This week, we’re looking at Noah’s wife. She actually is only mentioned once in the entire Bible, in Genesis 7:13:
On that very day Noah and his sons, Shem, Ham and Japheth, together with his wife and the wives of his three sons, entered the ark.
In Noah’s Wife’s shoes
Poor Noah’s wife. Like Curley’s Wife in Of Mice and Men, she remains nameless. We learn of the names of her sons, but she, and her daughters-in-law are nameless. Insignificant. Not important.
But surely she is important? She was found righteous with Noah. Was she righteous because Noah was righteous? Or was she instrumental in partnering with Noah to keep close to God despite the world descending into chaos around them? I’m sure she must have been. She was responsible for her own righteousness. I imagine that she and Noah must have prayed together, sought the Lord together, listened to God together. They must have helped each other along the way.
The Best Laid Plans
So I can imagine Noah’s wife, trying her very best to teach her children about the Lord, trying her very best to help her husband serve God, trying her very best to pray, to worship… And then Noah wakes up one day convinced God had told him to build an ark.
We’ve probably all seen Evan Almighty. I do like to imagine it happened a bit like that – God provided the animals, and they all turned up at their allotted time, to take their allocated place on the Ark.
But what if it didn’t? What if, privately or out loud, Noah’s wife questioned him every step of the way? What if it was not only incredibly hard work to build a massive ark, but it was also absolutely terrifying. I can imagine them having conversations in bed at night: “Are you sure this is what God’s told you to do?” “Yes, I’m absolutely sure.” “Really? A boat? And all these animals are going to live on it?”
Noah’s wife must not only have had huge faith in God, but she must also have totally trusted Noah. She was as supportive as a wife could possibly be.
The wife of an ‘ideas man’
Tim is an ideas man. He probably has 5 or 6 slightly crazy ideas every day. Occasionally 1 or 2 of them will come to fruition. But my role now is generally to look after the children and keep them out of his way while he is putting these plans in to place. I just let him get on with it. Sometimes I’ll tell him his plans could work (I try to encourage more than discourage) but sometimes I tell him they are ridiculous.
But could I be a better encourager? Could I provide more practical help? Does the fact that I’m not always completely enthusiastic about all his projects mean that I’m not as good a wife as I could be? There is definitely a part of my heart which sinks a bit when he tells me about his newest idea, and I think, “There’s another weekend of solo parenting while you go off and do your thing.”
Before we had children, I could help more. I could take on a role or a responsibility within each of his projects. I distinctly remember burning my hand while barbecuing burgers for a community outreach project during the 2010 World Cup. Yes, it did take a bit of sacrifice, time and energy, but it was great to work on a project together.
So perhaps Noah’s wife saw it like that: this was their project together. Perhaps she was happy to support him, taking responsibility for certain tasks and working alongside him with a common goal.
Entering the Ark
Then came that day when they entered the Ark. Again, it strikes me how much Noah’s wife must have trusted her husband and God – she went into the ark with him before the rain started. She encouraged her sons and her daughters in law to go into the ark too. This must have been a very strong, very committed woman.
She must have also been an incredibly brave woman. Looking out on the rain, living in an ark with all kinds of wild animals, seeing the world she knew destroyed… Surely she would have questioned God?
Yet she took those first, scary steps. She went inside the ark. She trusted and she believed. And it saved her. Not only her, but her sons and daughters in law.
Strength in the supportive role
So in her role as Noah’s wife, this amazing lady had to show real strength. Yes, I imagine she had physical strength as well as mental and spiritual strength. She trusted her husband and trusted God despite everyone around her doing differently. She stuck close to her family and focused on God’s command. I think we could learn a huge amount from her.
Next week, we will be looking at Sarah, and starting another 6 week series on Sarah’s story. Our first verse will be Genesis 11:30: ‘Now Sarai was childless because she was not able to conceive.’ Rachel will be writing the round-up post, so do pop over to her blog for that. You can also sign up to become a member of the Mummy Meditations community there.