Sunday, August 16, 2009

2009 – Day 227.Aug 16 – Truth Spoken In Love

Passage of the Day: Job 2: 10 … But [Job] said to [his wife], “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” In all this Job did not sin with his lips.

My Journal for Today: When you consider how Job heard what his wife had to say (in verse 9 of Job 2), where she had spoken in horror for her husband to curse God and die, Chuck Swindoll posits that Job spoke the truth back to his wife in love. But I don’t think I agree with Pastor Swindoll completely here.

I do agree that Job rightfully and correctly confronted his wife with the truth as he saw it; but don’t you think he could have shown here a bit more consideration in avoiding labeling his wife as a “foolish woman?” Actually, I love scripture for many reasons; but one of them is the way it doesn’t hide human weakness; and here was a man who was covered in painful boils, a man who had just lost his 10 kids; and his wife blurts out that he should commit suicide and end it all.

Yes, Job listened to his wife; and he appears to have considered her input. However, when he responded to her, I think he could have done a better job of showing that he loved his wife with his response. Wives need to hear love from their husbands. My wife and I just returned from a Christian marriage seminar conducted by Emerson and Sara Eggerich, which was based on the truth about marriage found in Ephesians 5:33. You may know the verse, where the Apostle Paul tells married believers, “…let each one of you [husbands] in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.”

Personally, I think Job’s wife could have shown her husband a little more respect by saying something like, “Oh, my dear, you are such a Godly man; and I can’t stand seeing you suffer like this. Let’s just end it all right here together.” And maybe Job could have said something like, “Dear one, I can understand what you say; and I know you love me; but it’s foolish to think that God doesn’t love us just because of the bad things which have happened to us.”

But I will say that Job and his wife at least confronted what was happening … head on; and they did not hide their feelings. And that is something that many married couples are unwilling to do. How often in a marriage do we leave the truth unsaid or try to avoid confrontation in love? Most of us tend to stuff our feelings and leave the truth unspoken. But this couple at least brought their feelings out into the open. I’m just saying that I think they could have done it with a bit more love (on his part) and respect (on her part).

What my wife and I learned yesterday at the Eggerich seminar, was the power of speaking love to a wife from a husband and respect from a wife to a husband, which has everything to do with how marital relationships will transpire. If a wife doesn’t feel loved in what a husband says or does, she will react with disrespect. If a husband senses or perceives disrespect from his wife, he will recoil and reactively avoid showing love to his wife. And it all leads to what Dr. Eggerich calls “the crazy cycle,” where communications go reactively negative and the wife becomes unwilling to communicate respect for her husband and the husband is unwilling to communicate love to his wife. However, when one of the couple is willing to break this cycle by showing the other what that one needs, the cycle can turn around and become positive and affirming where the wife feels loved and the husband respected.

Here’s where Job and his wife could, I believe, have done a better service to each other, even though they both, under great stress, were willing to share their real feelings. … Perhaps I’m being a bit presumptuous by criticizing this God-fearing couple in the midst of their horrible circumstances; but we all can learn from the reality of scripture, especially when we consider other parallel passages in God’s word about related matters; and this is what I’m trying to do by bringing Ephesians 5 to bear into our look at this highlight passage from the book of Job. We, who are married, can - and must - learn how to communicate openly and honestly. But we must do it with love and compassion for the needs of the other when we share our feelings in our relationships. And when we do, we can move forward, in love, knowing that we’ve honored God with our expressions while we consider the needs of our spouses as we share together.

PS: Any married readers of what I have shared here today may want to go to the website at this link [link provided] and learn more about the “Love and Respect” approach to marriage communications. It could change the way you view your spouse and bring your marriage into the focus of God’s instructions in Ephesians 5.

My Prayer for Today: Thank you, Lord, for a wife who respects me and one whom I love so dearly. Amen

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