1 Timothy 5:4

4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.

1 Timothy 5:4 in Other Translations

KJV
4 But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.
ESV
4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.
NLT
4 But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.
MSG
4 If a widow has family members to take care of her, let them learn that religion begins at their own doorstep and that they should pay back with gratitude some of what they have received. This pleases God immensely.
CSB
4 But if any widow has children or grandchildren, they should learn to practice their religion toward their own family first and to repay their parents, for this pleases God.

1 Timothy 5:4 Meaning and Commentary

1 Timothy 5:4

But if any widow have children or nephews
Such are not widows indeed; they are not desolate, or alone, or without persons to take care of them; their children or nephews should, and not suffer the church to be burdened with them. Wherefore it follows, let them learn first to show piety at home;
which some understand of the widows, who, instead of casting themselves upon the church for a maintenance, or taking upon them the office of a deaconess, to take care of others, should continue in their own families, and bring up their children and nephews in like manner as they have been brought up by their parents, which will be more pleasing and acceptable unto God; but it is better to interpret it of their children; and so the Ethiopic version expresses it, "let the children first learn to do well to their own house", or family. It is the duty of children to take care of their parents in old age, and provide for them, when they cannot for themselves: this is a lesson they ought to learn in the first place, and a duty which they ought principally to observe; they should not suffer them to come to a church for relief, but first take care of them themselves, as long as they are in any capacity to do it; and these should be their first care before any others; so to do is an act of piety, a religious action, a pious one; it is doing according to the will and law of God, and is well pleasing to him: and to requite their parents;
for all the sorrow, pain, trouble, care, and expenses they have been at in bearing and bringing them forth into the world, in taking care of them in their infancy, in bringing them up, giving them an education, providing food and raiment for them, and settling them in the world; wherefore to neglect them in old age, when incapable of providing for themselves, would be base ingratitude; whereas to take care of them is but a requital of them, or a repaying them for former benefits had of them: for that is good and acceptable before God;
it is good in itself, and grateful, and well pleasing in his sight; it is part of the good, and perfect, and acceptable will of God; and which, as other actions done in faith, is acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

1 Timothy 5:4 In-Context

2 older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity.
3 Give proper recognition to those widows who are really in need.
4 But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.
5 The widow who is really in need and left all alone puts her hope in God and continues night and day to pray and to ask God for help.
6 But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.

Cross References 2

  • 1. ver 8; Ephesians 6:1,2
  • 2. Romans 12:2; Ephesians 5:10; 1 Timothy 2:3