Don’t Forget the Widows

Don’t Forget the Widows

The title of this article is not meant to suggest that we have forgotten widows, but it captures an idea that runs throughout the Bible. God is often telling his people to remember the marginalized, the suffering, the hurting, the lonely, and the outcast. One group of people that is repeatedly mentioned by God as needing to be remembered and cared for by his people are widows. God commanded his people not to mistreat widows or he would see it and punish them (Exod. 22:22-24). God describes himself as one who executes justice for widows (Deut. 10:18) and protects them from harm (Psa. 68:5). In the New Testament we find Jesus giving special attention to widows on several occasions. Jesus raised a widow’s son from the dead (Lk. 7:11-17), acknowledged and praised the generosity of a widow who gave God everything she had (Mk. 12:41-44), and entrusted the care of his widowed mother to the disciple who he loved (Jn. 19:26-27).

When we read the New Testament letters the need for Christians to care for widows is mentioned in several places. Widows were cared for through a benevolent effort in the Jerusalem church (Acts 6:1-6). Paul gave Timothy detailed instructions on how to make sure widows were cared for by the church. The family of the widowed has the primary responsibility of seeing to any of their needs (1 Tim. 5:3-8) and then the church needs to step up and help those who do not have family members who can assist them (1 Tim. 5:9-16). James described pure and undefiled religion that pleases God as including the care and concern of widows (James 1:27). When all the biblical information is considered concerning widows we see that widows matter a great deal to God and need to matter to us too. Losing the one you love most on earth is not something that is easy to live with or something one ever gets over in this lifetime. As the people of God let us keep our eyes up and hearts open to help those who are widowed in our midst. Here are few practical things we can do to be sure we don’t forget widows:

Write them. Everybody loves a handwritten card. It says that you were thought of and cared about. Write them on holidays, old anniversary dates, death dates, and other times of the year that may be hard.

Visit them. Time spent with others is something widows enjoy. They miss many things about their mate but especially the physical companionship. We can’t replace the one they lost, but we can be sure they remember they’re not alone.

Pray for them. Make prayers for widows a part of your regular prayers. It will remind you and also supply divine aid to those you pray for.

Hug them. A hug goes a long way. We can’t mentally or physically embrace the pain they feel from lost, but we can embrace them and remind them they’re loved. Don’t forget the widows because God never does (Psa. 146:9)!


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