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1 Timothy 5 International Children’s Bible (ICB)

Rules for Living with Others

Do not speak angrily to an older man, but talk to him as if he were your father. Treat younger men like brothers. Treat older women like mothers, and younger women like sisters. Always treat them in a pure way.

Take care of widows who are all alone. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, the first thing they need to learn is to do their duty to their own family. When they do this, they will be repaying their parents or grandparents. That pleases God. If a widow is all alone and without help, then she puts her hope in God and prays night and day for God’s help. But the widow who uses her life to please herself is really dead while she is still living. Tell the believers there to do these things so that no one can say they are doing wrong. A believer should take care of his own relatives, especially his own family. If he does not do that, he has turned against the faith. He is worse than a person who does not believe in God.

To be on your list of widows, a woman must be 60 years old or older. She must have been faithful to her husband. 10 She must be known as a woman who has done good works. By this, I mean good works such as raising her children, accepting visitors in her home, washing the feet of God’s people, helping those in trouble, and using her life to do all kinds of good deeds.

11 But do not put younger widows on that list. After they give themselves to Christ, they are often pulled away from him by their physical desires. And then they want to marry again. 12 And they will be judged for not doing what they first promised to do. 13 Also, those younger widows begin to waste their time going from house to house. They begin to gossip and busy themselves with other people’s lives. They say things that they should not say. 14 So I want the younger widows to marry, have children, and take care of their homes. If they do this, then no enemy will have any reason to criticize them. 15 But some of the younger widows have already turned away to follow Satan.

16 If any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, then she should care for them herself. The church should not have to care for them. Then the church will be able to care for the widows who have no living family.

17 The elders who lead the church well should receive great honor. Those who work hard by speaking and teaching especially should receive great honor. 18 For the Scripture says, “When an ox is working in the grain, do not cover its mouth to keep it from eating.”[a] And the Scripture also says, “A worker should be given his pay.”[b]

19 Do not listen to someone who accuses an elder, unless there are two or three other persons who say he did wrong. 20 Tell those who keep on sinning that they are wrong. Do this in front of the whole church so that the others will have a warning.

21 Before God and Jesus Christ and the chosen angels, I command you to do these things. Be careful to do them without showing favor to anyone.

22 Think carefully before you lay your hands on[c] anyone for the Lord’s service. Do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.

23 Timothy, you stop drinking only water and drink a little wine. This will help your stomach, and you will not be sick so often.

24 The sins of some people are easy to see even before they are judged. But the sins of others are seen only later. 25 So also good deeds are easy to see. But even when they are not easy to see, they cannot stay hidden.


  1. 5:18 “When . . . eating.” Quotation from Deuteronomy 25:4.
  2. 5:18 “A worker . . . pay.” Quotation from Luke 10:7.
  3. 5:22 lay your hands on A sign of giving authority or power to another person.
International Children’s Bible (ICB)

The Holy Bible, International Children’s Bible® Copyright© 1986, 1988, 1999, 2015 by Tommy Nelson™, a division of Thomas Nelson. Used by permission.

1 Timothy 5 New International Version (NIV)

Widows, Elders and Slaves

Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.

Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God. The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help. But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame. Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, 10 and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

11 As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. 12 Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. 13 Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to. 14 So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. 15 Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.

16 If any woman who is a believer has widows in her care, she should continue to help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need.

17 The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching. 18 For Scripture says, “Do not muzzle an ox while it is treading out the grain,”[a] and “The worker deserves his wages.”[b] 19 Do not entertain an accusation against an elder unless it is brought by two or three witnesses. 20 But those elders who are sinning you are to reprove before everyone, so that the others may take warning. 21 I charge you, in the sight of God and Christ Jesus and the elect angels, to keep these instructions without partiality, and to do nothing out of favoritism.

22 Do not be hasty in the laying on of hands, and do not share in the sins of others. Keep yourself pure.

23 Stop drinking only water, and use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses.

24 The sins of some are obvious, reaching the place of judgment ahead of them; the sins of others trail behind them. 25 In the same way, good deeds are obvious, and even those that are not obvious cannot remain hidden forever.


  1. 1 Timothy 5:18 Deut. 25:4
  2. 1 Timothy 5:18 Luke 10:7
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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