Now, before everyone without kids skips this blog, hear me out for a couple of minutes.
With the rise of feminism and culture navigating away from believing in a male’s responsibility to provide for the household, we have seen progressive societal decline. 99.8% of every human has at least one family member alive. That could mean a grandparent, parent, sibling, cousin, aunt, or uncle. The gradual decline of healthy and responsible family relations has become one of the leading sources of hurt, grief, stress, and even despair. The Apostle Paul writes an interesting yet significant sentence to a young Timothy who is leading a church in Ephesus.
“Anyone who does not provide for their relatives, and especially for their own household, has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8
It is interesting that among church etiquette, leadership standards, warnings of false teachers, and more, the Apostle Paul gives attention to a cultural dynamic we think is 21st century specific.
But the responsibility of familial care, and cultural allowances to disregard such responsibility could assumingly be what Timothy was encountering in his congregation. This atiquitated view of a male’s responsibility to provide for his family is not a knock on a woman's ability - while much has been balanced since the early church. Lydia of the New Testament was a Gentile seller of purple, the woman of Proverbs “considered a field and bought it.” But ultimately through the significance of the account of creation, a man’s responsibility to provide and care for the family is no light matter.
The household of God, the Church, should exemplify the care and support of family members by helping families care for their families.
The Apostle Paul later qualifies ‘true widows’ as recipients of congregational support, but only after he directs sons, brothers, and extended family to care for widows in their time of need. Does this only apply to widows? I would emphatically answer, “no”. Paul gives concrete examples of what Christian life looks like in the house of God, for both men and women. Ladies, we do not get a pass at reading this scripture and leaving it up for the men. Whether male or female, when we embrace the love of our Father, we subscribe to the loving culture God desires in His house.
Father, we come before you today in the name of your son Jesus and give you thanks for all you have done in our lives. We thank you Lord for every familial relationship whether by blood or by spirit. We ask that you would lead us by your Holy Spirit to love and to care for those that we have a relationship with. Help us to see those who are hurting, broken, or in despair and embolden us to move on your behalf. May our love and our words be warm. Lord, give men the strength and wisdom to lead and care for their families. Help women to support and empower their relationships. And help children to honor their fathers and mothers out of love and respect for You Lord. Help us all to love and care for our brothers and sisters. May our hearts reflect yours. In Jesus name, Amen.
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