“Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.” 1 Timothy 5:3-4
Both of my grandmothers were widowed, and each lived for several years after their husbands passed away. During these years my mother selflessly poured her time and energy into caring for them. She drove them to appointments, had them over for dinner, and regularly visited with them over a cup of tea.
My mom was an incredible example of a child caring for the widows in her family. And yet, in my zealous immaturity, I often felt like she could have been doing more important things with her time. She could have been leading a Bible study, volunteering in the community, or serving more regularly in her church.
God’s word teaches us that the body of Christ, the Church, must care for the marginalized of society, including widows. But if we are able, caring for our own parent or grandparent is not only our responsibility, it is an honorable role that pleases God.
So often we strive to delight God with grand gestures and selfless actions, and fail to see that God simply wants us to care for those right under our noses.
Bringing groceries to your mom or writing letters to your grandma may not seem like a big deal to God — but it is. And it should be a big deal to us too. It’s a way we can live out our faith, putting another’s needs before our own, and testifying of God’s love to those around us.
Father, thank You for valuing the simple acts of kindness as much as the grand. Please give me both the opportunity and the energy today to show Your love and kindness to those in need, in my family and in my community. Amen.
Have you been putting off a visit to your grandparent? Do you know of an elderly person in church that has no family? Today is the day to pick up the phone and make plans to see them. Doing something that pleases God is never a waste of time.
Are you a care-giver for an ailing parent, grandparent or spouse? Know that God is using you, and is pleased with you. But don’t be afraid to ask for help if you need it.