Together in Christ: 'Spiritual Widows' — 1 Timothy 5:3, 9-10

Thursday, August 22, 2024

Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her.

. . .

A widow who is put on the list for support must be a woman who is at least sixty years old and was faithful to her husband. She must be well respected by everyone because of the good she has done. Has she brought up her children well? Has she been kind to strangers and served other believers humbly? Has she helped those who are in trouble? Has she always been ready to do good?

— 1 Timothy 5:3, 9-10 NLT

Key Thought

God made His desire for His people to care for widows very plainly known in the Torah. [1] The early church worked hard to honor the Father's wishes and the example of Jesus in caring for widows. [2] As Paul mentored Timothy, he emphasized the importance of lovingly providing care to widows in need. He stressed the importance of helping widows spiritually, physically, and financially. [3] Paul wasn't talking about lazy busy-body women who gossip. He provided Timothy with guidelines on what made a widow deserving and spiritual. He included instructions to their families that they must care for their widows. [3]

Unfortunately, many churches today assume that caring for widows is the responsibility of social welfare systems in their countries, so they do not have an official list of widows — something Paul commanded Timothy to establish. [4] Too often, the good that godly widows could do to bless their churches and their communities is left undone because we ignore the instructions of Paul to Timothy! [5]

So, to bless you beyond today's few verses on our relationship with widows in our churches, I invite you to read the book of Ruth [6] once again. This beautiful story of loyalty, faith, and God's plans to care for widows reminds us of their importance to God. They also remind us of the power and blessing that come to God's people when they care for widows as God would have them do! We must not take lightly the Scriptures we've read about caring for widows, the poor, and the foreigner. God has great blessings ahead for us if we will repent of our neglect and forgetfulness!

[1] Exodus 22:21-22; Deuteronomy 10:17-18, 24:17-21, 27:19.
[2] Acts 6:1-7; 1 Timothy 5:3-13; James 1:27.
[3] 1 Timothy 5:4, 8.
[4] 1 Timothy 5:9-10.
[5] 1 Timothy 5:3-13.
[6] Ruth 1:1-4:22.

Today's Prayer

Almighty God, thank You for the beautiful story of Ruth,[6] her faithfulness to Naomi, her mother-in-law, and Boaz's faithfulness to Your principles of caring for the poor and the widow. [1] We rejoice in Your loving and winsome plan to bring us the Messiah through the line of Ruth, a foreigner, and widow, who found her protection and redemption because Your people were faithful to Your desire to care for widows and the poor. We ask for Your help to move us toward faithfulness to widows in our faith communities. We pray this in Jesus' name and to share Jesus' love. Amen.

Related Scripture Readings

  • Acts 6:1-7, 16:1-3
  • 2 Timothy 1:5-7, 3:14-15

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Illustration

Illustration of 1 Timothy 5:3, 9-10 NLT — Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her.

. . .

A widow who is put on the list for support must be a woman who is at least sixty years old and was faithful to her husband. She must be well respected by everyone because of the good she has done. Has she brought up her children well? Has she been kind to strangers and served other believers humbly? Has she helped those who are in trouble? Has she always been ready to do good?

About This Devotional

Together in Christ is a daily devotional that focuses on what Scripture teaches about godly living in relationships.

'Together in Christ' is written by Phil Ware.

Scripture quotations are taken from the Holy Bible, New Living Translation, copyright ©1996, 2004, 2007, 2013, 2015 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers, Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.