I have never met a woman who wanted to be a widow. There might be some who secretly wish for the ending of a difficult marriage, but to live life as one left alone, I can’t think of any. Even though there will come a time when the two, who have become one-flesh, are reduced to a physical one in existence, most do not think about that day until it arrives.
Scripture tells us to number our days, “Teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom” (Psalm 90:12). For all marriages, sadly, there will come a time when “in death you dost part.” So, perhaps anticipating widowhood, or acknowledging it, is biblical in the sense that one day you may be that one who has been left alone.
8 considerations for anticipating widowhood:
- Do not be afraid – You are brave, wise, and courageous to consider the next season. Change is never easy and planning for the unknown is challenging. God promises that He is with us wherever we go. He will be with you when and if you cross this bridge as well.
“You have enclosed me behind and before and laid Your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; It is too high; I cannot attain to it. Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend to heaven, You are there; If I make my bed in Sheol, behold, You are there. If I take the wings of the dawn, If I dwell in the remotest part of the sea, even there Your hand will lead me, and Your right hand will lay hold of me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will overwhelm me, And the light around me will be night,” Even the darkness is not dark to You, And the night is as bright as the day. Darkness and light are alike to you.” -Psalm 138:5-12
- God is in control over life and death. Even if death comes as a surprise to you, comfort comes in knowing that in the beginning of time, God wrote down the story of each life:
“There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven — a time to give birth, and a time to die.” -Ecclesiastes 3:1,2
“And in Thy book they were all written, the days that were ordained for me.” -Psalm 139:16
- Death is precious to those who have a personal relationship with Jesus. Even though you will deeply miss your husband, God has welcomed your loved one home and will take care of you. In fact, He has plans to use you even in the season of widowhood.
“Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His godly ones.” – Psalm 116:15
“A defender of the widow and father to the fatherless is God in His holy habitation.” – Psalm 68:5
- Take care of business before it is too late. Plan for the season of widowhood. It’s wise to create your own “if he should die” notebook:
- Establish power of attorneys
- Create your advance directives
- Prepare a will, trust, and guardianship for minor children
- Purchase life insurance
- Include your name on all accounts (banking, safety deposit box, utilities, joint names of ownership on property, house, vehicles, etc.)
- Know the most current passwords
- Be honest about all finances including debt
- Write an end of life plan so you do not have to wonder or think about it when the time comes
- Purchase a burial plot
- Provide for expenses
- Have a list of important people: pastor, accountant, lawyer, banker, financial planner, and funeral home
- Consider the cost – how will you support yourself as a widow? Will you rely solely on social security, savings, or will you need to work?
- Deal with the stuff – who will get the family Bible, the valuables, and the memorable
- Learn how to maintain the home, automobile, and lawn either by acquiring the skills necessary or creating a support squad that will move into action when needed
- Have tough conversations now.
- Have those courageous “if I should die” conversations as a couple and with your family.
- Ask questions you will want to know the answers to when he is gone—family history or his personal testimony of salvation.
- Write letters of blessing then share those in advance of death.
- Clearly communicate your end of life plan.
- Pass the mantle of care of your wife to your children by teaching them the importance and responsibility of caring for their mother, a widow.
“Honor widows who are widows indeed; but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God….But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” -1 Timothy 5:3-4, 8
- Serve a widow today. James 1:27 commands us to visit the widow and fatherless. In doing so, we experience what it is to be totally dependent on God while gaining insight and understanding to life as a widow. This act of service also establishes a community you may depend on in the days ahead as your greatest source of understanding, comfort, and support.
- Prepare for independence while depending on God alone. The best preparation is to give your life to Jesus. Entrust the days of your life to Him. He will guide you in life and in death.
“Trust in the LORD with all your heart and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” -Proverbs 3:5-6
- Live a life today with your loved one that you will not regret tomorrow.
- Trust God together.
- Live your legacy before you leave your legacy. An inheritance is more than money. It is a living a life of godliness and passing down to the next generation your testimony of God’s faithfulness teaching your children to remember.
“A good man leaves an inheritance to his children’s children, but the sinner’s wealth is laid up for the righteous.” -Proverbs 13:22
“Great is the LORD, and highly to be praised, and His greatness is unsearchable. One generation shall praise Your works to another and shall declare Your mighty acts.” -Psalm 145:3-4
- Serve your husband as unto the Lord. Caregiving is hard and exhausting requiring selflessness. It won’t last forever. There are lessons to be learned through this act of love.
- Make memories – you will cherish these more than you can imagine.
- Cry – it is okay to start the grieving process together.
- Laugh at yourself, together, and at the days ahead. Widowhood is not the end of your life; it is the beginning of something new and beautiful with God as Husband.
“She is clothed with strength and dignity, and she laughs without fear of the future”