Widows, summary for care of from 1 Timothy 5.3-16

Tod Kennedy, September 2014


  1. Timothy, and then those he teaches and leads, is to honor those who are widows indeed (1 Timothy 5.3).
    • Χήρας (cheras widows, accusative plural feminine, direct object) τίμα (the verb tima means to honor, present active imperative, second singular) τὰς ὄντως  (ontos, truly, actually) χήρας (accusative feminine plural, predicate accusative to  widows).
  2. The first responsibility to provide aid belongs to the family—her children and grandchildren honor her (1 Timothy 5.4).
  3. Paul instructs any other believing woman, probably a family member but maybe only a friend, to step in and aid the widow or widows. This also may include the aid to younger widows (in the context) who need help before they marry. This will also free up the church for other ministries (1 Timothy 5.16).
  4. If the family is unable or unwilling to help the widow, then the church helps her (1 Timothy 5.9).
  5. The church (possibly enrolls) and helps the widow who
    • Is alone (1 Timothy 5.5)
    • Has a strong spiritual life (1 Timothy 5.5)
    • In needy circumstances (1 Timothy 5.8)
    • At least 60 years old for the church to enlist her (1 Timothy 5.9)
    • History of correct marriage—that is a good wife, faithful to her husband, and if divorced or divorced and remarried she followed biblical standards  (1 Timothy 5.9)
    • History of Christian service (1 Timothy 5.10)
  6. Widows under 60 years of age should not be put on the church care list.
    • They may want to marry more than serve Christ (1 Timothy 5.11).
    • They have a greater tendency to be lazy, to be gossipy, to be meddlesome, to talk about things they should not, to follow Satan’s values, and to give reason for criticism of believers (1 Timothy 5.13).
    • The younger women should marry, raise a family, to manage the household, and not discredit the church (1 Timothy 5.14).
  7. There are many ways by which we may help widows.
    • Financial support
    • Help with shopping, cooking, cleaning, transportation
    • Bible reading and study, pray with them and for them
    • Include them in church ministries
    • Find areas of ministry that a spiritually strong widow may be of special help.