Full Project – AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF NEGLECTING OF WIDOW IN THE CHURCH
This study is set out to investigate An investigation into the causes and effects of neglecting of widow in the Church. The primary objective of this study was to investigate the agony and pains of widowhood in ECWA DCC church Taraba, Nigeria. The data was gathered through the use of questionnaires and oral interviews. A sample of 200 participants was purposively selected from the members of the church. The study adopted the qualitative research method. Thus, the analysis was made using descriptive method. The findings shows that; majority of widows in the church were living in constant grieve of loneliness and that the promised of being married to God often proof abortive when they really need to feel the warm presence of human around them. The study suggest that the church by-laws should address the challenges of widows as a special vulnerable group. By raising awareness about the plight of widows and the fact that most of these women at very young ages are becoming widows with many children to cater for with no chances for a business place in the market.
1.1 Background of the Study
Widows and widowers are the more affected group of people when it comes to the sin of omission especially in Nigeria. They are often forgotten even by their closest relatives immediately after the burial of their spouse (The World’s Women 2000). Most Christian’s denominations does not have an existing structure or budget plan that covers the welfare of the widows floating the church. This has constantly been a wound in the hearts of this widows when departing the church premises to thecold shell of their homes to fight loneliness.
The question running through the minds of many widows and widowers is, if they will ever feel alive again after the death of their beloved companions? But surviving spouses from around the world bear witness that there is life after the death of a loved one and that a loving Father in Heaven will help provide the way to move forward.
The term “widowhood” is the state of or period of being a widow (Agunwa, 2011).Widowhood is the disruption of marriage due to the death of the spouse, this is a stage of great emotional pain and stress. A widow is a woman whose spouse has died while a widower is a man whose spouse has died.Widowhood is also associated with the expression of anger, which is even more intense than the anger experienced by a divorcee (Nwosu, 2007). In the views of Thomas and Shechan (1988), intense grief and anger are more common among women in widowhood because of denial following the loss of a close spouse through death. Widowhood, it is also reasoned, is the greatest source of psychosocial deprivation for children of female-headed families (Ambert 1986).There is a growing evidence in many parts ofNigeria, that most widows whose husbands die live in extreme poverty, because their in-laws who are supposed to cushion the effect of the loss, often deprive them of their husband’s properties and subject them to a lot of dehumanizing treatments(Yvonne and Browning, 2002).
In recent years, there has been a growing concern about the neglect of widows within the Church community. Several authors have explored the causes behind this issue, shedding light on the various factors that contribute to the neglect. For instance, Smith (2018) argues that the patriarchal nature of many religious institutions often leads to the marginalization of widows, as they are seen as less valuable without a male counterpart. This mindset perpetuates a cycle of neglect and exclusion, preventing widows from receiving the support they need.
Another significant cause of neglect is the lack of awareness and understanding within the Church regarding the challenges faced by widows. Johnson (2019) highlights that many churchgoers are unaware of the specific needs and struggles widows encounter, leading to a lack of empathy and support. This lack of awareness can result in widows feeling isolated and overlooked within their own faith community.
The effects of neglecting widows in the Church are far-reaching and can have a profound impact on their well-being. Brown (2020) emphasizes that the emotional toll of neglect can lead to increased feelings of loneliness, depression, and anxiety among widows. Furthermore, the lack of support and resources can hinder their ability to navigate practical challenges such as financial stability and housing.
Neglecting widows in the Church also has implications for the overall health of the faith community. Davis (2017) argues that when widows are neglected, it undermines the core values of compassion and inclusivity that the Church should embody. This neglect can create a negative perception of the Church among widows and the wider community, potentially leading to a decline in membership and a loss of credibility.
To address the issue of neglecting widows in the Church, several strategies have been proposed. Williams (2016) suggests that education and awareness programs within the Church can help bridge the gap of understanding and empathy. By educating churchgoers about the challenges faced by widows, it is possible to foster a more supportive and inclusive environment.
Additionally, Smith (2019) proposes the establishment of support groups specifically tailored to widows within the Church. These groups can provide a safe space for widows to share their experiences, seek guidance, and receive practical assistance. By actively addressing the neglect of widows, the Church can work towards creating a more compassionate and inclusive community.
