Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Commands, Encouragement, Family, Love, Ministry, Modeling, Parenting, Service, Widows

BE OF ASSISTANCE

1 TIMOTHY 5:16

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.”

I have an Administrative Assistant. She is awesome! She makes me look good in so many ways by all the “little” things she does for our Children’s Ministry. I put little in quotes because nothing she does is really little. Her job is to assist me and our other staff and volunteers fulfill the calling to serve our children and their families.

So many today think being an assistant is below them. But right here in this passage, Paul tells Timothy how important it is to lend assistance. That’s what an assistant does – lends assistance. In fact, this Greek word for “assist” only occurs right here in verse 16 (two times) and in verse 10 we saw earlier. It’s not our job to take care of the widows who have families. That’s their job. We, the church, need to be free to assist those who have no one.

APPLICATION

Can you think of a way your little Johnny or Susie could assist someone today? Depending on the age of your children, they could help clean a widow’s house for them. Perhaps they could mow or rake their yard. I promise you the widows you know have a long list of things that need to be done.

Ask your church for a name of a widow or widower who could use some assistance. If this person does not have family around, you and your children could become that for them. People need people. Sometimes the best assistance you can give them is just some time spent with them. We can all find fifteen to thirty minutes a week for that.

Whom is the Lord calling you to assist? Are you willing to do that? You will be blessed for more than they will. The Lord blesses those who serve others, especially if it is done with a pure heart. Assist that person without any expectations of gratitude. Just do it for Jesus.

It is so pleasing to assist others. Lord, show me those whom You would have me invest my time and energy in. I want to honor You by serving them.

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Advice, Bible, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Commands, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Family, Mentoring, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Surrender, Widows, Women

A WOMAN’S PLACE

1 TIMOTHY 5:14

Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach;” 

I just couldn’t resist titling today’s devotion as I did. Now that I have done that, let me quickly explain, lol. I do not mean a woman’s place is in the kitchen or that her value is only attributable to child bearing or being married. Goodness no! If I actually believed that I wouldn’t last very long in my family, lol. We have to concentrate on the last phrase.

A woman’s place, just like every believer, is to be above reproach, to not bring any shame on our Savior, to be surrendered to Him. This is NOT the same word that was used back 1 Timothy 3:2 or 5:7. This word is only used in one other verse, where it is used twice (1 Peter 3:9). It means a scathing insult or slander. Paul is saying that these younger widows should live so that no one could bring an insult against them.

APPLICATION

In the same way, our children need to be taught to live that way. If we have nothing to hide, our lives will be above reproach. We won’t worry about people finding out our little secrets which could bring insult on us and our Lord. So, how do we teach our children to live that way? Simple! You have to live like that before them.

We must live with no secrets, no lies, no hidden lifestyles. Our children need to be able to trust our character. One of the scariest things your child can say to you is, “I want to grow up and be just like you.” Right? That puts all the pressure on you, or does it? No! Jesus is the one who lives through you. If you surrender daily, your children can grow up to be just like Him.

So, how are your living? Are you free of reproach due to the protection of our Lord? You can be. Just surrender today. Let Jesus be Jesus in you. Then if people try to slander you, and they will, remember it is not you they are slandering. It’s Jesus.

Give me strength, Lord, to live a life that mirrors You. I want the world to see You and not me. Thank You for living in and through me.

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Affection, Bible, Busyness, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Direction, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Family, God's Will, Love, Mentoring, Ministry, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Passion, Sanctification, Service, Widows

CHRIST FIRST

1 TIMOTHY 5:11

But refuse to put younger widows on the list, for when they feel sensual desires in disregard of Christ, they want to get married,” 

I have to admit that I had to consult some commentators on this verse. At first glance in the English, this paints the younger widows in a bad way. Fortunately, the Greek meaning of the phrase “feel sensual desires in disregard of” was not originally meant to portray such a negative opinion. The Greek word for that phrase is only used here in the New Testament.

The purpose of “the list” of widows was for the church to minister to them and for the widows, in return, minister to each other and serve the Body. Paul is merely saying that younger widows will have the natural desires to remarry which will limit their ability to serve. He is not condemning these young widows. He is, in fact, releasing them from the obligation to serve.

