Showing Love To Widows
It’s right there in James 1:27a: “Pure and undefiled religion before our God and Father is this: to look after.. widows in their distress..” Need some fresh ideas for demonstrating pure religion by ministering to widows in your church?
- SHARE A TISSUE: Small acts of Christian kindness can make a difference during grief.
- TAKE 12: For a new widow, make annotation on your personal calendar to remember the one-month anniversary of the death for 12 months. Personally contact her monthly with a simple phone call, a stop to visit, an encouragement note, an invitation to dinner, or an invitation for a cup of coffee. Notice her. Seek her out at church. Talk with her. Show love. Sit by her during worship. If she’s not there, call to check on her.
- LISTEN: Don’t avoid conversation about her late husband. Whether she is a recent widow or has been alone for decades, let her share memories of her husband. Churches can provide a grief recovery class or grief support group. Assign a deacon or a family to a new widow in your church to help her through the grief process.
- PRAY: Every time God brings her to mind, pray. Take the time to voice a prayer when you visit.
- OFFER FRIENDSHIP: Demonstrate God’s love through friendship (Proverbs 17:17). Be a friend. Laugh together. Cry together. Shop together. Carpool. Telephone. Text. Begin a new tradition with her by inviting her for a holiday, calling her each Sunday afternoon, planting flower bulbs each fall or taking her to lunch on her birthday.
- INCLUDE HER: Help her meet Christians with similar interests or life circumstances. Include widows on your guest list when you entertain. Ask her along for a family adventure, such as watching fireworks, a day trip or dinner. Invite her to join your Bunco club, book club, Bible study group, computer class or community club.
- THINK OF THE KIDS: When your ministry involves younger widows, be aware of her need for childcare to be provided. Consider adopting a young family that first Christmas after the death of the father and husband, helping out with the purchase of presents.
- SHARE MINISTRY: Discover her interests and talents, and carefully watch for ways she might enjoy serving at your church. For example, if you teach a Sunday School or Vacation Bible School, invite her to help with records, greeting or substitute teaching. A church might form a group for widows(like the Ruth and Boaz fellowship). They could plan fellowships, prayer teams or Bible studies. The group could go on outings together, do ministry projects, take short trips for vacation or missions or share holiday gatherings. Find ways to include widowers in many of your gatherings. One younger widow advises avoiding the appearance of a dating service.
The care and treatment of widows must be important to God. It’s addressed in more than 20 Scriptures. How will you demonstrate your pure religion today?
(c) 2009 Baptist Press.