Why should we take care of the widows and why does God care so much about them? God wants us to take care of the widows and orphans, and the poor, but this article will specifically point towards the widows. The reason being is one of our apostolic church planters was recently killed and has left his wife and two young children behind to fend for themselves.
The laws of God have already been written on our hearts so we know the difference between right and wrong (Romans 2:12-16). When we see or hear about the poor, orphans, or widows something happens in our hearts that says, "I want to help." If it doesn't happen then your heart has most likely been hardened (1 Timothy 4:2). This is a red flag and you will need to fix it by prayer and repentance.
James 1:27 (NASB) says that "Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world." It is our duty as a Christian to help those in need, especially the orphans and the widows.
God is very serious about them. It says in Exodus 22:22-24 that if you oppress the widows and orphans God will kill you and make your wives widows and children fatherless. I am not saying God will do this today because it was in the old testament, but just because Jesus paid for our sins doesn't mean God doesn't still feel strongly about helping and not hurting the orphans and widows.
Jesus gave the parable about the good Samaritan being the only one that stopped and helped the man that was beaten and left for dead (Luke 10:25-37). Both the priest and Levite passed by this man, but the non-religious Samaritan stopped and helped him. What good is our religion if we talk about how we believe in Jesus, but yet pass by those that are helpless and hurting? This is what the scripture is talking about in Luke 10:25-37 and James 1:27.
When we read these scriptures we feel like we should do all we can for everyone that we see, but how can we possibly help everyone? Unfortunately we can't. Not alone anyway.
This leads me to my next point...
Who Should we Help?
Just because you see the poor, orphans, and widows, it doesn't mean you need to help them all. That's what the body of Christ is for. We share the burden together. I once grew really depressed and felt hopeless after returning to the U.S from my mission trip to India. I saw so many hurting and tormented people. There were injured and oppressed people, widows, orphans, and poor people wherever I went. I wanted to help them all but I couldn't. I only had enough money to support myself and a few other missionaries.
My heart grew sick from this hopelessness and caused me to believe a lot of lies from the enemy. So much that I almost quit the ministry. I had a few mentors speak into my life about the lies and then God spoke to me about the hopelessness I had for the hurting. He reassured me that I had a good heart about the matter, but that I didn't need to worry about all of them. They were His creation and His responsibility and He would take care of them.
I asked how He would do it because I didn't see Him doing anything. He again reassured me that He was and that I only saw a small speck on His infinite timeline. He was taking care of them through non-believers and believers. He said He works through His Children that are adopted into the family which is called the body of Christ. When His children don't do His will, He will use the non-believers.
His response made me feel happy and sad. Happy that God was doing something about it, but sad that His children sometimes do not listen and the poor, orphans, and widows get neglected. My heart is for the Great Commission, which is to make disciples that make other disciples, but I can't help but want to help those in need. Especially when those that are hurting are volunteers within my sphere of influence.
There was an apostolic leader that was voluntarily working with us to plant churches and make disciples in one of the more heavily persecuted areas in South Asia. He was on his way to minister at one of his churches when a bear came out and attacked him. His family was relatively poor and didn't have any transportation so he had to walk wherever he went. This can be quite dangerous since there are elephants, leopards, tigers, bears, and other dangerous wild animals that populate the area.
This man died from his injuries after much prayer and heartache. He left a young wife and two children under the age of 5. He was the sole provider for his family and one of his in-laws family as well. To make matters worse her father is blind and can't help her either.
One of our leaders have stepped up and decided to help them. Even though he can hardly take care of his own family, he took the call to help. The widows family seen the love this man had and because of that reason they all decided to give their lives to Christ. It was a deep loss to lose this wonderful leader, but a wonderful gain to have his wife's family come to Christ because of it.
We give all the money we get from supporters to the areas they direct us. Most of them go towards supporting specific missionaries or to give towards goat businesses. We are currently asking for donors to help towards this specific cause. They need at least $100 per month to maintain their family. If you feel led to support this widow, please donate here.
How to Know When to Take Care of the Widows and Orphans?
There are a few ways to know when you need to take care of the widows and orphans. Please don't let me hinder you from helping anyone by the advice I am about to give. If you are ever in doubt, just do as you see Jesus tell you in the Bible.
1. They are Relatives
1 Timothy 5:8 says that if we do not provide for our own household then we have denied our faith and are worse than an unbeliever. It may seem like common sense to take care of our own relatives, but sometimes bitterness and unforgiveness gets in the way.
Oftentimes those that are closest can hurt us the most. Sometimes when they get hurt or sick we use the excuse that they wronged me so I'm not going to help them. Jesus tells us to forgive seventy times 7 and that if we don't forgive then we won't be forgiven (Matthew 18:21-22). Don't let bitterness get in the way of helping your relatives.
2. They are Your Neighbors
Most people think that the word neighbor means the people that live next to us. This is not correct. Jesus gives us an example of who our neighbor is in Luke 10:25-37. Your neighbor is anyone that you come across that needs help. They can be your literal next door neighbor, someone in another state or even in another country. My definition is anyone that you come into contact with, whether it be physical, over the phone, or internet.
3. You are Led by God
I chose this one last because many people use it as an excuse not to do things. Jesus commands us to go and preach the gospel, make disciples, and heal the sick. This is a command for us. Many people don't minister to the sick or share their faith with people because they weren't led by God. I have used this excuse plenty of times. I confess it now so that I can be held accountable to not do it anymore. I hope you do the same.
Sometimes God does lead us to do specific things. He can also lead us not to do specific things. Romans 8:14 says "For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons and daughters of God." If we have a good relationship with Jesus who is the vine, then we will be led by God's Spirit to do His will. If God is telling you to take care of a widow, orphan, sick, poor, or otherwise struggling person, go ahead and do it. Be grateful that the king of all creation is using you. And don't worry about the time or money because He will repay you.
Take Care of the Widows and Orphans Bible Verses
1 Timothy 5:3-4
Honor widows who are actually widows; but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to show proper respect for their own family and to give back compensation to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.
1 Timothy 5:8
But 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.
You shall not oppress any widow or orphan. If you oppress him at all, and if he does cry out to Me, I will assuredly hear his cry; and My anger will be kindled, and I will kill you with the sword, and your wives shall become widows and your children fatherless.