If anyone does not provide for his relatives, and especially for his immediate family, he has denied1 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,2 such as bringing up children, showing hospitality,3 washing the feet4 of the saints, helping those in trouble5 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 gossips6 and busybodies,7 saying things they ought not to.
So I counsel younger widows to marry,8 to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.915
Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.1016
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.1117
The elders12 who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor,13 especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,"b14 and "The worker deserves his wages."c15