Volume 7, Issue 4: Femina
"For your Maker is your husband, the Lord of Hosts is His Name" (Is. 54:5).
When young women make their wedding vows, they are seldom pondering how
they will prepare for widowhood. And yet, many women, sooner or later, do
become widows. My neighborhood is filled with large, older homes that house
lonely little widows.
Our Lord obviously had a tenderness for widows; we see His concern for
them in His condemnation of hypocrites. "Woe to you, scribes and Pharisees,
hypocrites! For you devour widows' houses, and for a pretense make long
prayers. Therefore you will receive greater condemnation" (Matt. 23:14).
And James reminds us how important widows are to God. "Pure and undefiled
religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in
their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world" (James 1:27).
Women need to understand some important principles that will help them
now, equip them for later, or just enable them to encourage widows they
know. What are some of these principles?
First of all, it is fundamental that every Christian woman comprehend
that "your Maker is your husband, the Lord of Hosts is His name." If you
are a child of God, you are part of the Bride of Christ. Your Maker is your
Husband. Christ is the Head of the church, collectively, and He is
consequently the Head or Husband of each of His elect. If you are a single
woman, you have a Husband; if you are a widow, you have a Husband; and if
you are married, you have an earthly husband, one who is a picture of your
heavenly Husband, Christ. Though Christian wives are commanded to respect
and submit to their earthly husbands, they must do so in submission and
obedience to their heavenly Husband, Christ. He is your Physician, your
Advocate, your Priest, your Shepherd, your Husband. Though earthly husbands
may be called away from families through death, your heavenly Husband has
promised never to leave you or forsake you.
Wives, while your earthly husband is alive, cultivate biblical thinking
about this. Good doctrine will be a tremendous help to you in trial.
Believing and learning the right things about God are like storing up
provisions for a famine. When affliction comes you will have a good store
of grace available.
Not only must you have a solid grounding in your doctrine on God's
relation to you, you must also believe the right things, the biblical
teaching on His control over all things. The Scripture's teaching on His
absolute sovereignty will be a comfort and a protection for you if your
husband is taken from you. Did God do this? Is He a loving Father? Could He
have kept my husband from dying? Why didn't He? It is far better to learn
the answers to these questions now. Then when difficulties
come, you will
not be shaken in the fundamentals of the faith. Store up His promises now,
and you will remember them later--like Christian did in Doubting Castle,
when he found the key of promise in his pocket. I have a precious friend
who is a young widow, and she has taught me much about God's faithfulness
to those who trust in Him. His promises are very real to her; they are like
a lifeline that keeps her afloat day after day.
After settling the importance of a solid theological foundation for
widows, other principles for living must also be learned. One principle is
found in Titus 2:11-12--"For the grace of God that brings salvation has
appeared to all men, teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly
lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in the present age."
Here we see that we must learn to say "no" to ungodliness. Widows must
learn to say "no" in all kinds of situations, and they must teach their
children this as well. A husband is a tangible protection to the wife. When
he is taken away, she becomes suddenly vulnerable. People who were hindered
from being a nuisance by the husband's presence, now feel free to say and
do what they like. A godly woman must not be reluctant to say "no" to many
things. Some may want to devour her household--they must be prevented. A
widow cannot be timid about saying, emphatically, no. Those believers
around her must be an encouragement to her in this area, because saying
"no" can at first seem like a rudeness to her. It may seem "unChristian"
when in fact, it is the righteous, obedient thing to do.
Widows can find tremendous
solace in seeing themselves married to Christ
eternally, together with all God's elect. Though the married state on earth
can be a blessed one, it is only a shadow of the heavenly marriage of
Christ and the church. In that eternal marriage, there are no widows.