It is said at most traditional marriage ceremonies, yet we often give little thought about it from that day forward.
“‘Til death do us part.”
A couple of Sundays ago, our pastor taught on 1 Corinthians 5 – 7. The title of his message? “Sex, Singles, Marriage and the Glory of God“. He did an outstanding job sharing the biblical view with an emphasis on the why–for God’s glory.
But during the message my heart kept being pulled to another group in our church, not mentioned in the title–not really. What about the widows and widowers among us who no longer fit in either category. To say a widow is now single comes with a sting to most widows I’ve talked to. They feel very much married, just separated temporarily by death.
Ever since that day I have been carrying all my widowed friends and family close in my thoughts and prayers. They are now walking on this lonely road, and it is something no one can fully understand until you’re there yourself. At least this is what I’ve been told by most all of them, and they are right.
But being a person who wears empathy on her sleeve, my hugs with each of them places a loving burden on my heart to care for them in their suffering.
There are those I know who walked the long road of sickness and suffering with their spouse until God called them home. Others died without warning bringing with it a lack of closure and no goodbyes. Some saw it coming and prepared. Others denied it would happen and found themselves struggling to breathe when the reality of death hit them blindsided. Some died at a ripe, old age with no regrets. Others died way too young, at least from my limited perspective, including my 66 year old brother last year. And others still had young children or teens to raise alone.
On that Sunday two weeks ago I felt the Lord whisper in my ear–tell them I see them and they aren’t walking this road alone. I am with them wherever they go. While they may feel lost for a season without their spouse, they will never know eternal loneliness because of My Son’s willingness to be separated from Me. His sacrifice was to allow you to be able to grieve with hope. I am with you always.
Why am I posting about death and widowhood on a marriage blog?
I do so because this is part of our marriage story. If we keep our vows until that day, we will all experience death either together or one at a time. Only God knows the day marked for each of us.
As A.W. Tozer said, “We do well to think of the long tomorrow.” Meaning eternity waits for no one. We all have a day that will be the death of our marriage in this life. We do well to think on this and let it steep in us an appreciation, purpose and an intentionality for the time we have together.
Marriage was created with one major purpose in God’s mind–to glorify Him by the way we live, love and procreate. Sharing with our children and our children’s children about God and how much He deserves our devotion and praise–for as long as we both shall live.
As a friend who was widowed at a very young age says often, “Shine Jesus Shine”. It is her invitation to her Savior to use all of her story, including her marriage and her widowhood, to glorify Him. I hope I can have this attitude should I be called to widowhood. Only by the grace God will supply is it possible, and this gives me great hope.
Grief’s sting is limited and it is all because of Christ.