1 Timothy 5:1-15

1 Timothy 5:1-15 … I’ve reached an age where many would consider me an “older man” so I generally begin teaching Timothy by indicating that 1 Timothy 5:1 is my favorite verse (“Do not rebuke an older man harshly” ). But that aside, these are family verses indicating the responsibility families have to care for each other. Sadly, our society has chosen to have the government increasingly look after the elderly, the very young and many in between. The biblical model is family care; all supporting one another to assure that none has needs that can be met by a family member. Frankly, the biblical model is best. There’s no better environment for physical, emotional, or spiritual support than the love of family. These verses clearly emphasize that. But we also see a focus on widows in these verses and God’s guidance for care when there is no family to care for a widow. Then, the church is to step in, even keeping a list of those who need assistance. I have to admit that I’ve followed many churches closely over the years and never encountered one that kept a list or even one who had designated a deacon to keep track of widows. I think that’s a great failing. The church has a strong responsibility to look after its old and those unable to care for themselves. It’s not a government responsibility; it’s a church responsibility. Would that we followed God’s Word more closely!

Younger widows (v.11) more appropriately might consider remarriage and development of a new family environment, and thus would not be as dependent on the church for material care. The “pledge” of verse 12 probably refers to undistracted devotion to Christ (1 Corinthians 7:34-35), which would not be possible for a woman raising a family and looking after a husband. That’s not to say that married men and women can’t be fully devoted followers of Christ, it simply means that family responsibilities can’t be abandoned.

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