Saturday, 9 December 2017
(for if a man does not know how to rule his own house, how will he take care of the church of God?); 1 Timothy 3:5
Paul asks an obvious question. How could a church, of whatever number of people, and who are outside of the regular workings of a man’s household, be guided by that person if he can’t even run the operations of his own household? It is true that a man could have a very large household, including a wife, many children, and others who – by law – are considered as a part of that house. That household could be even larger than the church he has been selected to oversee.
However, regardless of its size, he is the one in charge. If that house is dysfunctional, and all in it are under him and aware of his character and traits, it would be unimaginable that he could be a proper steward of a church setting of people wholly unfamiliar with his character, idiosyncrasies, etc. Only dysfunction could be expected. This is especially true because people come and go in towns and cities, and between churches within those local areas, all the time. The constant change of a church is expected to be quite unlike the greater stability of a regular household, and so the demands are much higher.
And so the words, “…for if a man does not know how to rule his own house,” are to be a set standard of consideration for the leader of any congregation, regardless of its size. The reason is because it then begs the question, “How will he take care of the church of God?” The phrase, “will he take care of” is from a single compound word in the Greek. It means “to care for (physically or otherwise)” (HELPS Word Studies).
The responsibility of the pastor is the full care of those under him. If he is unable to tend to his own household in this way, then it is certain that he will be ineffective in doing so for those under his care, but not of his own household.
Life application: In modern churches, one person in charge may have a large staff under him. Therefore, they may take care of personal issues that the main pastor is unable to address. But this should not be the case. If the pastor cannot fill each pastoral role in the church, because he can’t do it in his own house, then he is not to be placed in such a position of authority. Full adherence to the word first, then the position can be filled.
Gracious heavenly Father, You have a household which is run perfectly from Your end, even if we are individually disobedient from our end at times. May our churches emulate Your example, and may they be first and foremost obedient to Your word which reflects Your will for us. Only then will we have the proper example for right conduct of each member in the church. Help us in this, O Lord. Amen.