Women of the Bible from A to Z series
(Another “no women of the Bible names begin with this letter” piece)
“[Always] treat with great consideration and give aid to those who are truly widowed (solitary and without support).” 1 Tim. 5:3 amp
Other translations say to honor, respect, care, or support the widow.
First Timothy chapter five verses 3-16, addresses widows as totally alone and who are without any means of financial support and care. The verses speak of the widows’ behavior—live a life of prayer with hope in the Lord and not one of self-gratification.
The scripture also instructs children or grandchildren of the widow to care for their parent or grandparent who is now alone. The family is not to burden the church or community to care for their own.
If she has no family at all, the charge goes to the church (and I believe her community). However, there seems to be an age limit. It supposes younger widows will seek another spouse, and unfortunately don’t behave as prescribed above and become idle gossipers and busybodies. Younger widows are encouraged to remarry and manage their homes.
My grandmother, widowed at the age of 49, was a strong woman—body, spirit, and soul. She never remarried and had no interest in remarrying. I witnessed my grandmother take First Timothy to heart as she sought the Lord daily. The Lord her Maker became her husband (Isaiah 54:5). My mother, her only child, stepped up as her emotional supporter. Other relatives brought her financial counsel and aid.
One older widow friend of mine sobbed, “My heart feels like it’s been ripped out.” My widowed mother struggled with anxiety attacks after my dad passed. My younger widow friends with children still in their care struggled to grieve while caring for the needs of their family.
Each of these women needed to grieve yet go on living. Their families along with their churches and communities embraced them, but not all widows have this kind of support.
We need to be aware of the widows around us. We need to notice if they have family, church, and community support. If we know a widow, we fit in one of those groups.
So how can we “treat with great consideration and give aid,” honor, respect, care, or support a widow? We can:
- give an ear to listen, a hand to hold, and a shoulder to cry on
- help them find an appropriate grief support groups at a church or community agency
- encourage them to seek wise financial counsel for the difficult decisions to be made
How else can we honor a widow in our lives?
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