Let us read 1 Timothy 5:3-5, “Honour widows that are widows indeed.  But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.  Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.”

This passage gives us instruction on how we should treat widows.  A “widow indeed” is defined for us in verse 5.  This is a widow who is trusting in the Lord for every financial need and has a vibrant prayer life.  These women are to be honored.  If they have children or nephews, then these younger ones are to support the older ones financially.  This pleases the Lord very much.

Although the subject of this passage is widows, I think that we can apply verse 8 to all of us, “But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel.”  This is not talking about someone who has lost their job and is having difficulty meeting the financial needs of his or her family.  This verse is saying that as much as possible we should help to meet the needs of our relatives, and especially those in our immediate family.  If we use our resources for selfish ambitions while a family member needs help, then we are worse than an unbeliever.  It does not mean that we can lose our salvation, for that is impossible.  However, as Christians we dishonor the name of the Lord in a way that an unbeliever cannot when we ignore the needs of our relatives.  Unbelievers may put us to shame at how well they take care of their families.

Widows can also be helped by other believers in the church who are not relatives.  The requirements are listed in verses 9 and 10.  These verses say, “Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man.  Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints’ feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.”  Let us take this instruction to heart to help Godly widows and lovingly seek to meet the needs of our relatives.  Of course there are many others who we are instructed in the Scriptures to help, but widows and relatives are the subject of this passage.  (185.2)  (DJ)