1 Timothy 5:14 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

1 Timothy 5:14, NIV: "So I counsel younger widows to marry, to have children, to manage their homes and to give the enemy no opportunity for slander."

1 Timothy 5:14, ESV: "So I would have younger widows marry, bear children, manage their households, and give the adversary no occasion for slander."

1 Timothy 5:14, KJV: "I will therefore that the younger women marry, bear children, guide the house, give none occasion to the adversary to speak reproachfully."

1 Timothy 5:14, NASB: "Therefore, I want younger widows to get married, bear children, keep house, and give the enemy no occasion for reproach;"

1 Timothy 5:14, NLT: "So I advise these younger widows to marry again, have children, and take care of their own homes. Then the enemy will not be able to say anything against them."

1 Timothy 5:14, CSB: "Therefore, I want younger women to marry, have children, manage their households, and give the adversary no opportunity to accuse us."

What does 1 Timothy 5:14 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In contrast with the concerns Paul gave regarding younger widows in verses 11 through 13, he encourages younger widows to do four things.

First, he recommends young widows get married. The modern reader should keep in mind that marriage, in that day and age, was far more "businesslike" than modern concepts of romance. Even then, Paul is not recommending some kind of cold, hasty approach. Rather, as the rest of this passage shows, he seems to be recommending the younger widows to "move forward," so to speak. To resume a normal life, where possible, rather than falling on the charity of the church.

Remarriage can be greatly beneficial to a young widow. This was even more applicable in an era where a woman's primary means of support was her family and children. The one requirement Scripture gives is that the new spouse should be a believer (1 Corinthians 7:39).

Second, younger widows who remarry are encouraged to "bear children." This goes along with the theme of normalcy, and of "moving forward" as much as possible. God clearly encourages mixed families here, offering hope to those who bring together children from a previous marriage. This also connects again with the concept of childbearing Paul mentioned in 1 Timothy 2:15.

Third, young widows who remarry are to "manage their households." This general command is another reference to being productive and caring for one's family.

Fourth, a younger widow was to live in such a way that Satan would have no room to attack her (1 Timothy 5:15). First Peter 5:8 also warns about Satan fulfilling the role of "adversary."