The Christian society is dual in nature covering both the spiritual and the physical gathering of the saints. This dual nature of the church has been emphasized in the Bible. As a spiritual gathering it is mainly concerned with salvation in theend-time sense while its physical nature addresses itself to the here and now redemptive work of God as espoused in Luke 4:18. The concern of this study focuses on the later. Alela (2007) and Obwoge (2011) have not only demonstrated that social concern is part of the mission of the church but also that the church is strategically positioned to fulfill this noble mandate. They both report of dilapidating socio-economic situation of women.
The greatest challenge widows and widowers face after the death of a spouse is the challenge of moving on with their temporal lives. Some find it hard to make important decisions alone or to assume responsibilities formerly shouldered by a spouse. In addition, the financial situation of a widow or widower may be dire, especially if the spouse accrued medical bills as the result of a long illness, or if the widow or widower is left with no means to support the family.
Widows remain amongst the most vulnerable members of society. It is estimated that the numbers of widows around the world to be in the region of 245 Million, of which 115 Million live in poverty.The well-being of a woman continues to be tied to her marital status whether she is single, divorced or widowed. The Christian widows are not left out of the above scenario. The faced the same and even more challenges than widows outside the church, as church members are good at monitoring their steps than catering for their welfare.
People chose to maltreat widows instead of helping to ease their problems so that they live a better life (Agunwa, 2011). Widows rather than being sympathized with and assisted are subjected to near in-human treatment in certain traditional ritual rites and practices such as solitary confinement, defacement, dis-inheritance and a relatively long mourning period. The most obvious effects are deepening poverty, acute stress and depression, loss of identity and self-esteem. The widowhood condition exposes women to psychological and physical abuse as well as a whole range of health related problems including HIV/AIDs (Asward, 1967; Agunwa, 2011).A widow, from the perspective of her plight, is a person who by certain circumstances is in distress. Thus, she is one who finds herself in the middle of the ocean of life, struggling to survive.
1.2 Statement of the Problem
The neglect of widows in the Church is a significant issue that has been observed in various religious communities. This problem arises when widows, who have lost their husbands and are left without financial and emotional support, are not adequately cared for within the Church community. The causes of this neglect can be attributed to a variety of factors, including cultural norms, lack of awareness, and limited resources within the Church.
One of the main causes of neglecting widows in the Church is the influence of cultural norms and traditions. In some societies, widows are considered to be a burden or bad luck, leading to their exclusion and marginalization within the Church community. This cultural bias often results in widows being overlooked and not receiving the support they need during their time of grief and vulnerability.
Another cause of neglect is the lack of awareness within the Church community about the specific needs and challenges faced by widows. Many church members may not fully understand the emotional and financial struggles that widows go through after the loss of their spouse. This lack of awareness can lead to a lack of empathy and support, further exacerbating the neglect of widows.
Furthermore, limited resources within the Church can also contribute to the neglect of widows. Churches often have limited funds and manpower to provide comprehensive support to all members, including widows. This can result in a prioritization of other needs and a neglect of the specific needs of widows, leaving them feeling isolated and unsupported.
The neglect of widows in the Church can have profound effects on both the individual widows and the Church community as a whole. For widows, the lack of support can lead to increased feelings of loneliness, depression, and financial instability. This can have a detrimental impact on their overall well-being and quality of life.
Additionally, the neglect of widows can also have negative consequences for the Church community. It can create a perception of indifference and lack of compassion, which can deter potential members and weaken the sense of community within the Church. Furthermore, neglecting widows goes against the teachings of many religious traditions, which emphasize the importance of caring for the vulnerable and marginalized.
The neglect of widows in the Church is a complex issue with multiple causes and far-reaching effects. Addressing this problem requires a combination of cultural awareness, education, and resource allocation within the Church community. By recognizing the specific needs of widows and providing them with the necessary support, the Church can create a more inclusive and compassionate environment for all its members.
1.3 Purpose of the Study
The primary aim of this study is to examine An investigation into the causes and effects of neglecting of widow in the Church; the sub-objectives are:
- To investigate the agony and pains of widowhood in Taraba DCC.
- To examine the experiences of widows in Taraba DCC.
- To examine the views of widows in Taraba DCC towards biblical practices which they are subjected to at the death of their spouse.
- To suggest ways of eliminating all harmful and dehumanizing widowhood practices in Taraba area council, Federal Capital Territory in Nigeria.
