Our theme for this month: “Take care of each other”
Our Bible verse for today: “But if anyone does not provide for his own family, especially for his own household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.” 1 Timothy 5:8 (CSB)
Our thought for today: “Take care of your family”
I had a situation many years ago when a young single mother came to the church asking for help to buy food for her family. She explained that her ex-husband was behind in his child support payments and that it was creating a financial crisis for her and the children. The problem wasn’t that he didn’t have a job or income, he did, the problem was that he had other expenses as well and therefore he wasn’t paying the child support. Instead, he told her to go to the church for help.
We did help that family but there were a few things I would like to have said to that deadbeat dad. A man has a responsibility to take care of his children. He has a responsibility to pay his child support. If that means he has to work a second job, then he should work a second job. If it means he has to pick up aluminum cans on the side of the road to earn some extra cash, then he should pick up aluminum cans on the side of the road. He should do whatever it takes to fulfill his responsibility to provide for his children. And according to God in 1 Timothy 5:8, that kind of responsibility applies to all of us, and it to extends to other family relationships as well.
When it comes to providing for basic needs such as shelter, food, and clothes, I believe there is a hierarchy of priority in assuming responsibility for meeting the need. First, the individual has to do everything possible to provide for themselves. Then, if the person is truly doing what he or she can do to help themselves, and if the situation involves a true need and not just a want, then family members need to step up and help. It’s only then that the church or other helping agencies should be approached for assistance.
You have probably heard the old adage “Charity begins at home”. That truth can be applied in multiple ways but it certainly is true that we need to take proper care of those close to us first. We are not to enable laziness or bad behavior, but if a close family member has a legitimate need, and if they really have done everything they can do to help themselves, and if we can help, then we should. The responsibility for helping belongs to family members first.