12. Rendering Respect in Our Relationships
1 Timothy 5:3-8
In Irving L. Jensen’s 1&2 Timothy and Titus, A Self-study Guide, Jensen begins his study of 1 Timothy chapter 5 with the following comments, “ One of the values of Scripture is that it has an answer to every human problem, of whatever kind, era, dimension or significance. It is true that not all church problems of A.D. 62 are the identical problems of the church two thousand years later. But even in such instances timeless principles can be derived from the Bible account and applied to any succeeding generation.”
Day One Study
1. Read 1 Timothy 5:1-2. Here we find more instruction to Timothy (and us). This time the topic is how to deal with those around us (of all ages) when the need for correction arises. How is Timothy told to respond to the following?
· An older man—
· Younger men—
· Older women—
· Younger women—
2. How do these instructions differ from one another, and why do you think they are different?
3. Adorning Yourself: Think of the different people that you interact with (or have interacted with in the past) from each of these age groups, then write down one or two of the things you most appreciate about people in each of these stages of life. Share some of these with your group.
The next passage takes on a subject that is given more verses than any other topic thus far in the letter. To get the whole context of Paul’s instruction on widows, read 1 Timothy 5:3-16. We will deal with only vs. 1-8 in this lesson and study the rest in the next lesson.
4. Referring to verses 1 Timothy 5:3-4, what does Paul say about a widow who has children or grandchildren?
5. Do you think our present culture agrees with this reasoning? Why or why not?
6. Adorning Yourself: Have you personally ever had to deal with this issue in your own family? If not, have you given this area of responsibility much thought before? Explain.
7. Compare the widow described in 1 Timothy 5:5 with the widow described in 5:6.
8. In verse 5, when Paul talks about the widow who “puts her hope in God”, what does that mean? How do you put your hope in God?
Day Two Study
9. God’s special concern for widows has been apparent throughout Scripture. Look up the following verses to get a bit of a picture of this: Exodus 22:22-24, Deuteronomy 10:18; 24:19-21, Zechariah 7:10, Luke 7:11-15, and James 1:27. What do these verses tell us about God’s view of widows and their needs?
10. According to 1 Timothy 5:7, what is the reason Paul gives for following these guidelines for caring for widows?
11. What does Paul say about a Christian who “does not provide for his own”?
12. In what sense might a believer be considered “worse than an unbeliever?” Also read Matthew 5:46-47 to help you answer this.
13. Why do you think doing “good deeds” or “good works” appears to be held in high regard by Paul (verse 10)? See also 1 Timothy 6:18-19 and Titus 2:11-14.
14. Adorning Yourself: What good deeds do you especially appreciate being done for you? What good deeds do you find yourself most often doing, especially those which might benefit the people in your church?
15. Are there any new areas that you might like to give your time to serving or helping sometime? Read Galatians 6:9-10.
16. Adorning Yourself: Today’s believer has many worthwhile activities in which to get involved, yet doing them all can take away from “providing for your family” (1 Timothy 5:8). How do you discern between those activities in which you will participate and the ones to which you say “no” or “later?”