December 01, 2005

Encouragement from Paul

A couple of days ago I read 1 Timothy 5-6 as part of my devotions. The Bible reading program Ted and I use goes through the Scriptures in one year, with the New Testament repeated. I remember back in May or June stumbling across a verse that was very encouraging and sort of forgot about it until I read it again this time.

It's funny how you can read something numerous times and it won't strike you until you are in a different life phase or circumstance. Such is the case with this verse, 1 Tim. 5:10. The context involves exhortations and advice written by Paul to Timothy regarding widows, elders, and slaves--so no wonder I didn't exactly jump on this in my younger days. :-) If you back up to verse 9, actually, here is what the NIV says: "No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds" (emphasis added).

Did you catch that?! Bringing up children is a good deed! And it's at the top of the list!!

Never mind the fact that I'm not a widow--this passage speaks to me loudly and clearly. I am doing what God wants me to do: I am being faithful to my husband and bringing up children. If, like me, you have days when you wonder how your life can possibly matter when all it seems to consist of is laundry, groceries, and whining, take heart! You are doing a good thing...WE are doing a good thing!

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