1 Timothy 5:3-16
"Honor widows who are widows indeed; but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to practice piety in regard to their own family and to make some return to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God. Now she who is a widow indeed and who has been left alone, has fixed her hope on God and continues in entreaties and prayers night and day. But she who gives herself to wanton pleasure is dead even while she lives. Prescribe these things as well, so that they may be above reproach. 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.
A widow is to be put on the list only if she is not less than sixty years old, having been the wife of one man, having a reputation for good works; and if she has brought up children, if she has shown hospitality to strangers, if she has washed the saints' feet, if she has assisted those in distress, and if she has devoted herself to every good work. But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married, thus incurring condemnation, because they have set aside their previous pledge. At the same time they also learn to be idle, as they go around from house to house; and not merely idle, but also gossips and busybodies, talking about things not proper to mention. Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach; for some have already turned aside to follow Satan. If any woman who is a believer has dependent widows, she must assist them and the church must not be burdened, so that it may assist those who are widows indeed."
When I was reading this I was stuck by how many problems would be solved in our country if everybody would just follow this.
Basically the concepts are:
- If you are physically able (not old) work hard and take care of yourself.
- If someone does need help then their family should take care of them.
- If their is no family available then the church should help (though this scripture says that the person receiving help should have and continue to live a good life- obviously this does leave people falling through the cracks- but if everybody was living right that sure would be wonderful!).
- No mention is made of suggesting that the government should step in and do something.
My more personal applications for my life were this:
~I want to be ready and prepared to take care of Ken's and my parents when and if they should need that. We should also be discussing that (which we have some) so they know that they don't need to go into a nursing home to live off of government money (by the way, I do know that not everybody in the nursing home is living on government money but I do know that many are as nursing homes are so expensive so they often quickly use up their life savings and then the government steps in to help).
~I want to live my life in such a way now so that whenever I am old and perhaps a widow it can be said about me that I have a reputation for good works, that I raised my children well, that I have shown hospitality to strangers, that I have served the saints, helped those in distress and just generally lived a godly life. I also hope to continue until my dyeing day to do everything that I can (even if it just is praying) to serve my God.
Those are some of the things that I got our of this passage.
What are your thoughts?