Bible Reading: 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” [1 Timothy 5:8 New Living Translation]
In the context in which it is set this verse applies to the caring of elderly relatives and especially widows. However, in my own life God used this verse to speak very strongly into my heart, not in the context of elderly relatives, but my own wife and family. Commenting on this verse, Jack Hayford says, “A person who does not provide for his own family not only fails to live up to the principles of the faith that he professes, but fails to live up to the code of unbelievers concerning filial obligations” [The Spirit-Filled Life Bible]. These are strong words, “denied the faith” and “worse than unbelievers!”
Many years ago I paid up all our bills and was due to fly to Singapore and Indonesia the following day. After paying all the bills, I had just ?102 pounds left, and told my wife that I would need money as I was travelling. In order to be “fair” I would only take ?70 and leave ?32 for her!
Paul’s word to Timothy about caring for your own household was part of my Bible reading that evening, and it brought me under deep conviction that I was doing wrong. The next morning I gave my wife ?100 and left home with ?2 in my pocket.
That trip was one of the most amazing times of my life. God provided a beautiful car for me in Singapore, and each time I received money I was able to bless others. It was in Singapore that I was able to pay for someone’s return airfare to be with her family in the UK. In Indonesia the Lord provided money to pay the shortfall on someone else’s annual house rent. In one of the meetings I was given a large gift. When I prayed about this the Lord told me that it was for my family. I had been on the road ministering for several years and away from home for nine months of each year. That gift paid for all our bills and the opportunity to rest and be together as a family for three months. When I arrived home I still had two one pound coins in my pocket. It all began with providing for my own family’s need.
When you do not take care of your family you forfeit God’s promise to provide, but when you do take care of your family, God will not only provide for them but also abundantly provide for you others through you.
Why is it that a Christian who does not provide for his or her own family has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever?