“She who is truly a widow, left all alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day,” 1 Timothy 5:5 -> me: The last couple of days I have been pressing into chapter 5 here of 1 Timothy. I usually try to read through a chapter before I dive into deep study. When I do dive in, God always surprises me with a new understanding of His character, will, purposes, and plan. Well, today was no different. These first several verses focus on respecting those around us; older people, people our same age, and widows (real widows – let’s get to that in a moment). Paul knew that Timothy might need to correct an older believer in their doctrine or theology so he tells Timothy to do such rebuke with respect and treat him no different than he would his own father. Likewise, to treat people his own age like he would his own brothers and sisters; older women as he would treat his mother. Then Paul gets to widows where he spends 13 verses talking about them. The first three define what it means to be a ‘real’ widow, a widow who has no family or relatives to take care of her. A woman who has lost everything and solely relies on God day and night to answer her prayers as she beseeches Him. The Lord provides for her through the church and takes the place of her husband for support. It is pleasing to God that we take care of our parents. When we take care of our parents we are paying them back for our upbringing and the sacrifices they made for us. What’s important is that Paul doesn’t provide a different instruction for children who may feel they have nothing good to pay back; we are to take care of our aging or widowed parents regardless…even if the only reason we do it is please God. In my case, I have much to pay back; my parents not only made many a sacrifice for my brother and I; they also raised us with all of the knowledge we needed to become godly men. Thank you mom and dad, for the example you have set and who you have been for me all these years.