Published: May 12, 2021
In my thinking thoughts I reflected that the month of May is Mothers’ Day and would be observed the world over by all and sundry Christian groups and peoples. In May, people would send gifts and warm sentiments of appreciation to their mothers, give accolades to females who have played some form of motherly roles in their lives, and venerate females who they consider deserving mothers. Some people would even conduct official programs to honor Dear Mama. Churches for their part would use Mothers’ Day programs to generate funds for projects ranging from empowerment of Christian Women’s Groups or refurbishment of church edifices by selecting certain women from their congregations to crown and honor “Mothers of the Year”.
Albeit, were the question posed, “What are the characteristics of a woman who would be eligible enough to be a genuinely deserving Mother of the Year?”, there would be hundreds if not thousands of criteria. If I were asked, my response would be: “What about Job’s Wife?”
Traditional Qualifications of Deserving Mothers of the Year
As an age-old Liberian tradition, observance of Mothers’ Day in the Christian community was marked by the selection of a certain female from the congregation of the church to serve as Mother of the Year. This Mother of the Year would be supported by several other females referred to as “Special Mothers”. Although it was farfetched to expect those selected to be 100% perfect, the selected females were expected to possess exemplary qualities when it came to deportment. For instance, a Mother of the Year was expected to be slow to anger, not rude, very respectful, talented, possessed fine human relations capacities, and a staunch regular member of the church. Concisely, she was expected to be deserving of the honor bestowed on her as temporary earthly mother of God’s children.
Current Day Mistaken Qualifications of Mothers of the Year
Unfortunately, in gross disregard to the age old tradition and standards, the search for Mothers of the Year has assumed a completely different set of qualifications or criteria hinged on financial status and connections. These days, all kinds of females with shady characters are grossly and mistakenly selected as Mothers of the Year based on how much money they can present to the church on Mothers’ Day.
Wives of corrupt Government officials and those of other people in high places who are playing with blood money are selected as Mothers of the Year, simply for material support to the churches. Some are wives of “the rulers of the darkness of this world” who are using human parts to gain favor from the throne to undermine their colleagues who simply put their trust in God.
By this mistake, some churches have wrongly selected and honored undeserving Mothers of the Year who were witches involved in witchcraft for mundane gains while others were covert prostitutes sleeping with all kinds of men.
Some Mothers of the Year were notoriously rude and extremely temperamental, while others were drunkards who showed up at every drinking party and gathering to profusely consume alcohol and become vulnerable; some of the mistakenly selected Mothers of the Year were complete vagabonds, spending time with various friends -- from this friend’s house to that other friend’s house -- while others were barren, childless women who had aborted uncountable number of pregnancies and had become useless and not deserving at all to be called woman, let alone crowned mother. Some selected Mothers of the Year were dishonest immorally dressed hustlers who perambulate from office to office begging for alms and advertising their bodies to entice men who could even be their fathers’ grandfathers.
Qualification of Job’s Wife as Deserving Mother of the Year
But before we conclude the search for our exemplar “genuinely deserving Mother of the Year”, let us look at the situation of Job’s wife as propounded by Job Chapter 2:9, whereby she was cited to have asked Job to curse God and die, and got rebuked.
Based on that single instance, hundreds of exegetes and pastors have mounted pulpits on Mother’s Day Sundays and set out to erroneously tear Job’s wife apart in their far-fetched hermeneutically lacking dialogues they call sermons. Christianity has even coined a song to vilify Job’s wife, that goes something like this:
“There was a man his name was Job, he was so sick, and couldn’t get well,
One day his wife said, curse God, curse God so you can die.
Job said no, no, no, no, I’ll put my trust in the Lord …sing it oo,
I sayyyyy, I put my trust in the Lord, I say I put my trust I the Lord.
Sing it let me hear, I sayyyy I put my trust in the Lord,
I sayyy I put my trust in the Lord.”
When sung, the whole church would be on fire with loud drum sounds, and all kinds of musical instruments bellowing out this poison about Job’s wife, simply from the erroneously imposed impression that Job’s wife was a bad woman and did not deserve any understanding of her situation. You would hear people sigh in disgust, “Ay women”, as if women are not worth being humans with all of the qualities appertaining.
Understanding the condition of Job’s wife
Fellow Christians, let us agree that for Job’s wife to urge her husband to “Curse God and die” because he was suffering too much, made her a bad, intolerant wife. However, in spite of that assertion, I still want you to note several reasons why Job’s Wife could be the exemplary genuinely deserving Mother of the Year.
