1 Timothy 5:3-8
3 Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need. 4 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. 5 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. 6 But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives. 7 Give the people these instructions, so that no one may be open to blame. 8 Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
The thing that strikes me about this passage is God’s care for us and in particular for those who are most vulnerable. He has placed us in families for a reason, to care, provide and support one another.
We are fortunate enough to live in a time and country where the government can provide (to some degree) for those who are without the ability to support themselves. But God’s heart is that the family is where that provision should come from, and Paul is pretty straight forward and even blunt here about the believers role in that provision. As believers we are to be different to unbelievers in our behaviour at all stages of life, though this certainly can be an incredible challenge and almost an impossibility with the complexities and disfunction that can exist in families, it is nevertheless God’s heart for us and he is asking for our response.
Father, thank you for family. Help me to always be mindful of the needs within my extended family and give me the wisdom, grace and ability to give support where needed.
Written by Suzie Hodgson