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Caring for Widows

Honor widows who are really widows. But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God… If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

1 Timothy 5:3-4, 8

The thought of becoming a widow isn’t pleasant. But according to life insurance statistics, most married women will outlive their husbands. Not only do widows face the emotional loss of their partners, but many of them also face the burden of significant financial loss. Widows in AD 63, when Timothy was pastoring, didn’t have the safety nets of insurance, retirement plans, or social security. They were completely at the mercy of others. Many looked to the church for help, and the church was having difficulty carrying the burden. So Paul made it a point to say who should take care of the widows. This is a message for all of us.

Family members are to provide for the widows within the family. Paul tells it like it is: “If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever” (1 Timothy 5:8). That’s a strong statement, but it’s so true! Are we ready to care for our mothers and mothers-in-law when the time comes? Are we raising children who will respect us and the Word of God to help care for us one day?

Lord, give me eyes to see the needs present in my own family. Give me a loving heart and the courage to act on meeting their needs. God, You promised to care for the widow, the orphan, and those who call on Your name. May I serve You by serving them faithfully. Amen.

Read Caring for Widows on Elizabeth & Jim George.


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