Firstly, note that the woman was not the only person to use the word “curse. Chapter 2:9 recorded the woman as saying, “Curse God and die” and job refused. But in Chapter 3:2, instead of cursing God to die as suggested by the woman, Job cursed the day he was born. A day that God Himself created in the beginning as narrated in the book of Genesis. Now, which is worse: to accept your fate and give up hope as she did, or to wish your whole life had never happened as Job himself did?
Secondly, maybe Job’s wife did not actually say “Curse God”. Overtime, theologians continue to research and ponder, “Did Job’s wife actually say, Curse God and die?” or was it a simple interpretation glitch? Well, yes, that is what the Bible says and the Bible is the Supreme Word of God. However, the Bible has what theologians refer to as dual authorship.
In dual authorship, although God is ultimately the source of Scripture (2 Tim 3:16), He chose to use human authors as the instruments through which He set forth His written revelation. In using those men to record His Word, God did not suppress the individual personalities or writing styles of the human writers, but rather He used them to communicate precisely what He was pleased to reveal through them. The Bible, then, has a divine author and a human author. The human authors at the time were men and the society was 100% patriarchal or dominated by men with the inherent selfish desires of their masculine conveniences.
In Defense of Job’s Wife
Fellow Christians, I posit that the way we perceive Job’s wife in the story will continue to be completely biased to womanhood if we fail to look beyond what we read.
Suffice it to say, Job’s wife actually said “Curse God and die” and that it is truly sufficient to condemn her. But suppose we be more understanding and give her a pass as she may have spoken out of anger with God or with her husband's piety in the face of this tragedy; albeit, to her credit, she stayed with her husband in the midst of the angst, agony, social, financial and personal ruins and did not desert him.
The poor woman was faced with an extreme trauma condition or post-traumatic stress condition. Her whole life had collapsed; she had lost 10 healthy children in one day and was completely distraught as any mother would be; she had seen the family fortune for which she and her husband had so labored, disappear in thin air; at that point in the story, her husband had a rather nasty disease that produced bad sores with pus seething out, which she was responsible to clean each morning and evening as she grieved and mourned the death of 10 children. What better mother would have endured so much as this, and not be understood and forgiven if she slipped and spoke out, instead of being condemned? God have mercy!
In spite of all this the human authors chose to focus on Job’s faithfulness to God and not how tolerant and faithful Job’s wife was to her husband in her time of crisis. The authors did not consider that Mama Job was a pivotal point in the whole Job episode by virtue of the situation she went through. They did not consider how she bore 10 times 9 months of the miserable feelings that come with pregnancies, and 10 challenging agonizing delivery pains to give birth to 10 children, just for them to die in one day. “God where are you in this?” Any woman would ask.
Search for the Deserving Mother of the Year
You see, by dual authorship, the story of Job concludes that in spite of all that Satan did by taking Job’s 10 sons, destroying his property and inflicting him with sickness, Job remained faithful to God with no mention of his wife.
Fellow Christians, as sons and daughters of women, supposed the human authors had added that in spite of the great losses and health condition, Job’s wife did not abandon him and she remained faithful to him through it all? Wouldn’t that had been a marvelous ending of the Job story?
Finally, as you embark upon the search for the deserving Mother of the Year for your congregations and flocks, let your choice be a woman who possesses similar characteristics as Job’s wife; a woman who will stand by the church in good and bad times; a woman who has history and qualities of standing by her husband in times of sickness and not to abandon him when he loses employment. From my thinking thoughts, I posit if you are searching for a genuinely deserving Mother of the Year, WHAT ABOUT JOB’S WIFE?”
Before I be remiss, let me quickly wish Happy Mothers’ Day to all females whether they have given birth or not. May you all receive favor from the Almighty Compassionate Savior, simply for being females, and may the month of May bring you inexplicable joy, happiness and prosperity, in Jesus name.
I am simply just thinking thoughts.
About the author:
The Rivercess man, CEO and founder of the Diversified Educators Empowerment Project (DEEP), Mwalimu-koh M. Blonkanjay Jackson holds a Master of Education from the Harvard Graduate School of Education, and Master of Science in Mathematics Education from St. Joseph’s University; he is a Yale University Teachers Initiative Math Fellow, and UPENN Teacher Institute Physics Fellow. He is part-time lecturer at the UL Graduate School of Education. Mr. Jackson served the government of Liberia diligently for four years and returned to private practice as Development Specialist and Education Engineer. The Mwalimu-koh can be reached at 0886 681 315 / 0770 206 645.