1 Do not be angry with an older man if he has done something wrong, but talk kindly to him as you would talk to your father. Talk to the young men like brothers.
2 Talk to the older women like mothers. Talk to the young women like sisters. And be sure to keep a clean mind and heart in all this.
3 Help widow women, whose husbands are dead, if they have no one to help them.
4 If they have children or grandchildren, they should learn that the first place to do Gods work is in the home to help their own family. They should help their parents because their parents have helped them. This will please God.
5 A widow who has no one to help her, and is alone, trusts in God. Day and night she talks to God and asks him for the things she needs.
6 But a woman who spends her time in pleasing herself is really dead, even while she still lives.
7 Tell them these things so that they will do what is right.
8 A man must care for his own people. At least he must care for his family. If he does not care for them, he shows that he does not believe in God. He is worse than one who has never believed.
9 A widow who is over sixty years old, may be chosen to help the church people. But she must have been the wife of one husband.
10 People must speak well of the good works she has done. Has she brought up children? Has she been kind to strangers and cared for them in her house? Has she washed the feet of Gods people? Has she helped people who were in trouble? Has she done every kind of good thing to help people?
11 But do not choose young women. When they begin to love other things more than Christ, they will want to marry again.
12 And that will be wrong for them because they have not kept their first promise.
13 Not only that, but they also become lazy. They walk about going from house to house. Not only are they lazy but they talk too much and tell stories about people. They tell things they should not tell.
14 So I would like young women to marry again and have children. They should care for their homes. They should do nothing that would make the enemy say wrong things about them.
15 Some have already turned away to follow Satan.
16 Do any Christians have in their families women whose husbands are dead? If they do, they should help them. The church people should not have to care for them. Then the church can help the women who have no one to help them.
17 The leaders of the church people who rule well should be given greater honour and reward. At least do this for those who work hard in speaking and teaching.
18 The holy writings say, You may not tie the mouth of a cow when it is walking on the grain to beat it out. And also, The man who works should be paid for it.
19 Do not listen to a complaint against a leader if what he has done has not been seen and proved by two or three people.
20 Talk to those who live a wrong life and tell them to stop it. Talk to them in front of all the church members. Then the others will be afraid to do it.
21 I say this before God and Christ Jesus and the chosen angels of God. Do these things in an honest way. Do not treat one person better than another person.
22 Do not be in a hurry to place your hands on a man as a sign for him to be a leader. Do not take part in the wrong things another man does. Keep yourself clean.
23 Do not drink water only. But drink a little wine to help your stomach because you are sick so often.
24 The wrong things some men do can be seen clearly and show that they should be punished. But wrong things other people do are not seen until later.
25 So also, the good things are seen clearly. Even when they are not seen at first, they will be seen later.