1 Timothy 5:9-15
Prayer- Lord, Open our hearts and open our minds and help us learn. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.
9-10Sign some widows up for the special ministry of offering assistance. They will in turn receive support from the church. They must be over sixty, married only once, and have a reputation for helping out with children, strangers, tired Christians, the hurt and troubled.
11-15Don't put young widows on this list. No sooner will they get on than they'll want to get off, obsessed with wanting to get a husband rather than serving Christ in this way. By breaking their word, they're liable to go from bad to worse, frittering away their days on empty talk, gossip, and trivialities. No, I'd rather the young widows go ahead and get married in the first place, have children, manage their homes, and not give critics any foothold for finding fault. Some of them have already left and gone after Satan.
This passage is from "The Message" paraphrase. It is still dealing with advice to widows, elders and slaves. Again I need to point out that widows had no form of social security or pensions in Paul’s time. If their husbands did not leave them provided for, they had a tough time. Paul wants the church to take care of widows, but has strict rules, (over sixty, faithful to one husband, and a good reputation.)
Paul knew that people outside the church would be looking for things to hold against the Christians, and he did not want to give them any foothold. A young widow would be under certain pressures sexually, and even if they remained pure, might be the source of scandalous talk. Paul wanted these women to go ahead and find another mate, and be part of a nuclear family so the church could propagate.
Do we leave ourselves open for ridicule by using the church as a place to find dates? It goes to reason that people in church should be a little safer risk than ones met in a bar, but if we give non-believers ammo by having single mixers, dances, and date nights are we doing the right thing? I don’t know for sure. Fellowship with other Christians is a great way to find compatible mates, but we should remember the real reason we go to church, and that is to worship and glorify Christ and to support other believers.
Prayer- Lord, Help us live lives in and out of church that will show the world your love. Go-Fight-Win. Amen.