But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.17
Give the people these instructions,2 too, so that no one may be open to blame.
If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied3 the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband,a10
and is well known for her good deeds,4 such as bringing up children, showing hospitality,5 washing the feet6 of the saints, helping those in trouble7 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 gossips8 and busybodies,9 saying things they ought not to.
So I counsel younger widows to marry,10 to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.1115
Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.1216
If any woman who is a believer has widows in her family, she should help them and not let the church be burdened with them, so that the church can help those widows who are really in need.13