What does it look like for a church to care for a young widow and her children after the sudden loss of her husband?

Last week, I wrote about the most difficult funeral I have ever preach which was for a dear friend and faithful deacon in our church who was killed in a car accident 2 weeks ago.  Yet, in the midst of dealing with such a devastating loss, there was much of which to be encouraged by our church in their reaction and care of this family. 

While the grieving family was out of town preparing funeral arrangements, a large crew of our folks went to this family’s house, decorated the house for Christmas, cleaned the house inside and out, and the whole church bought presents for the grieving widow, her 5 year old daughter and 1 year old son. 

When the family returned after the funeral the following night, they came home to a clean, lit up, decorated house, and not just a tree up inside, but a sea of gifts under the tree; something their deceased husband and father would have been in charge of getting for them.  Needless to say, they were overwhelmed and the gospel has been undeniable to this woman, her kids, and all her extended family who are amazed at the effort one small church made to love this family. 

I was told about a third of our entire church was present for the decorating party.  There were even non-Christians present that evening who had been visiting the church and curious what we were doing and more importantly why.  I could not have been more encouraged by, not just the zealous efforts of our people to care for this family in need, but the way our people in the midst of their own deep grief have exuded maturity and selflessness for others for the sake of Christ.  

Even though this have been a time of great saddness for our church, in God’s kind providence, it has also been a season of great encouragement for me as a pastor.  For in these kinds of tragic, life-altering moments can you truly assess the spiritual maturity of a local church and their unshakable belief in the gospel.  I am not sure what tomorrow holds for our church, but I post this as a very encouraged, grateful pastor for the Lord’s work by his grace in the lives of our people.  This is truly a work that only He can do.

Posted in Caring for Widows, Evangelism
4 comments on “What does it look like for a church to care for a young widow and her children after the sudden loss of her husband?
  1. Paul Tautges says:

    This is great stuff, Brian! I just sent it to every man on our Leadership Team. Your example, and that of the church, is a powerful testimony of true Christian love.

  2. joseph says:

    let the whole church of God knows their responsibilty. By caring for widow and orphans. This is my own ministry

    • mia says:

      When my husband left me alone with 5 children we had no church support although we were active tithing members of our church. Maybe a “How are you doing?” or “What do you need?” My lawn was moved once, however; the grass kept growing. We were grieving the death of a family, devastating, frightening, and lost. We didn’t have the opportunity to have closure at a funeral with family and friends. No one brought food, we were dealing with our grief so we forgot to eat anyway. We sobbed until we couldn’t breathe, I held my children while they cried themselves to sleep. One of my children said, “It would have been better if dad had died, then we could at least move on believing that he loved us”. My sister’s husband (the head pastor) left her and moved in with a girlfriend. The church would not even allow her to stay on health insurance until she could find new insurance. She had to go on Medicaid to take care of her daughter. After all counseling isn’t free. The neighbors called the city because her grass was too long, but she had difficulty keeping up with yard work as her three jobs cut into her chore time. My sister was suicidal and deeply depressed. I walked down her street and BEGGED the church elder that lived there to make sure she was alright because I lived 1000 miles away. He NEVER even checked on her one time. The brief synopsis of our experiences as divorced Christian women and mothers is not to bash the church or make light of the death of a spouse or parent. It is to ask the “Church” to pray about their definition of widows and orphans.

      • briancroft says:

        Very sorry to hear of your suffering where the church could have helped. Sadly, some churches see it as their role more than others.

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  2. […] post is taken from my senior pastor, Brian Croft’s, blog, Practical Shepherding. A deacon at our church was killed in a car accident on December 2. On Sunday evening, December 5, […]

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