At one of the “FNF” meetings, the ladies were asked to write a question concerning widowhood and I would answer one question each month that would be published in their monthly newsletters and now in the Friends Needing Friends blog.
I pray as you read the different answers to the many questions that were presented, God will speak to your heart as He helps you through your time of grieving.
Very truly yours in Jesus,
Pastor Bruce Sofia
Question: How long should I wait to enter into a relationship (with the opposite sex) after the loss of my husband?
This is an excellent question with no so simple an answer. So let me speak from my heart and share some thoughts relational to my observation from years of posturing. (These truths are also apropos to those who have just come out a broken or soured relationship.)
1 First, remember that the years you spent with your first husband gave you time to become “soul mates.” Becoming a soul mate takes time. It moves beyond the “conditions” and the “becauses,” it loves “unconditionally” (period). This does not happen overnight, hence there needs to be a season of healing before one should even consider a “romantic” relationship with the opposite sex. (I would suggest at least one and a half years, two or more is better.)
Paul gives good advice to the widow in I Corinthians 7:8 – Now to the unmarried and the widow I say: It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I am. Paul goes on to explain his reasoning in verses 29-35 when he says, (29) What I mean, brothers, is...An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs-how he can please the Lord. (33) But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world-how he can please his wife-(34) and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world-how she can please her husband. (35) I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.
However, Paul clearly states in verse 9 “if a couple cannot control themselves, they should marry,” and in verse 36 he says, “If anyone thinks they are acting improperly towards the person they are engaged to, they ought to marry.”
2 Secondly, the above Scripture give clear directives in understanding our purpose in life – it is to please God and serve Him in a way that brings honor to His name. A wrong mate can redirect us away from serving God; therefore we should be patient in letting God bring to us the right person, if indeed remarrying is in His interest. Remember this truth: If it’s in His best interest, it will ultimately be in your best interest.
Make sure that when you enter into a relationship with the opposite sex as a widow(er) that the reasons are to advance His kingdom and not just for your pleasures. Ask yourself, “Does this person want what God wants for my life? What does God want for your life? He wants you to “follow Him and fish for men.” (Matthew 4:19). If the person you are considering a relationship with does not have this at heart, they will steer you away from God and you will miss what is best for your life.
You have heard the expression “haste makes waste.” How true in life when it comes to entering into opposite sex relationship. How many have wasted good years on relationships that have turn sour. Not only is patient a virtue in this instance, but seeking godly, objective counsel is also wise.
Where no counsel is, the people fall: but in the multitude of counselors there is safety. Consider the counsel of those who over the years have revealed themselves as true friends. They will see your situation much more clearly than you. Ask them what they think, then put their thoughts before the Lord in prayer. If you will listen, God will reveal His heart to you and it will be what is best.
By Rev.Dr.J.Bruce Sofia - Founder & Director of Gloucester County Community Church
Lord Song, I Know The Plans I Have For You!