Monday, February 10, 2014

A Question About Widowers

Last week the following question came up:
Isaiah 54:5 says "Your Maker is your husband..." so is there a similar Bible passage I could refer the WIDOWERS in my group to?
When I searched for a specific verse for widowers, my Bible concordance didn't have a single reference. Isaiah 54:4 refers to "widowhood," so that's why many people apply the phrase "your Maker is your husband" with special regard to widows. (By the way, just to clarify our terms here--- a widow is defined as "a woman who has outlived the man to whom she was married at the time of his death; and widower is "a man who has outlived the woman to whom he was married at the time of her death.")

But even though there isn't a similar verse for widowers, God has provided hundreds of verses for people who grieve. And there are many widowers in the Bible and books by Christian widowers of today.

One of my favorite verses is for widowers, widows, and all who grieve, Psalm 34:18 (NIV):

The Lord is close to the
and saves those who are crushed
in spirit.
Widowers can also know they are not alone. Bible characters who were widowers include: Abraham, Lot, Jacob, and Judah. Widowers today can learn a lot from looking at the mistakes of these men!
Widowers may also google to find Christian men of today who have experienced the loss of their mate: R.C. Sproul, C.S. Lewis, Jeremy Camp, Jerry Sittser, Dr. Robert C. De Vries, Dr. E.V. Hill, and many others.
Life is really a series of losses which we must learn to grieve and handle. Everyone grieves differently, for every loss and every relationship is different. And men in general respond differently to loss than women do. But men have feelings too, and like the person who asked this good question for today, I want to remember that and respond with compassion and hope.
Tomorrow I want to share with you a bit about a widower's experience. Until then....


  1. My heart goes out to widowers too, as they have lost their soulmate, the one who lovingly took care of them, their partner. It is hard losing your spouse whether you are a widow or a widower.

    But God has promised to be our strength and to never leave or forsake us.

    I look forward to reading your widower's experience in your next post.


  2. I remember when my great Aunt died suddenly of a massive heart attack(unexpected). I arrived shortly to their home a few hours after her death. My Great Uncle was so full of pain, tears and intense grief. I will never forget his words when I walked into the room where she had not yet been removed.
    He walked over to me, hugged me and said with tears coming down his cheeks "I've lost my best friend, the best friend I ever had in this life" He was in his late 60's and lived(a widower) about 12 years after her death. I just remember his tears and pain and I wanted soooo much to alleviate his suffering.
    I believe God's word teaches us the woman/wife is the weaker vessel and God has designed and equipped men to be emotionally stronger than women as well as physically stronger. This isn't making light or minimizing their loss, grief or pain, it just seems they adapt quicker going through adversity, due to the way God has designed them.

    1. My personal.experience as the only man in my family to outlive his wife is that all thosevwomen helped and supported each other but that I as a man am expected to cope on my own. Maybe that is true, maybe I should accept the pain of loneliness bravely like a soldier dying on a battle field in wartime.

  3. I am a recent widower. My wife of 17 years passed away at the young age of 51 of a massive heart attack on December 3rd 2015. Her Mom and I had to perform CPR on her in our bedroom 6 feet from where I now sleep every night.

    I have cried every day since then. Even though I know this certainty that my beloved Cathy is with the Lord I feel so alone and overwhelmed with every day life. I have my job, the home, my 13 year old son and just life to deal with.

    God has given me little miracle along this journey along this journey so far but it is so, so difficult.

    When will the tears stop? When will I feel some feeling that there is a future for me without my beloved Cathy?

    1. I Lost my best friend and soulmate of 35 years Eva we met at 17 years old. I watched her at 48 Die he last breath of cancer Never in my wild dreams would I ever expect This Even as a Minister of 25 years The pain is absolutely horrible Tears and anguish all day long. But God is Sovereign.

    2. Brother McMahon, I'm so sorry for your loss--a best friend, soulmate, and loving wife is such a wrenching grief. No one can truly understand until it happens to them. We wouldn't wish it on our worst enemy. Yet, as you said, God is sovereign. You will eventually notice a lightening, a transformation of that grief to a longing that is more bearable and will drive you to live each day for God's glory. Until then, however, our task is to grieve. Lean into this experience and lament. There is wisdom in the house of mourning. God is with you and I'll be praying for you.

