Statistics say that out of the 800,000 women who will become widows this year, 75% will lose their friendship network and 50% will leave the church they attended with their husband.
Miriam Neff shares helpful insight on how the body of Christ can effectively reach out to widows in our communities and lower these statistics.
“One of the greatest voids is that she loses so many of her friends. That’s a huge emptiness in her life. To stay connected is really a blessing you give her.”
Miriam expresses the importance of reaching out to a widow in the midst of her grieving process.
“If you just say, ‘Call if you need something,’ she will never pick up the phone home. So stay connected and even if you suggest things for a while and get a ‘no,’ don’t give up because there will be a time when she’s more ready to do some of the things.”
Even if we don’t know exactly what to say, Miriam says that shouldn’t deter us from extending God’s love, care and support.
“As maturing believers and maturing people, we should be bigger than that and say, Ok, this is a reality, but these are still people that God loves.”
“According to the Word of God, widows should be the greatest prayer people in the church and widows should be generous. The church loses that and believers lose that if we just kind of say ‘I don’t know what to say to them, or, ‘I don’t know what to do.’”
Losing a husband often causes a ripple effect of loss that most of us aren’t aware of. This is why we need to do our best to intentionally reach out to widows and reflect God’s heart for them.
Miriam Neff is Founder and President of Widow Connection, a not for profit ministry. She is the author of ten books, including Where Do I Go From Here?: Bold Living After Unwanted Change and From One Widow to Another: Conversations on the New You. She is also an adventurer and a conference speaker.Widow Connection