1 Never reprove an older man, but appeal to him as to a father. Treat younger men like brothers, 2 older women like mothers, younger ones like sisters, with absolute purity.
3 Look after widows who are really dependent. 4 If a widow has children or grandchildren, let them learn first to show piety in the treatment of their own families, and to return the care of those who brought them up, for that is what God approves. 5 But a woman who is really a widow, and has no children, has fixed her hope on God, and devotes herself to prayers and entreaties night and day. 6 A widow who gives herself up to pleasure is dead while she is still alive. 7 Insist upon these points, so that people may be irreproachable. 8 Whoever fails to provide for his own relatives, and particularly for members of his own family, has disowned the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
9 No one under sixty years of age should be put on the list of widows. A widow must have been married but once, 10 and have a good reputation for Christian service, such as bringing up children, being hospitable to strangers, washing the feet of God's people, helping people in distress, or devoting herself to any form of doing good. 11 Do not put young women on the list of widows, for when their youthful vigor comes between them and Christ, they want to marry, 12 and become guilty of breaking their previous pledge. 13 Besides, as they go about from house to house they learn to be idle, and not only idle but gossips and busybodies, and talk of things they ought not to mention. 14 So I would have young women marry and have children and keep house and avoid giving our opponents any excuse for abusing us. 15 For some widows have already turned aside to follow Satan. 16 Any Christian woman who has widowed relatives should look after them, and relieve the church, so that it can look after widows who are really dependent.
17 Elders who do their duties well should be considered as deserving twice as much as they get, particularly those who work at preaching and teaching. 18 For the Scripture says, "You must not muzzle an ox when it is treading out the grain," and the workman deserves his wages.
19 Do not listen to an accusation made against an elder, unless it is supported by two or three witnesses. 20 Those who are found guilty you must reprove publicly, as a warning to others. 21 I charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the chosen angels to observe these rules without any discrimination, and to be perfectly impartial. 22 Never ordain anyone hastily; do not make yourself responsible for the sins of others; keep your life pure. 23 Stop drinking nothing but water; take a little wine for the good of your digestion and for your frequent attacks of illness. 24 Some men's sins are perfectly evident, and lead them right on to judgment, but there are others whose sins only dog their steps. 25 Good deeds too are evident enough, or when they are not, they cannot be wholly concealed.