Godly Lifestyle Choice
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.
© Dr Paul Adams