APPLICATION

How in the world do you apply this verse to your children? Easy! Put Christ first! Putting Christ first is costly. Putting Christ first means letting other things go. Putting Christ first means not doing some things and pursuing other things. Now, tell me that doesn’t apply to your kids.

When we teach our children to pursue Christ first, they will have to make some tough choices. They will be given ample opportunities to pursue everything but Christ. They will have to choose which master to follow. If we invest the time to teach them the honor and privilege of putting Christ first, they will reap the benefits of that close, personal relationship that comes with that. Don’t you want that for your son or daughter?

Are you putting Christ first? Or are you pursuing the world, with all its distractions. You cannot put family or work or even ministry first and expect to have that intimate relationship with Christ. Whatever is causing you to put Christ anywhere but in first place in your life must be examined closely and put in its proper position in your life.

Lord Jesus, I want You to be first in my life. I want You to come before anything. I want You to be second to nothing.

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Affection, Bible, Caregiver, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Christianity, Commands, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Faith, Family, Love, Mentoring, Mercy, Ministry, Modeling, Obedience, Qualifications, Service, Widows, Works

WORTHY OF HONOR

1 TIMOTHY 5:10

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.” 

Just look at the list of this widow’s character traits making her worthy of honor by the church. She has a good reputation. She is a child raiser. She is hospitable, service oriented, full of mercy and devoted. Wow! That’s some woman!

But shouldn’t we all be like that? I mean, look at the list again. Which one of those traits don’t belong in your life? The bottom line is she puts others before herself. Therein lies the rub. We don’t want to do that. We want to see ourselves first. We want to meet our needs first. It’s always me, me, me!

APPLICATION

Well, this is a no brainer. As parents, we are constantly teaching our little Gertrudes and Elords how to not be selfish. We teach children to share because they are naturally selfish. We teach them to watch out for their little brother or sister because they are not concerned with that. 

But once again, this is better caught than taught. We must model these behaviors. When they see us showing mercy to someone, they learn from that. When they observe us serving someone else, they watch how it’s done. We are living out the traits they need to embrace. So, be very careful what you do and say. Little eyes and ears are watching and listening.

How are you in regard to these traits? Are you hospitable? Do you show mercy or wrath? We may not be a widow who needs to be put on the church list, but we still need to live out these same godly traits. And what is amazing is that when we do these things, we are the ones who are blessed. Be a blessing!

I do enjoy blessing others, Lord. Help me see their need even before it is apparent. Let me be Your hands and feet to them.

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Advice, Bible, Caregiver, Child Raising, Child Rearing, Comfort, Commands, Disciplemaking, Encouragement, Family, Love, Ministry, Modeling, Obedience, Parenting, Service, Widows

SIGN THEM UP

1 TIMOTHY 5:9

“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,” 

I’m a list maker. I didn’t used to be. After my bout with chemo several years ago I lost some of my short-term memory skills. So, now I have to make lists or poof – that thought vanishes. You are probably asking yourself, “Carl, what does your short-term memory loss have to do with today’s verse?” I’m glad you asked.

Widows and widowers are quickly forgotten. When their spouse dies, we all run to their home to console and love on them. However, after a few weeks, we forget about them. We get back into our routine and forget their routine has been forever altered. 

APPLICATION

Why don’t you get your family to “adopt” a widow or widower? Of course, you may have one in your own family to care for, but if you don’t, I am sure your church has a list of them who need someone to come alongside them. What a great way to teach your little Susie how to love others.

It’s the little things that are needed by them. Things a widow’s husband would have done around the house go undone. Even little things like changing that light bulb in the ceiling light are huge for them. For the widower, it might be missing those homecooked meals by his wife. Let your children help you as you minister to one of these on the list.

Who do you know right now who could use that kind of TLC? Give them a call and tell them you want to take them out to dinner this weekend. Drop by with your tool box and ask if they need anything done around the house. Ask them first. They will probably welcome the visit.

Father, forgive me when I overlook those who have such simple needs. I want You to use me to help them with these daily tasks. I know they are precious in Your sight.

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FORSAKEN BUT FAITHFUL

1 TIMOTHY 5:5

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.” 

