¶ DO not rebuke an elder, but treat him as a father, and the younger men as your brothers;
And the elder women treat as mothers, and the younger as your sisters, with all purity.
Honor widows who are widows indeed.
And if any of the widows have children or grandchildren, let them know that aid should be first sought from those of their own household so that the children have the opportunity to repay their obligations to their parents;
for this is acceptable before God.
Now she who is indeed a widow and destitute trusts in God and is constant in prayers and supplications both night and day.
But she who lives wholly for pleasure is dead while she lives.
Continually charge them with these things, so that they may be blameless.
But, if any man does not provide for his own, and especially for those who are of his own household who are of the faith, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
When you select a worthy widow to help, select therefore one who is not less than three score years, who has been the wife of one man only,
And is well spoken of for good works, if she has brought up children, if she has lodged strangers, if she has washed the feet of the saints, if she has comforted the distressed, if she has been diligent in every good work.
But refuse the younger widows;
for when they have begun to wax wanton against Christ, they will marry.
Their judgment awaits them because they have been untrue to their first faith.
And with it all, they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house;
and not only to be idle, but tattlers also and busybodies, speaking things which they ought not.
I would, therefore, that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage their own households, and give no occasion to the adversary for disdain.
For, as conditions are now, some have already strayed after Satan.
If any believers, either man or woman, have widows in their families, let them feed them, and do not let them be a burden on the congregation, so that the church may have enough for those who are widows indeed.
¶ Let the elders who minister well be esteemed worthy of double honor, especially those who labor in the word and doctrine.
For the scripture says, You shall not muzzle the ox that threshes.
And again, The laborer is worthy of his hire.
Do not accept an accusation against an elder unless it is supported by the testimony of two or three witnesses.
Those who sin, rebuke in the presence of all men, that others also may fear.
I adjure you before God and our Lord Jesus Christ and his elect angels that you observe these things without prejudice, doing nothing by partiality.
Do not lay hands hastily on any man, neither be a partaker of other men’s sins;
keep yourself pure.
Do not drink water in excess, but use a little wine for your stomach’s sake and because of your frequent illnesses.
There are men whose crimes are well known and the notoriety of them precedes them to the house of judgment, and there are others, the notoriety of whose crimes follows after them;
Likewise also the fame of the good works of some is well known beforehand;
and if their acts are otherwise, they cannot be hidden either.