So, my boyfriend of two years proposed, and I accepted. I’m very excited to begin my life with him as he’s been a very close friend since we met in college, we’re so compatible, and we just genuinely enjoy each other.
However, it is an adjustment for some people because for the last five years my testimony as a young widow with children has been a major part of my ministry. I’ve had the privilege to connect with other widows and mothers and grieving persons. It’s been an honor to walk with people through their valley seasons. It’s been a tremendous growth and learning season. It has also been a learning season for my familial relationships. It’s been hard for some people close to me to accept my dating and “moving on” from my marriage to my deceased husband. I put moving on in quotations because for anyone who’s ever lost anyone, you never really move on. You merely learn to live without them. The love you shared never goes away. My husband will always be in my heart. I look forward to the day I will see him again in our Father’s kingdom. However, I choose to live and open myself up to all life’s possibilities. I’m thankful my fiancé is secure in my love for him and he recognizes my excitement to start this new chapter with him. He knows I don’t compare him to my first husband, but I accept and love everything he adds to my life and my children’s lives.
My church family has also been very supportive. The first Sunday I went to church after I posted my engagement on social media, all of the persons I encountered were very excited about the news. The news also traveled so fast that even members not on social media knew about my engagement. I find that extremely funny; however, I know most people are happy to see me and my children thriving, embracing life and experiencing happiness.
So what is some advice I can give to widows who start dating again and choose to remarry? Well, here you go, and it’s all going to be rooted in the Bible.
Let the Guilt Go
Romans 7:2-3 (NIV) says, “For example, by law a married woman is bound to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds her to him. So then, if she has sexual relations with another man while her husband is still alive, she is called an adulteress. But if her husband dies, she is released from that law and is not an adulteress if she marries another man.”
This applies to men as well. If you remained with your spouse “until death you do part,” you fulfilled your vows. You’re free to date and remarry. I think about Abraham who remarried after Sarah’s death. Sarah played a monumental role in Jesus’ lineage through the birth of Isaac. However, despite her major role, Abraham was free to marry Keturah after her death. You be free as well.
Don’t Worry about Other People’s Expectations
James 1:13-14 (NIV) says, “When tempted, no one should say, ‘God is tempting me.’ For God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does he tempt anyone; but each person is tempted when they are dragged away by their own evil desire and enticed.”
People love control. They want to control you. After the death of a spouse, everyone has an opinion on what your next steps should be, and for some reason they feel free to express those opinions. You can’t live your life for other people because oftentimes because of sin and their evil desires, they will do whatever it takes to see you unhappy and depressed. I’ve also learned that no matter what you do, everyone will not always agree. When I was a single woman, people made negative comments. When I was engaged the first time, people talked. After I got married, people talked. People are always going to talk. Don’t worry about their opinions. If your life lines up with God’s word, you’re good.
Romans 8:28 (NIV) says, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.”
There are so many scriptures that talk about God’s purpose and plan for our lives. God’s permissive will doesn’t always feel good. Sometimes we are afflicted. However, we can trust the character of God, and God doesn’t send trials and tribulations to destroy us or break our spirits. He loves us. He also doesn’t leave us alone to fend for ourselves. God will walk you through seasons of struggle and grief. He will teach you and open your eyes to see the lessons you need to learn so you can be perfect in his love and bear more of his image. Trust him. This isn’t easy, but you will come out on the other side like gold.
Psalm 16:11 (NIV) says, “You make known to me the path of life; you will fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand.”
When a spouse dies, it’s easy to fall into despair and hopelessness. It is easy to let grief weigh you down. However, although there is a time for mourning, there is also a time for rejoicing, and you will have good times again. God will give you beauty for ashes. Don’t get used to your mourning clothes because God will give you a garment of praise. There are still good times to be had, and if you keep pressing through the darkness, you will see the light of day. Joy is coming in the morning. Trust that.