I wrote this article while visiting my 96-year old mom at a retirement center in Dallas, Texas. She has the opportunity to live with other seniors, many of whom, like her, are widows. This is so important. Loneliness is not an option! Companionship and socialization is a necessity for one’s emotional health, particularly for the elderly.
If you are living alone, or know of someone who is, do whatever you can to alleviate the situation. In the case of someone whose spouse has passed away do not allow them to be alone. Provide companionship however it is possible to do so. Make a way for them to live with another family member. If affordable move them into a retirement center. If neither one of these two options is possible because of lack of space or money, make it a point to visit them on at least a weekly basis. Take them places. Make a way for them to go on short trips with other seniors. Give them things to look forward to.
Caring for those living alone should be a priority of family members. Sadly, some don’t do much in this regard. However, this is also a responsibility of the local church and Christian community. It is taught in James 1:27.
“This is pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father, to visit orphans and widows in their distress…”
Unfortunately, the average local church is not fulfilling this biblical mandate.
This article is not about widows, per se, but they do constitute a large portion of potentially lonely people. There is one biblical passage that has something to say about this.
I Timothy 5:8 strongly states, “But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith, and is worse than an unbeliever.” The next eight following verses all talk about caring for the widows.
As Christians, we must not forsake our obligation as individuals and as the Church body, to tend to widows and anyone else who may be living alone. Each and every person needs companionship and care. You might consider talking to your pastor about beginning a ministry to those living alone. What can you do on a personal level to intervene in the life of a lonely person?