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Advice about Widows, Elders, and Slaves

Never speak harshly to an older man,[a] but appeal to him respectfully as you would to your own father. Talk to younger men as you would to your own brothers. Treat older women as you would your mother, and treat younger women with all purity as you would your own sisters.

Take care of[b] any widow who has no one else to care for her. But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.

Now a true widow, a woman who is truly alone in this world, has placed her hope in God. She prays night and day, asking God for his help. But the widow who lives only for pleasure is spiritually dead even while she lives. Give these instructions to the church so that no one will be open to criticism.

But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.

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Footnotes

  1. 5:1 Or an elder.
  2. 5:3 Or Honor.

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