If any believing man or woman has widows, let them relieve them, and do not let the church be burdened, that it may relieve those who are really widows. (1 Timothy 5:16, NKJV)
Family is the first line of provision and protection for the elderly. Just as God gave the family structure to take care of children, family also has the responsibility to care for their older members. Jesus severely rebuked the Pharisees for not taking care of their parents by falsely claiming their duty was complete when they had devoted their goods to God (Mk. 9:7-13). Today’s verse makes a difference between who the local church is charged to relieve, and those for whom the family has primary charge. The church is not to be charged with the ongoing care of widows (and widowers) who have Christian children. They bear the first responsibility. The church has its own charge; those widows who do not have children to care for them. God’s plan works, when we honor God, and our parents who need our care.
“For whoever does the will of God is My brother and My sister and mother.” (Mark 3:35, NKJV)
With these words, Jesus ranked the spiritual relationship one has with God in His family as more profound and fundamental than one’s relationship with family in the flesh. Doing the will of God brings us into familial relation with Jesus, but to disobey the will of God forfeits our right to claim a relationship with Jesus. With similar emphasis, Jesus said in another place, “He who loves father or mother more than Me is not worthy of Me. And he who loves son or daughter more than Me is not worthy of Me” (Matt. 10:37). Our first priority, then, must always be Christ and doing the will of God. While we love our families in the flesh, our Heavenly Father’s will takes precedence. Let us shape and mold ourselves after His will first, and then we will be better equipped to put all of our earthly relations in their proper places.
The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands. (Proverbs 14:1, NKJV)
A woman has tremendous influence over her family. Instead of pitting one gender against another (like many do today), God created woman as His crowning achievement to complete what was lacking in man (Gen. 2:18-23). The wise woman knows this, and sets her heart upon being the strength that builds up her husband and children. She chooses words that comfort and soothe, that instruct and support the family in the way of righteousness. She is careful not to tear down her family with harsh words and critical comparisons. She holds godly values and goals which are informed and framed by the word of God, not the standards of this age. “She watches over the ways of her household” and “fears the Lord” (Prov. 31:27, 30). Ladies, please understand that you hold great power over the success or failure of your house. Bring to your home the faith and grace that allows love to flourish, not the strife and turmoil of sin that will surely pull it apart. Beautify yourself “with the incorruptible beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is very precious in the sight of God,” building up your house with the strength of holiness (1 Pet. 3:4).
I will behave wisely in a perfect way. Oh, when will You come to me? I will walk within my house with a perfect heart. (Psalm 101:2, NKJV)
King David was not sinless; far from it. Still, he committed his heart to God and when he sinned it tormented his soul (Psa. 32:3-5). His goal was to conduct himself in his house with a perfect (blameless) heart. That’s good counsel for every husband, wife, father, mother and child. Our conduct in our families exposes our heart to those we hold dearest in life. When we hold God most dear in our heart it will show in how we treat our family members. By conducting ourselves in our homes with blameless hearts we set our hope on God’s presence and mercy. Choose the blameless way of wisdom. Walk in your house with your heart wholly given to the Lord God.