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1 Timothy 5:4

ESV But if a widow has children or grandchildren, let them first learn to show godliness to their own household and to make some return to their parents, for this is pleasing in the sight of God.
NIV But if a widow has children or grandchildren, these should learn first of all to put their religion into practice by caring for their own family and so repaying their parents and grandparents, for this is pleasing to God.
NASB but if any widow has children or grandchildren, they must first learn to show proper respect for their own family and to give back compensation to their parents; for this is acceptable in the sight of God.
CSB But if any widow has children or grandchildren, let them learn to practice godliness toward their own family first and to repay their parents, for this pleases God.
NLT But if she has children or grandchildren, their first responsibility is to show godliness at home and repay their parents by taking care of them. This is something that pleases God.
KJV But if any widow have children or nephews, let them learn first to shew piety at home, and to requite their parents: for that is good and acceptable before God.

What does 1 Timothy 5:4 mean?

The first phrase, regarding children or grandchildren, is not about whether family members are believers, but whether a widow has living family who can help care for their needs. Immediate family is always the first recommended step for assistance to widows in the church. This is true whether the widowed woman's help comes from a child—either a son or daughter who is old enough to provide help—or a grandchild. Later verses will point out that Christian believers are particularly obligated to care for their families (1 Timothy 5:8)

Again, the concept of "godliness" is mentioned in connection with serving others. Here the specific context is that of widows. The purpose of encouraging family to care for their elders is so that children and grandchildren can repay the investment made into their own young lives. According to this verse, "this is pleasing in the sight of God." This idea of "pleasing" is the same one Paul uses in 1 Timothy 2:3 regarding prayer for all people, including kings and governing authorities.
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