It is common to hear someone say they lost a loved one when there has been a death. Christians often say that when a believer dies, he or she is not lost because we know where they are. The Apostle Paul admonishes those who have accepted Christ that we should not mourn as people who have no hope for eternal life.
I Thessalonians 4:13 But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.
14 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.
This is a great comfort to know that we will see our loved ones again and that they will return with Jesus during His second coming.
15 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.
16 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:
17 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.
18 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.
There is a down side
As happy and joyous as this sounds, there is a downside to eternal life. Those who have a spouse who has passed away will not be reunited with them in heaven as a husband or wife. The relationship between a man and a woman on earth will not carry over into the spiritual realm. These are the words out of the mouth of Christ Himself. There was a day when the religious leaders were trying to trip Jesus up and they told him of a widow, who kept marrying her husband's brothers until all 7 siblings had died. Jesus was asked which man would be the woman's spouse in heaven and here is what he answered them. in Matthew 22:30 In the resurrection, they neither marry nor are given in marriage, but are like angels of God in heaven. I believe this verse is why so many people believe that the dead turn into angels and obtain wings but Jesus never said that. Most scholars believe He was emphasizing that our new bodies would be spiritual like the angels. Even so, this is distressing for those who are hoping to reunite with a husband or wife for all eternity. I used to joke with my husband that I want to get all the loving I could on this side because there won't be any on the other side.
There are couples who have been together so long that they die close together and this is touching. Often it is assumed that they went to heaven together and will resume their married relationship. The words of Jesus do not validate this and I understand that this is hard to accept. When you have loved someone for 4, 5, or even 6 decades that is a strong bond. If the widower or widower does not remarry, he or she may be longing for the day when they can hold their spouse in their arms again. Truly this is a harsh saying because unlike relationships with parents, friends or children, the one between a married couple is unique. There may be someone whose only coping mechanism is in believing they will once again make love to their spouse. This is a harsh reality to find out that indeed once death occurs, that part of the relationship is over. I am certain that heaven is so wondrous that there will be no need to lament the fact that there will be no intimacy between spouses. This issue will more than likely not matter once we get there. The problem is those left behind and how they cope with such knowledge. Grief can be overpowering and to have your faith shattered only adds to the discomfort. Truth sometimes is a bitter pill to swallow but it is non the less factual and real.
This article is in honor of my husband Michael L Preston Sr, who passed away on March 7. We were together 45 years and married for40 of them. The idea that I will never hold him again as my spouse is heartbreaking but I take comfort that I will see him again one day. He just will no longer be my husband and I must accept that. I am thankful for our years together but it still hurts to know that it will not continue. I will lean on my faith in Christ to get me through.
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.
© 2021 Cheryl E Preston
Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on March 20, 2021:
Thank you so much. I appreciate this more than you will ever know.
Sp Greaney from Ireland on March 20, 2021:
I'm so sorry Cheryl to read this and learn about the death of your husband. That's such a hard thing to live will especially when you were both partners for such a long time. My though and prayers are with you at this sad time.
Peggy Woods from Houston, Texas on March 19, 2021:
My sincere condolences to you, Cheryl, on the passing of your husband. So very sorry to hear about his severe stroke.
Cheryl E Preston (author) from Roanoke on March 19, 2021:
Pamela thank you. The stroke was so severe and he had only a small bit of recovery. He was able to pass at home. Thank you so much for your prayers.
Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on March 19, 2021:
Cheryl, I have thought of you many times and prayed you were okay after our emails. I am so sorry your husband passed away.
This is an excellent article on the teaching in the Bible. i knew we wouldn't be married, and I have wondered if I we will recognize our loved ones that passed before us. Take care of yourself.