A long time friend of mine lost her husband and I am reminded of my Mom living life without her husband and best friend. Dad and Mom were together 60 years and then life changed in about ten days. I remember the Sunday after my Dad's funeral someone asked me if things were back to normal. I cannot imagine what my face looked like when they asked this! I wanted to yell, "No. Our life will never be normal again." It took some months for me to realize this would be our "new normal." I remember six months later when God showed me that I could not fix this. I could stay at Mom's 24/7 but Mom would still be lonely. She missed Dad!
My heart aches for people losing their spouses after many years of marriage. While they were blessed to have long lives together, they live with a void. 1 Timothy 5: 5, "The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help." This is where our help comes from! Psalm 121: 2-4, "My help comes from the Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth." This is what my Mom has shown me!
The Bible tells us a lot about widows. James 1: 27, "Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world." Psalm 68: 5, "A father to the fatherless, a defender of widows, is God in his holy dwelling." 1 Timothy 5: 16, " If any woman who is a believer has widows in her care, she should continue to help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need."
1 Timothy 5: 9-10, "No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds,such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds." Paul says the responsibility for the widow lies on her relatives if they are able. If the widow does not have a family that is able or willing then the church should help. Paul believed that the truly needy receive help.
At that time 60 was considered to be elderly. Sixty was not the new 40! He considered most of these widows unable to do certain work. But Paul also did not expect them to be idle while the church took care of them. The characteristics of the widows known for their hospitality and generosity could still serve others even in their old age. They could teach new females how to care for the sick and orphaned. They could also fast and pray regularly. My mom comes to mind as a widow who does not sit idle while others take care of her. Momma has always told me there is some way everyone can serve. Remember what my preacher says, "if you ain't dead, you ain't done!"
Let's lift those widows who are spending Christmas without their spouse, some for the first time. We are the church and we should be ready to support those who have been quick to help and to pray for others. Are you known for your hospitality and generosity? Who can you serve today that is in need?