3. Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her.
4. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.
5. Now a true widow, a woman who is truly alone in this world, has placed her hope in God. She prays night and day, asking God for his help.
6. But the widow who lives only for pleasure is spiritually dead even while she lives.
7. Give these instructions to the church so that no one will be open to criticism.
1Timothy 5:3–7 NLT
As mentioned yesterday, today’s Passage is another one in which Paul gives Timothy instruction on more than simply the Traits and Standards of Christian Leaders but addresses the many and varying states of the Christian Family as well.
As one who is taking on the Mantel of Christian Leadership, it is essential that the individual knows more than just the Word of God and how to conduct one’s self in a Godly Manner. As life progresses for all those involved with the Church, it is also imperative that one in a Leadership Position is aware of how each echelon of the Membership should behave in whatever situation or circumstances they may find themselves.
It is unfortunate yet true that from time to time even God’s people will find themselves mourning loved ones that have passed away. Knowing this, Paul equips Timothy with the correct steps to deal with widows within the Church.
Being an organization that is tasked with, first and foremost, caring for the saints, Paul ensures that those that have lost their husbands, and in that time, their very livelihoods, are taken care of should they need such assistance.
The tradition of the day required the family of the deceased husband to take care of their family so that the wife would not become destitute. Paul, understanding this, addressed it first. He is not requiring the Church Leadership to intervene in the proper family structure. However, when there is no family for the widow to depend on, this is where he tells Timothy it is appropriate to step in and take the reins.
But even as Paul instructs Timothy in the right way for the Church to handle these often delicate and touchy situations, he does not neglect to address the Spiritual realities as well. He tells him that if a widow spends her time praying and fasting for the Church she is to be respected. This is the true definition of a Prayer Warrior; someone that dedicates their life, their time, and their energy to offer supplications for the Church, despite their own situation.
Paul, however, even as he addresses the positive possibility that may arise from the loss of a husband, makes sure that his New Leader is also prepared to deal with the other side of the coin as well. He tells Timothy that if the widow only seeks her own pleasure after her husband is deceased, she “is dead while she liveth.”
He is making sure that every base is covered because he knows that these situations will arise and he wants to be confident that his young associate has the tools to deal with any eventuality. Paul is taking the steps necessary to safeguard the future of the Ephesian Church by teaching its Leaders everything that they need to know.
In today’s Church, the same lessons are essential to pass along to any individual that calls themselves a Christian Leader. In the final Verse of today’s Passage, Paul tells us exactly why this is so important. He says, “And these things give in charge, that they may be blameless.”
He is telling Timothy and us that all this, everything that he is teaching us, is important because we are being observed both by the Church and by the world. If we are to be effective in our Ministry for Christ, we have to be above blame, and beyond reproach.
The only way to do that is to guarantee that every area of the Church Membership, is keeping up with the Traits and Standards of Christ for His Saints. That includes even situations that have nothing at all to do with one’s Spirituality. If even one link in the chain is weak, then the entire tapestry may be in danger of unraveling. It is the responsibility of a True Christian Leader to tie up all loose ends and confirm that the picture of Faith and Righteousness that is being produced truly reflects God’s Glory in the most Perfect way. This is yet another obligation of Christian Leadership.
Have a Fantastic Friday and Stay Safe out there!