Every year on Valentine’s Day my Sunday school class hosts a banquet for the widows in our church. This is an event I look forward to every year. It really warms my heart to witness the joy in these ladies as they all have someone to celebrate Valentine’s Day with again. We can never replace their husbands, but we can make this day a little less empty for them.
While planning for the banquet this year I began thinking about why we do the dinner and it led me to spend some time studying what God has to say about caring for widows.
In the Old Testament God makes it clear that we are to give special care to widows. He gives examples of His compassion to widows and instructs us to do the same.
Exodus 22:22 says “You shall not afflict any widow…”
In Deuteronomy 27:19 Moses writes “Cursed is the one who perverts the justice due the…widow.”
God’s compassion for widows is evident in Psalm 68:5. The Psalmist says that the Lord is “a defender of widows”.
Isaiah 1:17 says “…Plead for the widow.”
Jeremiah 22:3 says “…Do no wrong and do no violence to the…widow…”
The New Testament shows us the perfect example of Jesus’ attitude towards widows.
In Luke 7:11-16 While in Nain Jesus showed compassion for the widowed woman who had lost her son. He had so much compassion for her that He raised him from the dead so he could continue to care for her.
Jesus also showed compassion to His own mother while on the cross. “Then He said to the disciple, ‘Behold your mother!’ And from that hour that disciple took her to his own home.” John 19:27 He wanted to make sure she would be taken care of so He gave her to His trusted disciple John.
Peter demonstrated God’s compassion for widows in the city of Joppa. There was a believer named Tabitha who became sick and died. Tabitha had shown love and care for the widows in her community by making clothing for them. She died and devastated the widows. Acts 9:40 says “But Peter put them all out, and knelt down and prayed. And turning to the body he said, ‘Tabitha, arise.’ And she opened her eyes, and when she saw Peter she sat up. “
James 1:27 says “Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble…”
Why should we care for widows? God makes it clear throughout the Bible that we should care for widows. “Caring for such a woman is a privilege and a manifestation of God’s compassion” -John MacArthur
Widows who are believers have learned to trust in God as her provider and that is where we as a church should step up and provide. Even when widows have financial security, they still need our love and support.
The benefit of caring for widows is priceless. As women, we can learn and grow in our faith by the example of the Christian widow. We can learn from her experience with the adversity of losing her husband and what life is like without him. We can follow her example of loving and trusting in God even in her affliction.
A believer can demonstrate their faith by deeds of love and compassion to those in need. I believe when we show compassion to widows, it pleases God. We should follow the example He gave us in the Bible.
Heidi, a contributing author here at Habits for a Happy Home, is a homeschooling mom to three boys, ages 7, 5 and 3. Find her sharing a mixture of couponing, cost savings strategies and more on her blog, Heidi’s Miscellany.