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The Deacon and His Family

1 Timothy 3:11-13

We invite you to join us for worship each Sunday morning at 9:30. You can download our service on iTunes or tune in for “The Good Word” each day on AM 1230 WSAL or on Hoosier Country 103.7 FM just after 8am. I believe one of the most important lessons we can learn from our study to this point is that being a leader, i.e. an elder, overseer, pastor, or deacon, in a NT local church is not easy, nor is it something to be sought after for personal gain. Scripture sets high standards for all leaders in Christ’s body, The Church. It is sad but true that many godly men are not able to serve as officers because their wives disqualify them. In v. 11 Scripture gives 4 qualifications for a deacon’s wife. When we were studying the qualifications for an elder, the qualifications for a wife were not specifically given as they are for a deacon. However, godly women are implied when saying an elder must manage his own household well. An ungodly wife makes managing a household in a God-honoring way impossible! If you want to see that principle read through the Proverbs and note how many times Solomon refers to the positives and negatives of a godly wife! Please notice that Scripture says a deacon’s wife must be. That is exactly the same verb in exactly the same form as “must be” for an elder or deacon. These character qualities must now be present in the woman’s life. Notice 1sta deacon’s wife must be:

1. DIGNIFIED. You remember a man who is considered to be dignified is a serious minded man whose character merits respect. For a woman to be a deacon’s wife, she likewise must be a serious woman whose character merits respect. Just as God expects His elders and deacons to be men above reproach, so He expects their wives to be of the same high moral character. A deacon’s wife must:

2. NOT BE A SLANDERER! In v. 4 addressing the elder managing his family with dignity; in v. 8 addressing the character of a deacon, and here in v. 11 Paul uses the same word in each case. The point being made here is that a woman cannot be the helpmeet of a man whose character has defined him as a leader. A godly man must now have a wife whose character is void of the desire to slander and desecrate others. She must, like her husband, do all she can to draw others to Christ. Next a deacon’s wife must now be:

3. SOBER-MINDED. The use here is not in association with the use of alcohol—rather it has to do with self-control. This is where we learn how a woman can disqualify her husband, no matter how godly he may be, if his wife does not display an attitude of self-control, she is not leadership material. Yes, you heard right, a deacon’s or elder’s wife is in a position of leadership in a NT local church. If she does not meet the qualifications here, and if she does not have a reputation as a godly woman, not only does she disqualify herself, she disqualifies her husband! Paul continues to teach us the consistency of the Christian life when he tells us deacons’ wives must be:

4. FAITHFUL IN ALL THINGS. Like their husbands, deacon’s wives must be dedicated to living a life in harmony with God’s Word in every aspect. God does not differentiate between people when it comes to living as He expects His adopted children to do. Just as an elder or deacon may be approached by someone for counseling, advice, direction, or as a prayer partner, so his wife may be approached by a woman. The wife must be just as ready to help as her husband would be. There are as many excuses people use to avoid spiritual partnerships as there are people! The point is everyone needs help once in a while. I believe for the most part women are somewhat less restrained and will share with a woman they trust! It should be common knowledge among the local church family that any leader’s wife is faithful in all things, and worthy to be trusted as a sister in Christ. It is also true, however, that a leader’s wife must also be a woman of the Word, a woman of prayer, a student of the Word if she is going to be seen as one who can be trusted to sound Biblical advise in any situation! Women have a powerful ministry in a NT local church. That ministry has many different parts, but they all affect the family in a local church. God does not allow women to be any less mature or qualified to serve in His family! For that reason every woman in the congregation as God’s child has a personal obligation to grow into spiritual maturity. You can read that in Eph. 4 and many other places through the NT! But those women who are married to officers in a local church have a greater obligation to grow in Christ with their husbands. More often than not ministry involves husband and wife serving together. May that always be the standard by which God’s called leaders live.

If we can help you with your spiritual questions, call us at 574-643-9419.

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