Then his wife said to him, “Do you still hold fast to your integrity? Curse God and die!”
But he said to her, “You speak as one of the foolish women speaks. Shall we indeed accept good from God, and shall we not accept adversity?” – Job 2:9-10a, NKJV
His wealth was all stolen.
His livelihood is gone.
His children were killed.
And his own health was taken.
Adding to this, Job has a bunch of friends who come and blame him–more or less–for these calamities. Plus, to top it all off, his own wife advocates suicide for him as seen in the quoted passage above.
Talk about dire circumstances.
But Job doesn’t cheat on his wife. He does not commit adultery as Scripture reports. Nor do we hear Scripture teach us that infidelity is an acceptable–i.e. righteous response–to such circumstances.
Rather, we watch as Job holds fast through his suffering trusting God despite all these awful circumstances visited upon his life.
I point this Biblical fact out to expose “The Shared Responsibility Lie,” yet again. This book is ideal for the “circumstance-made-me-cheat” crowd with one glaring exception: Job is not reported to have either divorced his wife or committed adultery.*
He is not providing for his wife (see Job 1:21).
He is silent and–arguably–emotionally unavailable (see Job 2:13).
He is refusing to take responsibility for what happened to his family, even (e.g. Job 9:21).
I am not saying these are acceptable circumstances in marriage. They need addressing. However, along the lines of some evangelical pastors’ teachings regarding marriage and divorce, Job’s wife would have had a pretty “strong” case here to divorce Job.
But Scripture does not teach that.
It is not even part of the discussion in the entire book.
Nor does it teach adultery as a healthy or righteous response to suffering. If anyone suffered unjustly and had a reason to cheat based on stinky circumstances, Job did. But he didn’t. No comfort “affair” taught here.
Job kept his integrity.
He did not commit adultery.
Next time a pastor or Christian leader tries to justify infidelity based on marital circumstances, point them back to the case of Job. Challenge them to explain why God does not teach us infidelity is acceptable in those circumstances when they are likely far worse than present day marital/life circumstances. My point:
No justification remains for cheating.
Job did not do it.
Neither ought you or your (ex) spouse.
*Job does father more children at the end of the book as likely children of another wife through the practice of polygamy (i.e. not adultery) as polygamy was acceptable in the days of the Old Testament. Those children were not the result of adultery as they were likely born under the bond of marriage as these children are reported as legitimate heirs (Job 42:15).