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Paul’s first letter to Timothy (Part 2): 1 Timothy 4–6

Paul saw the church as an extended family, and he believed the church should take the responsibility of caring when there was no one else:

1 Timothy 5:3-4 Take care of any widow who has no one else to care for her. 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.

But what of families who refuse to look after their relatives?

1 Timothy 5:8 But those who won’t care for their relatives, especially those in their own household, have denied the true faith. Such people are worse than unbelievers.

The responsbility fell across the entire extended family, not just the immediate family:

1 Timothy 5:16 If a woman who is a believer has relatives who are widows, she must take care of them and not put the responsibility on the church. Then the church can care for the widows who are truly alone.