Saturday, 16 December 2017
Let deacons be the husbands of one wife, ruling their children and their own houses well. 1 Timothy 3:12
This is almost a mirror of the requirements for an overseer. Deacons are to “be the husbands of one wife.” As before, this is not speaking of having been married and then remarried, such as in the death of the wife. It is speaking of polygamy. No polygamist was to be considered for such a position. The implication is that polygamy was something Paul does not forbid other than for leaders. And he could not. As the Apostle to the Gentiles, his words were carried to cultures which allowed this practice. Since then, they have been carried throughout the world to various cultures, some of which practiced polygamy.
There is no instruction forbidding this practice anywhere in Scripture, except for these church leadership positions. Polygamy was acceptable in Jewish religion and culture. He could not forbid what his own culture allowed. Rather, this prohibition is given to church leaders – no polygamy was allowed for deacons to be accepted. Any cult which allows church leaders to have more than one wife is not in accord with Scripture, and it is to be rejected.
Next Paul notes that all deacons are to rule “their children and their homes well.” This is a close repeat of what is instructed for an overseer as well. To understand all this means, refer to the commentaries on verses 4 & 5.
Life application: Being a deacon carries specific requirements. These are mandated for the selection process, and they are to be maintained during all the time a person performs the duties of a deacon. Due to the stress of the job, it would be good for the church to lift these men up in prayer, and also to be willing to give them the much needed support and encouragement the job requires.
How good it is to be in Your presence Lord. When we we rise, You are there. When we face a troubled moment, You are there. In the times when all is rosy and enjoyable, we know that You are there as well. Through good times and bad times, it is so wonderful to know that You are with us. Your presence is wonderful, and our fellowship is sweet. Thank You, O God, for being with us at all times. Amen!