“He who calls you is faithful; he will surely do it” (1 Thessalonians 5:24). God invites everyone to play his or her part in working toward justice. Paul says if a person doesn’t work, they shouldn’t eat (2 Thess 3:10). We will be putting our “religion [literally, “godliness”] into practice.” We will not have God’s approval without such loving family care—”for this is pleasing to God.”5. Paul even calls for young widows in this passage to get married, raise children, and to manage their households (5:14). Purity needs to be considered by singles and their parents. Some of these widows may have received financial support, but the primary focus seems to be their serving in some official capacity. This special care for the poor was passed from the Jews to the church. In this way they will train the younger women to love their husbands, to love their children, to be self-controlled, pure, fulfilling their duties at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the message of God may not be discredited. Again, Paul said that singles, because of the pervasive sexual immorality, should pursue marriage (1 Cor 7:2). God rules from his holy palace. No doubt, they fulfilled Paul’s instructions to older women in Titus 2:3-5. 5:17).4. Take up the cause of the orphan! With their husbands gone and their children grown, these widows focused on serving women and children in the church and caring for those in needs. God is the loving Father of all children who have been orphaned. GOD’S INJUNCTION TO CARE FOR THE LESS FORTUNATE, LIKE ORPHANS. In verses 3-8, Paul teaches about supporting widows in need. Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, [and] to keep himself unspotted from the world. For this is what pleases God” (v. 4). 1 & 2 Timothy and Titus: to guard the deposit (p. 125). Bible Verses About Heaven. In Acts 6, the early church selected seven men to care for a large population of widows—providing food for them. So I want younger women to marry, raise children, and manage a household, in order to give the adversary no opportunity to vilify us. He is in Africa and says a revival has broken out at his mission station.”, “He’s with his brother in China and they are working together. Paul then describes the widows who are “truly in need” and eligible to receive support from the church. Any widow could be supported financially who was really in need, a believer, and walking with the Lord, but only older widows could be put on the list. This list speaks to us about retirement. As you consider how God may be calling you to care for waiting children, take heart. They “practiced hospitality,” which means being “a lover of strangers.” These women opened their homes and cared for others. But the widow who is truly in need, and completely on her own, has set her hope on God and continues in her pleas and prayers night and day. Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books. Marriage helps guard Christians from temptation towards sexual sin. (2000). However, if we don’t prepare for retirement spiritually by growing in godliness, we won’t be as useful to God in old age (cf. What other reasons does Paul give for excluding younger widows from the list? No widow should be put on the list unless she is at least sixty years old, was the wife of one husband, and has a reputation for good works: as one who has raised children, practiced hospitality, washed the feet of the saints, helped those in distress—as one who has exhibited all kinds of good works. The widows had to be “the wife of one husband.” It can also be translated “a one-man woman.” It has a similar construction to the requirement for elders and deacons (cf. Interpretation Question: What types of ministry did these widows focus on? Sometimes with Christians living in rebellion, their dire situation is a natural consequence of their sin and a form of the Lord’s discipline (cf. But the one who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. In the New Testament, James says that taking care of the needs of orphans and widows is part of religion “pure and faultless” (James 1:27). The People of God Will Care for Orphans. When The Sun Finally Rises: Wrestling With The Past (Gen. 32:22-32), 2. Some scripture references/categories courtesy of Open Bible .info under CC BY 3.0. “Breaking their former pledge” can be translated to “cast off their first faith” (KJV). Deuteronomy 10:18 says, “He executes justice for the fatherless and the widow, and loves the sojourner, giving him food and clothing.”, Also, Psalm 10:14 says, “But you do see, for you note mischief and vexation, that you may take it into your hands; to you the helpless commits himself; you have been the helper of the fatherless.”. Paul’s counsel to young widows also provides a message for singles in general. This includes praying for them, encouraging their faith, and sharing the gospel with them if they don’t know Christ. They devoted themselves to “all kinds of good works.” This could include prayer, teaching the Word, making clothes and cooking food for those in need, among other things. Reinforce these commands, so that they will be beyond reproach. In 1 Timothy, Paul lays out more detailed instructions for how to care for widows (1 Timothy 5:1–16). The Bible exposition commentary (Vol. As this role is de-emphasized in society, our children often suffer the consequences. Chicago: Moody Press. Your actions matter and there are many ways you can help make a difference, whether you are a prayer partner, a fundraiser, a Show Hope sponsor, or a prospective adoptive parent. He has served over fifteen years in pastoral ministry, and currently serves as chaplain and professor at Handong Glob... More, 3. Obviously she is one who has no supporting family and the church has an obligation to such.”7, Paul said she “has set her hope in God” (v. 5). As they were talking, she began to wipe her eyes with the corner of her apron, so Dr. MacClaren said, “What’s disturbing you?”, “Oh,” she said, “Sometimes I feel I have done so little and when I think about it, it makes my heart heavy, because really I’ve done so little for Jesus.”, “When I was a wee girl the Lord spoke to my heart and I surrendered to Him. Breaking their former pledge could mean that the widows on the list made a vow to remain single to focus on serving the Lord and that young widows would be tempted to break their vow to God. 208–209). When Jesus was brought to the temple as a baby, she prophesied over him. For some have already wandered away to follow Satan. If a believing woman has widows in her family, let her help them. (Isaiah 1:17) Learn to do good; Seek justice, Reprove the ruthless, Defend the orphan, Plead for the widow. But since there is so much immorality, each man should have his own wife, and each woman her own husband. This is important to hear in an age where marriage keeps getting pushed further and further out for educational, vocational, and financial concerns. 9 MacArthur, J. F., Jr. (1995).