The Family of Faith
When you became a Christian you became part of a much larger family and that is how you must see life now. Sure you have your blood relatives, but the body of Christ is now also part of your family. When you consider those around you as such, it places a purity safety net under your walk with God. If you treat your fellow Christians as such, it is less likely you will cross the line of disrespect or indiscretion. Think about it like this…that young lady is my very own blood sister. What I would not do to or say to my sister, I should not do to her.
“Honor widows who are really widows. But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God. Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. And these things command, that they may be blameless. 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. Do not let a widow under sixty years old be taken into the number, and not unless she has been the wife of one man, well reported for good works: if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the saints’ feet, if she has relieved the afflicted, if she has diligently followed every good work. But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry, having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith. And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not. Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some have already turned aside after Satan. If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows.” I Timothy 5:3-16 NKJV
“Honor widows who are really widows. But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show piety at home and to repay their parents; for this is good and acceptable before God.” I Timothy 5:3-4 NKJV
Obligation to parents and grandparents…
God’s plan for long-term care starts in the home. Paul teaches us this by introducing the idea of repaying your parents and grandparents for all they have done for you. And it must start there. Of course, there are many factors that may make this impossible and there are provisions for those situations, but it must start with the blood family taking care of their own elderly grandparents and parents when the need arises.
Paul calls this honor. Reverence begins in the home. Don’t be so concerned about how godly and holy you appear to the outside world. Your immediately family should witness those traits first, and if they don’t, then it’s all a big show.
Paul also uses a curious phrase “really a widow” indicating that it is not enough to have lost a spouse to be considered as a parent or grandparent in need of provision. There are other practical considerations to be evaluated as we will see.
“Now she who is really a widow, and left alone, trusts in God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day. But she who lives in pleasure is dead while she lives. And these things command, that they may be blameless.” I Timothy 5:5-7 NKJV
Obviously there are times when a real widow (parameters coming soon) has no one to provide for her. Paul’s instructions for her is to get down on your knees day and night and make your needs known God. Then relax and trust that God has a good plan for you. Widows whooping it up!
However, a woman who has lost her spouse, who then turns to the pleasures of the world for her refuge is not to be honored or provided for. She should be corrected and guided back to godly decision-making. If she refuses, she should be considered as if dead already.