No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds,such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.
As for younger widows, do not put them on such a list. For when their sensual desires overcome their dedication to Christ, they want to marry. Thus they bring judgment on themselves, because they have broken their first pledge. Besides, they get into the habit of being idle and going about from house to house. And not only do they become idlers, but also busybodies who talk nonsense, saying things they ought not to. So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander. Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan. 1 Timothy 5:9-15
I see how you wanted the early church to help widows. You wanted them to make sure they helped widows live with integrity, faith and love and not selfishness and manipulation. You wanted them to be helped physically and spiritually at the same time. Help me take the theme of what you are saying and apply it to how I show generosity to the less fortunate. Help me meet the needs of their hearts as much as their bodies. Help me point them to you for all their needs to be met and to confront their weakness just as honestly as I confront those of the more fortunate. Help me also to seek help in the proper way when I find myself in need. You already promise to be my God and Savior. That's enough to make me feel privileged in all circumstances.
Pastor Don Patterson
People need us to love their whole person enough to show discernment when we help them.