As a part of our "Honoring God In..." series, we wanted to cover living for God in singleness after divorce or death of a spouse. Neither of us (thankfully) has experienced either. So how do we talk about it in an authentic way that will serve as an inspiration to those that find themselves season in life? We don't. Instead, we reached out to those who've experienced it first hand and got their thoughts on continuing to honor God in this difficult season.
Mom in late 30's with 3 kids, widowed after 9 years of marriage
Well first I hate that anyone has to go through that. It is the most pain and loneliness I’ve ever felt!! I am not a words person so hopefully you can get something out of my thoughts.
1. Focus solely on God’s truths!!!! That was and still is a big one for me. I did not feel like doing good, being good or doing anything really. So I stood strong on the word until I felt anything again other than pain. (Fake it until you make it)
2. I know I had this strong urge to search for companionship quickly to try to balance out all the loneliness and pain but a good rule of thumb is to take six months at least before deciding anything major, especially to try to date. 3. Once you do try to date, remember biblical facts about rights and wrongs on dating. It is harder to keep those standards after being married. So guard your ♡ and your steps through what the Bible clearly states on sexual purity. Remember it starts in the mind. If you have kids be very thorough on who you let in their lives.
3. wait on God’s direction do not force any relationship even tho it seems to make sense. Follow the leading of the Holy Spirit in your life.
4. Guilt is a real thing when trying to date after a death. It literally feels like you are cheating on your late spouse. Be prepared for that and again combat it with prayer!
5. A revelation I had in a church service was letting romans 8:28 sink in. God put it on my ♡ that if Mary could endure the pain and the immediate sorrow of losing her son the way she did and it was for the good of us all, then surely, even though I couldn’t see it or feel it and still really don’t, I know God is working all things good for me. That’s not really a dating thing but it is a widow thing for me. I hope this makes sense and or helps someone. If you talk to someone who needs someone to talk to I’m here. That helped me a lot. Talking to people who seemed to be living a normal life when I was sure mine was over really helped me.
Mom & grandmother, late 50s, widowed after 40+ years of marriage
To begin with, it’s like you’ve lost half of yourself. My identity was his wife, her mama. With girls grown and families of their own, I had to figure out who I was now. I knew I belonged to the Lord, He was all I needed. My head knew that, but my heart told Him I didn’t like what He had chosen for me!! I did a lot of praying, journaling.
My journals were like me praying. I was broken and honest about my lack of understanding of WHY. He was my provider, my position (pastor’s wife), my protector....sounds like a sermon! Now what?! I had watched many grieving spouses, and I told God, HE would have to help me do this well. I continued going to church. Being a part of everything as usual. Yes, it was hard, but God gave me strength. I had to find out where I should live. Each daughter wanted me where they were. I visited but never felt that was what God wanted. I even went back to south GA. My Mama and siblings thought I should come back ‘home’.
But that wasn’t home any more. So, until God moved me, I stayed where I was.
Very important, I was a stay at home wife and Mama. Now I had to find a way to make a living. Nobody would hire me! Goodness, I was 58 years old with a good smile and great people skills!! No, I don’t have skilled training or education. (Degree) So...I went back to school at the local community college and got my LPN license. I had a job working in a clinic before I graduated. But even with the life insurance and my job, it wasn’t enough to make the house payment. (Bad timing for house to sell) Anyway, sold it at a loss and moved into a rental. Put stuff in storage I couldn’t part with at the time. God continued to use me. And after about 6 years, I had learned to be content. That’s when He brought Larry Fincher to me. We’ve been married 4 years. Live in Springdale, AR. We have a family ministry called HomeBuilders. Pathway Baptist is our church home. We are learning about blended families in our own life together.
So 3-4 things:
1 - When you don’t understand, TRUST (journaling really helped me process my thoughts/feelings) Eventually you won’t cry every day
2 - Stay busy (it was difficult for me to do things with other couples...made the void seem greater) But one on one walking, talking, or in groups I was fine
3 - Wait on the Lord (don’t let your loneliness cause you to “settle” so you can just fill the void)
Dad in mid 40's with 2 kids, divorced after 20+ years of marriage
A lot of single people complain, feel miserable or get tempted to do things that do not honor The Lord. I did! I have even got challenged in my new-found single lifestyle since divorcing. It boils down to one MAJOR thing that my Pastor/Spiritual Father shared with me that has made a huge difference in my life…
I must develop a greater relationship (and encounter) with The Lord Jesus before entering into a relationship!
When I develop my relationship with Jesus (not unlike developing any other relationship):
Spend time with Him
Learn Him (from His Word)
Ask Him to reveal Himself for a real encounter in everyday situations
Enjoy His company and His Presence
…then when I find that ‘special someone’, they will NEVER be able to pull me away from my relationship with Jesus.
There will be no compromising
They can never, “make me made” (because He has a great hold on my mind, will & emotions)
I will never be tempted away from the human relationship, because it would hurt my Heavenly Relationship more!