1 Timothy 5:1-16

Talks for Growing Christians

Instructions for the Care of Widows in the Church

1 Timothy 5:1-16

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Lesson Number 11

Background Notes

Doctrinal Point(s)

  1. Some widows should be supported by the church.
  2. Some widows should not be supported by the church.

Practical Application

  1. Remember, we are family.


  1. Read Acts 6:1-6. How did the church handle this problem with widows?
  2. Is this still a problem today?
  3. What is a “widow indeed”?
  4. List the three categories of widows that are not to be supported by the church.
  5. Why should younger widows not be supported by the church?
  6. Should the family be responsible for widows?


  1. The first deacons were appointed specifically to care for the widows of Jerusalem. 1 Timothy gives guidelines on how to care for them.
  2. Yes. Churches still have a responsibility to care for widows. The should follow the same guidelines today.
  3. One who has no means of support.
  4. Categories of Widows a. widows who have another means of support b. widows who are not characterized by a godly life style c. younger widows
  5. They may want to remarry, which was encouraged. If they remained unmarried there was a greater chance of idleness and gossip. In order to avoid these potential problems, it was best then and now to “wait and see” how these young widows would commit themselves to church service.
  6. Yes. If, for example, grown children do not take care of their aging parents, they not only sin, but are worse than unbelievers. In fact, 1 Timothy 5:8,16 indicates that the responsibility should continue into the extended family.


  1. Is your church supporting“widows indeed”? Has the criteria been met– that they are living godly lives and are looking to God to meet their needs? Are they praying for fellow believers night and day? How are they being supported in your church? And is the support more than just financial?
  2. Review the categories of widows that should not be supported by the church. Do you have some who fit into these categories? How is the church responsibile to minister to them?


  1. Review 1 Timothy 5:1-2. Is your church following these exhortations? As you deal personally with individuals, follow these guidelines.

Key Verses

  • “ Do not rebuke and older man, but exhort him as a father, younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, younger women as sisters, with all purity. ” - 1 Timothy 5:1-2 “ Honor widows who are really widows. ” - 1 Timothy 5:3 “ If anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever. ” - 1 Timothy 5:8

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