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,1 such as bringing up children, showing hospitality,2 washing the feet3 of the saints, helping those in trouble4 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 gossips5 and busybodies,6 saying things they ought not to.
So I counsel younger widows to marry,7 to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander.815
Some have in fact already turned away to follow Satan.916
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.1017
The elders11 who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor,12 especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.
For the Scripture says, "Do not muzzle the ox while it is treading out the grain,"b13 and "The worker deserves his wages."c1419
Do not entertain an accusation against an elder15 unless it is brought by two or three witnesses.16