1 Timothy 5:1-5
1 Tim 5:1 (KJB)
Rebuke not an elder, but entreat him as a father; and the younger men as brethren;
Rebuke - To strike or beat, rebuke sharply
Entreat - Exhort
In this section Paul now deals with relationships. In the first instance it is speaking about dealing with an older man and not a church leader. If there comes a time when an older man needs to be corrected, he is not to be rebuked in such a manner that it is akin to a physical beating. He is to be exhorted or treated as if he was Timothy’s father. Those who are older in age may sometimes need to be corrected because as long as we are all in these bodies, we will make mistakes and sin, or may hold a wrong teaching. So we approach them with gentleness and not with an arrogant or nasty attitude. When the younger men need correction, they are also to be approached as though they were a physical brother. We would approach them with the mindset to help them and not to embarrass or offend them. (Prov 18:19 KJV) A brother offended is harder to be won than a strong city: and their contentions are like the bars of a castle. If they are Christians, then they indeed are brethren in a more intimate way than just according to the flesh in a family.
1 Tim 5:2 (KJB)
The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity.
Likewise Timothy was to treat the older women as if they were his mother, bringing correction in a more gentle manner. Older women will sometimes need correction just as much as others and to help them back on the right track of understanding, they need to be approached tenderly but firmly. Then Paul gives Timothy instruction concerning the younger women that they too must be approached with sensitivity plus there must be a pure mindset concerning them. They may be young and attractive and Timothy may give in to them but Timothy is to have a relationship with these younger women which is beyond any accusation. Today if pastors are to counsel young women, their wives or the church secretary should be called to sit in the session to witness that there was no wrongdoing going on and this way both the pastor and the woman will keep their testimonies intact.
1 Tim 5:3 (KJB)
Honour widows that are widows indeed.
Honour - Value, regard, or respect
Indeed - Certainly or really
Paul now begins a section on dealing with widows. In this verse he is stating that those who are true widows are to be valued. Now a true widow was someone who lost their husband to death but has no children or living relatives to take care of her. She was a true widow because she was absolutely alone in the realm of physical family. She was not to be looked at as an outcast but a valuable member of the church family. Probably one of the most famous widows in the Bible is Anna. (Luke 2:36-37 KJV) And there was one Anna, a prophetess, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Aser: she was of a great age, and had lived with an husband seven years from her virginity; {37} And she was a widow of about fourscore and four years, which departed not from the temple, but served God with fastings and prayers night and day. As a widow for many years, she did not become cumbersome to anybody but she chose to work in the Temple. She dedicated her entire life to God which means that widows do have much to give and should not be rejected.
1 Tim 5:4 (KJB)
But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to show piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.
Nephews - Grandchildren or descendants
Requite - Repayment, to give in return
Show piety - Respect or revere
Those who have children or grandchildren or any type of physical descendants are not widows indeed because they do have a means of support, which would be the family. In the case where the father has died, the children are to show respect at home for the widow and not to treat her as an outcast. In the day this letter was penned, widows were treated as outcasts in society. Here it is teaching that if the widow has children or even grandchildren, then they are to take that widow into their home and provide for her. Since the parents had spent much time and effort in raising the child, they are now to repay that parent in their time of need by caring for her. Jesus gave the prime example of Mary. When He was on the cross, he entrusted Mary to John, because she was a widow. Jesus had other half brothers and sisters but by this act, it seemed they had abandoned Jesus and Mary in fear of the Roman authorities, so Jesus made sure that Mary was cared for. God sees this as being very acceptable for the children to help their parents in old age or even younger if the need arises. The reason they must first show piety at home is to show they have a stable and godly environment already existing in their homes which is conducive to family life.
1 Tim 5:5 (KJB)
Now she that is a widow indeed, and desolate, trusteth in God, and continueth in supplications and prayers night and day.
Desolate - Left alone or deserted
Trusteth - Has hope
Continueth - Persistent
Here Paul states that the woman who is truly a widow and is left alone, having no physical family to depend upon is one who turns to the family of God for help. She trusts or has hope in God that He will take care of her. In response to her needs, she will be persistent in her prayers and in her requests to God for whatever her needs are. She will not look to herself as the source of provision but knows that God is the true source of meeting all her needs. She also knows that God will not forsake her and that the body of Christ will help her in her struggles.