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Godly Lifestyle Choice

1 Timothy 5:16
If any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, she should help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need. (NIV)

The pressure on the Ephesian church to meet the needs of the elderly who had no family support was enormous. So, able bodied relatives needed to shoulder their share of the burden.
It was not that the church was shirking its responsibility, but it was best for close relatives to meet the needs of their own family rather than assume that they would be cared for in a shared care arrangement. In that way, the most personal attention could be given and the other church resources could be released to meet other needs. As churches grow there needs to be clarity of ministry strategy.
This verse has been a powerful encouragement to many women (married and single) to devote time and care in looking after older relatives. It is a simple instruction which has motivated, empowered and sustained millions of godly ladies, and some men, in self-sacrificial hard work. They may have given up paid work to meet the demands of their extended family, or chosen to care for others before and after work. Often the wives of ministers take much of the load of child-rearing and elderly care. But whatever your personal circumstances, providing for your family should remain a high priority: it pleases God and builds the church.

Dear Lord God. Thank You for my family and for those who have loved and cared for me. I am sorry when I have ignored the needs of others, thinking that my own ambitions were more important. Please enable me to see how You want me to serve within Your strategy for my family, as well as serving the wider church. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
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© Dr Paul Adams