The death of a spouse, especially in an untimely manner is a devastating situation. It leaves a void in the life of the living partner. It inevitably entails a lot of struggles, adjustments and periods of grief. It takes time to go through those moments of loneliness and sorrow to keep everything together to start a new life. There is a feeling of emptiness and a life without direction and meaning. Birthdays, anniversaries, holidays (e.g., Thanksgiving and Christmas) and important life milestones can be painful reminders that someone whom we love is no longer around to celebrate with us.
However, God’s grace brings healing through time. The Lord continues to recreate us by opening another door that leads to a beautiful new life. The Lord blesses us with such tremendous love that our hearts are able to hold without bounds. In time, the widowed partner may express readiness to embark on a new beginning—which may include the consideration to remarry.
Remarrying after the death of a spouse is addressed in the Bible. Saint Paul wrote that the law binds a married woman to her husband as long as he is alive, but if her husband dies, she is released from the law that binds them together (Rom 7:2-3). Although St. Paul’s letter is addressed to women, the context of this passage is also applied to men.
In another letter, Saint Paul reiterated, “Now to the unmarried and the widows I say, It is good for them to stay unmarried, as I do. But if they cannot control themselves, they should marry, for it is better to marry than to burn with passion (1 Cor 7:8-10).” Moreover, the person must choose someone who also loves the Lord (1 Cor 7:39).
However, some cultures consider remarriage as equivalent to forgetting the deceased loved one. This perception may create hostility among family members who might believe that loyalty to one’s partner is expressed by remaining single. This belief can generate discord within families when a widowed partner finds another person to love once again.
We cannot expect our widowed friend or family member to be wrapped in clouds of loneliness. We do not want them to live their lives without direction and meaning by keeping the blinds closed forever.
Loving another person does not mean that the love for a late spouse goes away. Loving again does not mean forgetting, or disrespecting the person and the memory of him or her. If we believe in God’s promise of salvation, we are confident that our departed loved one is in a place of perfect happiness and peace. Undoubtedly, there is no jealousy in heaven. The departed may desire that their widowed spouse be happy during the remaining time of his/her life on earth. In return, the widowed spouse can honor the legacy of his/her loved one by a promise of living a life of love and faith with another person.
It may be important for the widowed partner to be honest and open to his/her children and other close family members on any plans to remarry. The conversation is not about asking their permission, but about inviting them to play another essential part in his or her life. This gesture may make them feel respected and loved. The support of the family, especially of the children, helps nourish the new relationship.
Choose faithfully and wisely. Discern carefully. Love again with abundance. One can still honor, treasure and even love the past without having to remain there.
This article is not a substitute for a professional advice.
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