That may seem like a strange title for a blog, but that is exactly what this widow was. To be “left alone” literally means forsaken. But despite that, she continues in her faith. She prays specifically for needs and prays generally for others. She knows her only source of help and comfort comes from above.

Do you know a prayer warrior like that? I do. In fact, I know several. Their solace is in spending time with the Lord, studying His Word and talking to Him. They know He will never leave them or forsake them. They may be “alone” in this world, but they are never alone spiritually.

APPLICATION

Children need to learn this peace early. They need to know that our God and Father will never leave them, if they are one His children. They may think they are alone and the world is against them. But He never leaves their side. Drive that truth into Him. They need to hear that over and over again.

Do you ever have to leave your child to go on trips? I am sure that is hard on them and you. When you come home there are kisses and hugs, right? Just think of this – God is always with us giving us those kinds of hugs and kisses. Now, I don’t mean physical hugs and kisses. But His presence is just as soothing and intimate.

Do you feel His presence in your prayer life? Do you spend the time you need to each day to commune with your holy God. He is waiting to talk to you. He won’t barge in on you. He waits for you to come to Him, but He’s always ready. Isn’t that unbelievable?  

Father, thank You for always being there for me. I praise You for your steadfast love and compassion and the way You show it each and every day to me.

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PAYBACK CAN BE A GOOD THING

1 TIMOTHY 5:4

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.”

I’ve said a number of times how important it is to respect our elders. In today’s verse, we see it again. Paul is telling Timothy that the care of the widows belongs to their family first. Sons, daughters, grandsons and granddaughters have the first responsibility to care for their widowed parent or grandparent. 

I mean, look at the last phrase of this verse – “for this is acceptable in the sight of God.” This word “acceptable” is only used twice in the New Testament, both times in 1 Timothy (2:3 and 5:4). It means to be gladly received because it is pleasing. You see, when we care for our widowed parent, it pleases God. Who doesn’t want to hear that?

APPLICATION

I truly believe children will take care of their parents in the same way their parents took care of them, for the most part. If we are loving and nurturing to our children, when we are old and in need, they will be loving and nurturing. If we are harsh and cruel, well guess what. They will be harsh and cruel.

God intends for family to care for family. The church steps in to assist when the family isn’t there or refuses to help. Your children can be taught to care for the widows now. Contact your church and ask if there are any widows or widowers who need to be visited. Most churches have a long list. Call and make plans to visit them. It may seem awkward the first time, but your children will brighten their day.

Are you willing to care for your family’s widows? Who in your family needs you right now? Don’t let someone else pick up your God given responsibility. Be obedient and see how pleased God is. Remember, you are doing this not so much for your family member. You are doing it for the Lord.

Thank You Lord, for allowing me to care for those in my family who need me. Remind me that this is all for You, not them. I want to please You.

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HOW TO HONOR

1 TIMOTHY 5:3

“Honor widows who are widows indeed;” 

Do you know any widows? I am blessed to know a lot of widows. In fact, my widowed mother-in-law lives with my wife and I. I also know a group of widows at the church I serve. They call the group “Women of Grace.” They truly are that. So, when I read this verse, I asked myself if I am honoring them, as God’s Word commands.

First of all, this word “honor” is a command. We are commanded to do this. Secondly, this word means to “assign value (give honor), as it reflects the personal esteem (value, preciousness) attached to it by the beholder.” You will only honor what you value. 

APPLICATION

What or whom do your children honor? What do they place value in? If your child does not honor their elders, they must not place much value on them. But why should we teach them to do this? Well, perhaps because one day that might be you (the widow or widower). Do you want them to value you? Of course, you do.

But also, we teach them this because it is the right thing to do. Widows and widowers have lost their husband or wife and have that gap in the life. As fellow believers we are commanded to come alongside them and make them feel valued and honored for who they are. That is EXACTLY what Christ would do. In fact, He did just that. Even on the cross, He honored His mother by telling John to take care of her.

Is there a widow or widower in your life to whom you need to honor more? Today make an extra effort to do just that. Take them out for a meal. Give them a call. Drop by to say hello and pray with them. Somehow today let them know just how valued they are by you and by their heavenly Father. I promise you will be the one who is blessed by doing this.

Father, show me the widows to whom You want me to honor today. Feel their lives with joy, hope and blessings. Help me to see them as You do.

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