Becoming single again throws a widow suddenly into a place of great vulnerability. We have lost that title of belonging – MRS. That safe bubble of our husband’s protection has been burst. Not only does the way a widow views other change, but the way others view her changes also. She looks at men and women differently and finds out that they are looking at her differently as well. Assumptions are made by some and suddenly no matter how great the pain and grief that she is experiencing, she is viewed as “single again”, “available”, “in the market” or “on the prowl”.
Recently I have heard 2 different widows share that they have just learned that this is the way that they are being viewed by some of the people they believed were their friends. This has gotten me to really thinking about that.
If a widow comes across as needing help, she may be viewed as a threat. If she has a warm smile or personality, she may be viewed as inviting. If she makes any changes at all in her weight, her hairstyle or hair color, or in her clothing style, she is “on the hunt”. Now she not only has a big black “W” for WIDOW stamped on her forehead, but she has added a big red “A” for AVAILABLE.
There may be a few widows who are purposely sending out these vibes, but there are many of us who are definitely not intentionally doing that. We are not the least bit interested in finding another husband. We just want OUR husband back with us.
Those ladies who are either insecure in their marriage or insecure in their own selves are more than likely the ones who are looking at widows as a woman to be wary of. The men who are single or unhappy in their marriages and looking for someone better are probably the ones who are thinking that a widow is suddenly free and looking for a new man to take care of. For most of us, nothing could be further from the truth.
So, how do widows cope with the stigma that is thrust on us when our husbands die? How do we ensure that we are not sending out wrong signals and vibes?
I Corinthians 7:34 says that the unmarried woman cares for the things of the Lord, that she may be holy both in body and in spirit. This scripture speaks of a single lady focusing on God and being pure and clean not only in the way she takes care of and dresses herself but in her personality and character and in the way she conducts herself.
When a woman becomes a widow, she has to find a new identity. Most of us do make new changes and others may find that threatening. We no longer have to be pleasing to our former husband, but we do need to continue to focus on being pleasing to God. While in the process of making those new changes, we need to guard against coming across so differently to others that we send up all kinds of red flags.
What if we haven’t changed our everyday life or our appearance whatsoever and are still viewed by some as a possible threat? What if our good name may possibly become tarnished by some fearful insecure woman and there is no one who will stand up in our defense? And even if someone does stand up in our defense those unkind words have already been spoken and some damage may have been done to us and/or our children. What then?
Once we or someone else has done all to exonerate us, it is time to step back and let God be our Husband. After all, He has promised that, hasn’t He. We live in a sinful world and there will always be those whether Christians or not who will assume things about us that are not true. Our job now as a “single again” lady is to be careful to present ourselves as pure and clean lovely Christian widows whose sole purpose is to glorify God with the rest of our lives.
(Photo Credit: .nsac.bc.ca/ministries)