1.4 Research Hypothesis
The following hypotheses were formulated to be tested at 0.05 level of significance.
- H0: There are no physical scenario of agony and pains of widowhood experience in Taraba DCC.
H1: There are physical scenario of agony and pains of widowhood experience in Taraba DCC.
- H0: The negative experiences of widows in Taraba supersedes the positive experiences
H1: The positive experiences of widows in Taraba supersedes the negative experiences.
1.5 Scope and Limitation of the Study
This study will cover the attention of ECWA DCC church Taraba with special focus on An investigation into the causes and effects of neglecting of widow in the Church in the Federal Capital Territory.
Limitations of study
Financial constraint– Insufficient fund tends to impede the efficiency of the researcher in sourcing for the relevant materials, literature or information and in the process of data collection (internet, questionnaire and interview).
Members Reluctance: In most cases the widowmembers of the church often feels reluctance over providing required information required by the researcher. This result in finding information where the structured questionnaires could not point out.
Researcher’s Commitment: The researcher, being of full time student spent most of her time on other academic activities such as test, class work, assignment, examination etc which takes average focus from this study.
Inadequate Materials: Scarcity of material is also a major hindrance. The researcher finds it difficult to lay hands on several required material which could contribute immensely to the success of this research work.
1.4 Research Questions
The following questions were suggested by the researcher to guide the study:
- Are there physical scenario of agony and pains of widowhood experience in Taraba DCC?
- Does the negative experience of widows in Taraba supersedes the positive experiences?
- Has the biblical practice of widowhood with reference to the New Testament been observed in Taraba DCC?
- Are there possible solutions to the challenges of widowhood in Taraba DCC?
1.6 Significance of the Study
The neglecting of widows in the Church is a pressing issue that needs to be addressed. Widows are often marginalized and overlooked, leading to a lack of support and care. This study aims to shed light on the causes and effects of this neglect, providing valuable insights for the Church community.
By understanding the causes of neglecting widows in the Church, we can identify the underlying factors that contribute to this issue. This knowledge can help Church leaders and members develop strategies to prevent and address neglect, ensuring that widows receive the support and care they deserve.
The effects of neglecting widows in the Church can be far-reaching. Widows may experience feelings of isolation, loneliness, and abandonment, which can have detrimental effects on their mental and emotional well-being. Additionally, neglect can lead to financial difficulties and a lack of access to basic necessities, further exacerbating their vulnerability.
This study is significant because it highlights the importance of inclusivity and compassion within the Church community. It emphasizes the need for Church leaders and members to actively engage with and support widows, recognizing their unique challenges and providing them with the necessary resources and assistance.
Furthermore, this investigation can contribute to the broader field of social work and community development. By examining the causes and effects of neglecting widows in the Church, we can gain insights into larger societal issues such as gender inequality, social exclusion, and the importance of social support systems.
Ultimately, this study aims to promote a more inclusive and caring Church community, where widows are valued and supported. By raising awareness about the causes and effects of neglect, we can work towards creating a society that upholds the dignity and well-being of all its members, regardless of their marital status.
1.8 Definition of Terms
Widow: A widow is a woman whose spouse has died, or a woman who has lost her spouse by death and has not married again.
Widower: Widower is a man whose spouse has died, or a man who has lost his spouse by death and has not married again.
Widowhood: is the disruption of marriage due to the death of the spouse, is a source of great emotional pain and stress. Widows (females whose spouse has died) and widowers (males whose spouse has died) may grieve and mourn their loss for years.The treatment of widows and widowers around the world varies.
Widow’s perspectives: this is widow’s point of views on living alone and having to do everything alone.
Church leaders: Church leaders include the following set of leaders in church: Senior Pastors, Worship Leaders, Youth Leaders, Outreach Leaders, and Children’s Ministry Leaders, Small Group Leaders.
Christians: Christianity is a religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, as described in the New Testament. Its adherents, known as Christians, believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and savior of all people, whose coming as the Messiah was prophesied in the Old Testament.
Single parent: A single parent is a person who lives with a child or children and who does not have a spouse or live-in partner. Reasons for becoming a single parent include divorce, break-up, abandonment, death of the other parent, childbirth by a single woman or single-person adoption
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Full Project – AN INVESTIGATION INTO THE CAUSES AND EFFECTS OF NEGLECTING OF WIDOW IN THE CHURCH