Saturday, 13 January 2018
…older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity. 1 Timothy 5:2
Paul now continues with his directives for Timothy concerning interpersonal relationships within the church framework. He next says that they are to exhort “older women as mothers.” Like the “older man” of the previous verse, Timothy is instructed to show the same respect and care for the older women. No normal, respectful person would purposefully denigrate their own mother, and the same respect is to be extended to all older women. This is especially true if they have a lifetime of service and knowledge as Christians. That surely is to be given praise and commendation.
As a note, the word for “older women,” in Greek indicates only distinction in age. Some have tried to connect it to an official position which is referred to. This has no further Scriptural support, and must be read into the word, but this is done in order to justify the ordaining of women into leadership positions of the church. It is an unjustifiable, and improper twisting of intent.
Next Paul instructs that he is to treat “younger women as sisters, with all purity.” Unless one is a depraved person, he would never treat a sister as anything but a unique and special person, to be guarded, defended, and cared for. And in caring for her, he would do so “with all purity.” Paul is exhorting Timothy, and thus all pastors henceforward, that this is how women in the church are to be treated. If one were to get too close emotionally to a younger woman, the inevitable end is that inappropriate conduct will result. This should never be the case. Paul’s words are proper, and they are to be taken as authoritative in the church at all times.
Life application: Relationships between men and women in the church, and especially such relationships which involve church leadership, must be very carefully handled, and they should be done so publically so that there is no hint of impropriety. It may be that things start out innocently, but how easy it is for that to change. And how much damage has been done because this precept has not been carefully adhered to.
Dear and precious Lord, how easy it is for us to fail in our personal relationships because we allow ourselves to get a little too close to someone we have no right to be with. And nobody ever comes out of such things unscathed. Divorces, broken homes, devastated children… the list goes on in many sad ways. Help us to be discerning. Help us to use godly wisdom. Help us to be faithful followers of You, and to act in purity and holiness. To Your glory we pray. Amen.