    3. Rafael Gonzalez. 12/29/2020
      It's my first Thanksgiving and Christmas without my"Lady". She passed away after 46y. Cause was congestive heart failure. It now just seems like a lonely life. We married at age of 20. Out 47th anniversary would have been on 12/15/20.
      I believe she's in heaven in my mind but in my heart I just want to be with her.shes has always been my life and always will be my life.

  4. Dear Anonymous, I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved wife Cathy. I'm sure the holidays have been difficult and blurred. I'm remarried, and my husband, Tom, was also widowed right before Christmas, and their only child was a 10 year old son. It's an extremely painful time that most of the world has no inkling about. But the Lord does, as you've discovered with some of the little miracles along the way thus far. Let me encourage you to stick close to Him, and to work very hard to guide your son through this too. When will the tears stop? When will you begin to hope again? It's a different length of time for everyone, but I can assure you that with the Lord this grief will not last forever. Let the tears roll, they are healing, and it's also good to learn what you can about this chapter of grief in your life. See if there's a GriefCare group in your area that you and your son can attend, or talk to your pastor, a chaplain, or a biblical counsellor. One thing my Tom did was that he took a long walk every night too. It's important to take care of your health and that will help you with the tears too. Give yourself time; try not to rush this painful process. In the end you can reap a deeper appreciation, courage and passion for life as you take this journey one step, one day at a time. It won't last forever. God bless you.

  5. Hi, My name is Keith. I had lost my beautiful wife of 22 years.She was 53years old. She passed away oct23 ,2022. She was my soul mate and friend since i was 10yrs old. It is very hard i ache and feel physically weak everyday. In way i did get a little closure. About 3weeks after she passed. I was very sad and angry at god. I asked him why he would take my beautiful wife away from me and all the people that love her. Then in my head i heard god say. Keith fori am very very sorry. for all i had done was taken my child back for she was suffering. Then all the sudden i was no longer angry. For god had blessed me with his child to love and be loved by and i am forever grateful to him.

    1. My name is Phil age 65 England. My wife Ruth died November 2021. 41 years marriage. My eternal soul mate. I can function alone as a single man in retirement with no dependents, but I cry every day and the pain of my loss is continuous. The only thought that breaks the heartache is the certainty that we will meet again and only then will my questions all be correctly answered. I thank God daily for the beautiful life we shared together but there is not the slightest sign that the process they call bereavement gets any easier. I have simply accepted that the continuous JOY that I experienced as her best friend for 45 years has been replaced by an indefinte season of prolonged sadness. The joy of our eventual reunion will be all the greater. Friends try to reassure me that my sadness will pass with time, but they are all still happily married men of my age so their comfort is based on secondary observation and not personal experience. I feel like a pioneer who is warning them what the journey really feels like first hand and I tell them to love their wives all the more earnestly while they are still together.

    2. Gentlemen, Thank you so much for sharing your precious thoughts about the loss of your dear wife. I truly appreciate everything you've said. You speak with such kindness, wisdom and obviously great love, the cost of which is great sorrow. Your words will be like a beacon to other widowers, an encouragement to them that they are not alone in the extreme pain--that real mean shed real tears. Please continue to tell your friends to love their wives all the more, while they are still together. I believe that is one of the greatest messages to our broken world: husbands love your wives! Now! While you still can! And may the truth that we will someday be reunited be a wonderful solace and comfort. To know that God is in control, even in the midst of this searing pain, can and will (eventually) bring you joy and ease your heavy hearts. It takes a while, but don't lose hope.

  6. doesn't matter what the bible teases no one is reaching out to widows but widows

  7. Sadly my experiences so far in 2023 are proving to be more extreme than 2022. I feel extremely isolated despite repeated efforts to socialise more and integrate into local community life. ALL my male friends are still happily married and genuinely admit that they cannot imagine what being a widower feels like. Conversations end quickly and politely and I return to my 3 cats and indoor winter hobbies. The spring will bring opportunities to dig my own garden and go walking alone.
    I have concluded that at 65 I must accept loneliness and sadness as my new normal and be grateful for life itself as a gift from God.

    1. I think a widower didn’t happen as much in biblical times because often times a man had more than one wife. Thank God we got rid of that.

  8. Yes, this can be a very frustrating and lonely time of life. What do you think will really satisfy you? In other words, what do you really, really want now, and when do you want it?


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