Scripture Texts: Job 16, Job 32; Matthew 26:62-68
The company we keep is important to how we walk through life. This is especially evident in the times we face trials. Job is sitting with his friends and they are trying to help him come to terms with all that has happened. Each of them takes a turn at diagnosing and offering advice about the situation in which Job finds himself. None of their words seem to change what is happening for Job and it does not seem like their words bring comfort or understanding.
In the beginning of Job 16, Job even tells them that what he was looking for is encouragement, yet they have offered none. Many words were used to try and prove that Job had obviously done something wrong but no words are used to encourage him. Even when the fourth, and youngest friend, offers his words there is no source of encouragement only more words about what is wrong with the situation.
In a marriage relationship encouragement is essential. When our partner is having a challenging day, we must be a person of encouragement for them, not always a problem solver. Even when things are going great for our partner it is important to offer words of encouragement for the events and actions of their life. Practicing encouragement in the normal day-to-day will help us to offer encouragement in the days and seasons of challenge.
Perhaps what Job needed most is what our marriages need a significant amount of, encouragement. So may we be people who offer encouragement before we offer advice.