CONCERNING DESIRES OF THE FLESH . . . Judge not lest . . .

But the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.” (Reference: 1 Timothy 5:6 )

What kind of an excerpted verse is this?! And just how is supposed to relate to the theme of “Concerning Desires of the Flesh”? Only from the stylus of Paul I imagine!! The context is Paul’s (oh! I am not going to let him hide behind the misnomer of “the writer of 1 Timothy”!) instructions to comparatively young Timothy. Paul says, “The real widow, left alone, has set her hope on God and continues in supplications and prayers night and day; but the widow who lives for pleasure is dead even while she lives.”

So a wife and mother who has for decades dedicated her life to husband and family and is now finally alone and can have peace is denied that in her widowhood?! And just what sort of “pleasure” does Paul think she is having?! Baking for one? Sleeping in? Not being nagged about what is for the next meal? Being able to call body and soul her own? No! Paul has simply got this all wrong!

If a widowed woman is living as a “harlot” and/or is guilty of immoralities, call it that. But if she is needing to sell her body in order to live then, as Paul says later in this passage,provide for them if they are beyond a certain age. Let the standards that are set for proper behavior apply to all. But do not single out one group because of the way their life has unfolded!

The historic Anabaptist quoted for this day/this passage links the passage to more general comments about “this wicked generation, who live in pleasure, for they are dead while they live, as Paul says.” Evidently Hans van den Wege does not consider this an exhortation solely applicable to widows, which appeases my indignation somewhat.

I will off my soap box now and encourage you beloved to not only live wisely according to God’s precepts but to have compassion on others whose way in the world has been made more difficult because of life events. Selah!