was a wife and a few friends all of whom offered no affirmation, no encouragement, no comfort, no soothing words of compassion, no embrace of affection. They only added stink to his stack. Nevertheless, Job endured. A professor of history once said:

“If Columbus had turned back, no one would have blamed him but nobody would have remembered him either.”

It is an awesome thing to be a part of our class prayer group. But it can be a heavy load also. I am constantly reminded of how much pain, concern, fear, endurance that goes on behind the scene within the class by those of you who face the attacks life hands us. We need to pray for each other daily because we are being attacked by the enemy. But my question is this and I asked this question once before, in all the hardships we are dealt in life, what do we want to be remembered for?

It is a hard thing to deal with the types of tragedies Job had to experience; it is almost unthinkable to deal with them with a grieving, shortsighted spouse and a group of accusing friends who took it upon themselves the role of judge and jury. His friend believed that God just doesn’t allow tragedy to come upon someone unless they did something wrong. According to them, Job must have sinned. They worked him over to help him repent so his situation would change.

I want to come back to the definition of “the crucible”. In it lies the value of the experience.

A sever test; a place or situation in which concentrated forces interact to cause change or development.

For those of you who have experienced the crucible in your life, and many of you have and or are still experiencing it, describe for me what the change or development is? What changed? What developed from your experience?

For Job and probably for all of you, we change from being sufferers to wise counselors and valuable comforters. John Eldridge in his book wrote:

I don’t trust a man who hasn’t suffered.

True or false? Is that statement something you also believe? What makes it true?

In a book by Peter Gibbon, he wrote the following statement that I thought was awesome and very true:

“As diamonds are made by pressure and pearls formed by irritation, so greatness is forged by adversity”.

What really scares me about our days and some of the things that are happening in our society; the people making the decisions have never really experienced or seen something that is now happening. It is interesting to talk with the men and women at the vets home about our society and the challenges we face today. Many just shake their heads and marvel at the reaction. These people lived through the depression and a world war and they know what a real depression looks like. One man told me that by sparing a generation from pain only will bring failure beyond anyone’s imagination with pain never experienced before.

The biggest mistake a generation can make for the generation to follow is not to allow them to fail and learn from their failures without condemnation. Some of the greatest lessons and the greatest acts of courage all came from failure and the experience to overcome the failure and to win success. Some of our greatest leaders have a long list a failure in their résumés. Abraham Lincoln is a great example of a repeat failure. He experienced many losses and failures before he became our greatest president.

Since all this is true, this would be a good time to get some advice from Job. Later on we will examine the counsel and advice others gave to him. But I want to spend some time on the counsel he would give us for our lives. The last few verses in Job 2 is where I want us to turn to. Let me say that the advice is not directly found there, but by inference can we state these principles.

Advice to the wives

Job 2:7-9 So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. His wife said to him, “Are you still holding on to your integrity? Curse God and die!” He replied, “You are talking like a foolish woman. Shall we accept good from God, and not trouble?” In all this, Job did not sin in what he said.

1. Always guard your words when your husband is going through a hard time.
This advice is not only for ladies with husbands, this is for the single woman who have men their close to and perhaps work along side of.

For those women who have experience with their husbands, why is this good counsel, or is it? What can happen to a man when hard times come into their lives? Men can become vulnerable, and in fact, gullible in difficult times.

2. Never suggest that your husband should compromise his integrity.
Don’t ever go there. Even if it might bring instant relief or temporary gratification, integrity is such a hard virtue to develop and sustain without the temptation to compromise it. In fact, it is the wife’s job to help protect her husband’s integrity even if it requires her to intervene in events that could directly put his integrity at risk.

Men, what is the biggest mistake we can make when our wives give us advice? Wives, what is the biggest mistake a husband can make when you give him advice?

Ladies, guard your words. Believe it or not, your words do mean more than we act like they do. More often than not, wives’ words are wiser words than we give you credit for. So when you speak, never suggest solutions that could weaken our integrity.

Advice to husbands

1. Listen well and always tell your wife the truth.

Ladies, which is true, men are hard of hearing or men are hard of listening? Men, according to the ladies response, what lesson do we need to learn better?

I am impressed with Job when it came to listening to his wife. The scripture goes by this fact rather fast but Job did listen to his wife. He did ponder her words. He did not misunderstand what she said and he didn’t ignore her. He heard what she said and he didn’t interrupt her as she said it. Quite frankly, that puts Job in a unique class of men because men usually don’t react that way when they receive wise advice from their wives, especially when they are hurting.

Men, what do you say is the biggest reason we don’t hear everything our wives tell us? Wives, what do you say is the biggest reason why men don’t hear everything you tell them?
Guys, how many times have you willfully turned off your mental hearing from your wife? Why?

I can say this personally, for me it is all about pride. I can not remember nor can I tell you one single time my wife didn’t tell me the truth. I know when my wife is giving me counsel, she is telling me the truth and when I am in the wrong, I personally don’t want to hear it. I can’t tell you how many times, due to my stubbornness, I wasted time by not listening to my wife. There are many practices today that I now do very well because I finally took her advice and implemented them in my life. It all had to do with pride.

So where does telling your wife the truth come in? In Job’s case, because he heard and listened to his wife, he was able to respond to her in a truthful way. Her advice was wrong thinking and he rejected her advice. Because he listened, he was able to protect his decision and protect hers as well. A good husband not only protects his own spiritual health, he protects his wives as well.

Husbands, how have you grown and nurtured your wife’s spiritual life? Are you setting the right example for her to follow and are you personally taking the responsibility to protect her growth?

How important is it for couples to tell the truth to each other? How important is it to say to your spouse, “I was wrong” How many disasters could be avoided in relationships if admitting wrong happened on a regular basis?

2. Teach your wife what you learned about God. Clearly this is what Job did with his wife. But notice how he did it. How we teach our wives is crucial and is probably just as important as what we teach.

Guys, how did he teach his wife? He asked a question!
What works best when teaching, telling someone how to do something or coming alongside and working together to discover something?

The best teachers I ever had were those who not only taught me truths, they helped me to experience the truth. The quickest way to learn is to experience. For Job, he not only wanted his wife to know that her thinking was wrong; he challenged her to reconsider her advice as they lived through the struggle together. He assumed the lead and invited her to follow him.

His lesson to her was this, our God is not a God who only provides health and wealth. He is our sovereign Master and Lord over whatever occurs in our home, in our lives, including what I am going through.

No matter what we find ourselves going through, our situation is no surprise to God. This is His will for us at this moment. He is having His way in all of this. For some unrevealed reason, God permits things to happen but we always have to remember that He is sovereign and it is best.

Philippians 4:6-7 Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

What doesn’t this passage say?

Look at the sentence right before this passage. Notice what it says, “The Lord is near”. What light does that statement shed on verses 6-7 and all that Job experienced?