Let’s continue our study of I Timothy 3:12-16 as we get ready for our trip to New Jersey, September 28 to October 7. For Sunday School on October 6 we will be looking at the 2nd half of I Timothy 3. Let’s look at our passage one more time —
Paul returns to the topic of deacons for a few moments and adds one more major qualification followed by a strong commendation. The qualification is familial — he must be faithful to his wife and manage his children and his household well.
“Manage” his children?! In our culture the very idea of proactive, directive, authoritarian parenting is, in some places, ridiculed! Some today even suggest that we shouldn’t tell our children what gender they are, but leave it up to them to engage in self-discovery!
There is a world of difference between a father being a godly, committed manager of his family and a dictatorial despot who abuses his wife and kids. And deacons need to model biblical fatherhood before a confused and crazy world.
Paul also gives a promise of a great commendation. Those who serve well as deacons receive two benefits: (1) They gain an excellent standing (before God), and (2) they gain great assurance in their faith (v. 13). The faithful deacon, one might say, receives God’s external approval and an internal assurance in their service.
I certainly want an “excellent standing” and a “great assurance” before the Lord, don’t you? Pray for the deacons in your church that they would long for the same. (to be continued)