July 7 Wives must be dignified, not gossips, temperate, faithful

NET 1 Timothy 3:11 “Likewise also their wives must be~~ dignified, not slanderous, temperate, faithful in every respect.”

Sometimes in Greek writing, the main verb is omitted, but grammatically it is assumed to be the same as its preceding verb.

In this case, the main verb is in 1 Timothy 3:2—-“The overseer then must be”—-and then in 3:11, it is understood as “Likewise also their wives must be.” To ensure the same verbal imperative, the adverb likewise is injected to confirm the continuance of the imperative idea.

First Timothy 3:11 is thrust into the middle of a discussion of church leadership, bishops or pastors (3:1–-7), and deacons (3:8–-10, 12–-13). Most translations add their interpretation to their translations: for instance, they say “their wives must be” when the text merely says “women.”

There is no definite article (the) or possessive pronoun (their) before the word women; thus it is ambiguous, referring to women in the ministry. The word translated as wives (Gk. gune) usually refers to “married women”; thus it is assumed to be the wives of the deacons, though not necessarily.

All through the New Testament, women are key players in the ministry of church planting. Serving women are to be “dignified,” which means they are to “evoke special respect, to be reverent or reputable.” This quality attracts and invites people to emulate their character because of their spiritual, self–sacrificing, disciplined life.

Serving women are not to be “slanderous” (Gk. diabolos), which means “false accusers.” They must learn to control their tongues in all conversations.

Serving women must be “temperate,” meaning “self–controlled, especially in respect to wine,” or “sober–minded, circumspect.” This means they should be free from the excessive influence of passion, lust, or emotionalism.

Serving women must be “faithful in every respect”—-that is, they must be absolutely trustworthy and dependable. God expects all His servants to be seriously committed to His word and His people. Can you be trusted with such a ministry?

“Heavenly Father, help me strive each day to discipline myself and earn respect as I avoid the sin of gossip. Help me work to be self–controlled, trustworthy, and dependable. This will honor You and make my spouse proud and happy.”

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