1 Timothy 5:5
One of the nicest Follower traditions was the annual Widow's Dinner. There were a number of older ladies who did not remarry after the death of their beloved. There were also a handful of older women who had been abandoned by husbands who rejected the church and left; women who stayed in the flock and remained faithful to the Follower beliefs, and celibate throughout several years. Some women were so strong that they were able to work and raise their children without a husband.
What about widowers? you may be wondering. The truth is, I don't remember any widowers. Men tended to remarry within a year or two after the deaths of their wives, young and old. Maybe my memory is failing me and there were some older widowed men. I also do not remember any men whose wives had left them and the church remaining single because in our interpretation of the Bible, men could be freed from a wife (free to remarry) if a woman left church or was unfaithful to him.
For the most part, women could not be freed to remarry except through widowhood. I knew of only two exceptions to this. One woman had been given permission by Walter White to remarry after she discovered that her husband had gone and married another woman (committing polygamy). The other woman left her husband after a few years of marriage and claimed that they had never consummated their marriage (she claimed he was a eunuch). It was controversial to many, but the woman did find a Follower man willing to marry her.
Back to the Widow's Dinner: every December the unmarried women – young and old gathered together for the Widow's Dinner. The teenaged girls (on up through twenty-somethings who were not married) prepared a nice multi-course dinner. Tables and chairs were set out in the old church building where the dances were then held. Decorations were put up and poinsettias were purchased as Christmas gifts for each of the widows.
The older faithful divorcees were included and treated as widows. They certainly deserved it for sticking it out in a couples' world and raising their children on their own. It was a time of fellowship with older women and honoring the ladies who had lost their husbands.
Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.