According to the Center for Retirement Research, of all the factors associated with poverty in old age, the most critical is that of a woman without a husband. Not only do women on average earn less than men during their work years, but when the husband passes away the widow’s social security and pension benefits are often cut. Sadly, the plight of poor widows is not new. The Bible frequently urges God’s people to come to the aid of widows. We read this in Luke Chapter 7: “Jesus went with his disciples to the village of Nain, and a large crowd followed him. A funeral procession was coming out as he approached the village gate. The young man who had died was a widow’s only son. … When the Lord saw her, his heart overflowed with compassion. ‘Don’t cry!’ he said. Then he walked over to the coffin and touched it, and the bearers stopped. ‘Young man,’ he said, ‘I tell you, get up.’ Then the dead boy sat up and began to talk! And Jesus gave him back to his mother.” Jesus came to the rescue of this widow because her only son, the source of her support was dead. Like Jesus, we, His followers, should also show compassion to widows, especially those in old age.

Dr. Melvin E. Banks, Sr. is the founder and chairman of UMI (Urban Ministries, Inc.). Under his direction, UMI has grown to be a leading publisher of Christian education resources for churches in the African American community. Read More

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