1 Timothy 5:3-8 “Honor widows who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God. She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day, but she who is self- indulgent is dead even while she lives. Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for members of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.”
The church has a responsibility to all widows. First, the church is to identify whether this lady in their church is a widow by name only or by actuality. God sees ladies who have lost their husbands as widows. But he sees that they are truly widows when they have lost husband, children, grandchildren, and all relatives as well. These ladies are truly alone. The church needs to make this distinction to know how it ought to care for this widow in the congregation.
The second responsibility the church has (after it has decided whether the widow is just a widow, or truly a widow) is to make contact with the widow’s relatives to teach and command them to care for this woman’s needs. The relatives of the widow are to honor her by caring for and providing for her needs. If they do not do this, they have denied the Christian faith and are worse than a unbeliever. Why? Because they are not generous but rather self-indulgent.
The widow can also become worse than an unbeliever through the same means. If she is a consuming person with demanding and self-indulgent needs, she has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever as well; she is dead, even though she lives. Why? Because she is not thankful, but self-indulgent.
If the widow is truly alone, then she is to be cared for by the church. The church has a responsibility to be generous to her and not itself be self-indulgent. The widow has a responsibility as well. She is to be a woman of prayer; to continue in supplications and prayers night and day. She is to acknowledge that her needs are being provided for by God. And she is to set her hope on God for these needs.
Widows are precious in the sight of God. He writes this portion of 1 Timothy so that his daughters who have lost their beloved husband will be cared for by either her family members or the Church of Jesus Christ. He wants them to have hope.