Over and over in scripture, believers are told to care for widows, and God says strong things against believers who fail to care for widows.
What does your church do to care for widows?
When was the last time your pastor preached about the importance of caring for widows?
When was the last time caring for widows was discussed in your Sunday School class or small group?
When was the last time money in the church budget was set aside for widows?
When was the last time your church did something specifically to help widows?
Chances are if your church does do something for widows, it’s in the form of a support group. One of the monthly highlights for one of my neighbors is the widows club meeting with other widows from her church. On the internet, I have heard of other churches with support groups for widows. But overall, care for widows is lacking in most churches.
Why have churches neglected widows?
Widows make churches face all the realities of singleness, such as a single woman having no male head, husband to submit to, etc. They also make churches face the unpleasant realities of death and aging, and that the life expectancy is higher for women than for men. Widows, many of whom are elderly, don’t make the church look as hip and cool as young people do. Since many widows are past childbearing age, they have no potential for bearing the children churches see as essential for growth.
Caring financially for widows takes money. Financially supporting widows means less money for large, fancy church buildings and programs. Financially supporting widows means less money for the pastor’s salary, requiring him to live in a modest house, drive a modest car, take modest vacations, and not attend so many conferences. Financially supporting widows means less money to hire staff for tasks many pastors dislike, such as visiting shut ins, administrative work, and counseling.
Nor is caring for the needs of widows as ego boosting as creating a special church program, speaking at an event, or writing a book or article.
By marginalizing singleness, churches are enabled to neglect widows and thus ignore some difficult realities of life and spend their money and energy on more ego and finance boosting activities and demographics.