Instructions for the Church

(A)Do not rebuke an older man but encourage him as you would a father, (B)younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, in all purity.

Honor widows (C)who are truly widows. But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn (D)to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for (E)this is pleasing in the sight of God. She (F)who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and (G)continues in supplications and prayers night and day, but (H)she who is self-indulgent is (I)dead even while she lives. (J)Command these things as well, so that they may be without reproach. But if anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for (K)members of his household, he has (L)denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.

Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been (M)the wife of one husband,[a] 10 and having a reputation for good works: if she has brought up children, has (N)shown hospitality, (O)has washed the feet of the saints, has (P)cared for the afflicted, and has (Q)devoted herself to every good work. 11 But refuse to enroll younger widows, for when (R)their passions draw them away from Christ, they desire to marry 12 and so incur condemnation for having abandoned their former faith. 13 Besides that, they learn to be idlers, going about from house to house, and not only idlers, but also (S)gossips and (T)busybodies, saying what they should not. 14 So I would have (U)younger widows marry, bear children, (V)manage their households, and (W)give the adversary no occasion for slander. 15 (X)For some have already strayed after Satan. 16 If any believing woman has relatives who are widows, let her care for them. Let the church not be burdened, so that it may care for those (Y)who are truly widows.

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Footnotes

  1. 1 Timothy 5:9 Or a woman of one man

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