Marriage

 

 

10. Is it not written that we must refuse those widows who desire to marry? Therefore the Scripture shows that God wants us to accept in His Church only those widows who are able not to break the first bond of matrimony, and the same Scripture condemns those widows who have broken that indissoluble bond which cannot be broken even by the death of one’s spouse. Am I right in saying this?

 

 

No, you are wrong. First of all, let us see who these widows, whom the Scripture commands us to refuse, are. Paul says to Timothy: “But refuse the younger widows; for when they have begun to grow wanton against Christ, they desire to marry, having condemnation because they have cast off their first faith. And besides they learn to be idle, wandering about from house to house, and not only idle but also gossips and busybodies, saying things which they ought not” (1 Timothy 5:11-13 - NKJV). These words of Paul to Timothy come after these other words in which the apostle commands Timothy to let a widow be put on the list of widows (to be helped by the Church) if she has some particular qualifications: “Let not a widow be taken into the number under threescore years old, having been the wife of one man, Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work” (1 Timothy 5:9-10). Therefore the widows who are blamed by Paul are those widows who have grown wanton against Christ, that is to say, those widows whose sensual desires have overcome their dedication to Christ (1 Timothy 5:11), and not those widows who want to marry, because it is lawful for a widow to marry in that Paul says that he wants the younger widows to marry, as it is written: “Therefore I desire that the younger widows marry, bear children, manage the house, give no opportunity to the adversary to speak reproachfully. For some have already turned aside after Satan” (1 Timothy 5:14-15 - NKJV). Therefore those widows blamed by Paul, whom we must avoid and refuse, are those widows who want to marry after they have indulged in debauchery and in their sensual desires. Nevertheless, as it can be noted, even though Paul blames those widows for their lust, he doesn’t deny them the right to marry, which is a natural right. Therefore once more we can see that if one of the married partners dies, the bond of matrimony is dissolved, and as for a widow she is allowed to marry.

 

 

 

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