In 1 Timothy 5:1-16 the Apostle Paul offers advise to Timothy (and those in the church that he leads) for honouring others – ‘Give honour to those widows who are really in need’ (5:3).
As he explains this advise, Paul is quite helpful in offering some suggestion in how to treat each widow differently given their particular situation – to the widow with children or grandchildren allow her family to care; to the godly widow who is alone offer her help; to the widow who has no interest in the things of God, exercise care if you help; to the faithful widow who is over sixty put her on the care list, but to the widow under sixty do not. All very specific!
The driving principle here is that the church of Jesus should be a help to those who are in most need (5:16) and if there are others like family members who should bear that responsibility, then allow them to do as such.
I take it that there are limited resources and that the wisdom here is to give priority to those who are most at risk- and at that time, it would have been the widow.
In this and the next post, I want to make two observations that may be helpful for our church family. Then in a third post a want to recommend a helpful book.