International Ministry Training Leitung und Familie – 1. Tim 3,4 – Joanna Richardson

Mario Wahnschaffe

24. April 2024
24 Minuten

International Ministry Training Leitung und Familie – 1. Tim 3,4 – Joanna Richardson

1 Timothy 3:4 (ESV)
He must manage his own household well, with all dignity keeping his children submissive
Background to the context
The First Epistle to Timothy is one of the pastoral epistles written by the Apostle Paul.It was addressed to Timothy, a young leader in the early Christian community, providing guidance on matters of doctrine, church organization, and pastoral care.
Paul discusses the qualities needed for church leaders. He focuses NOT on their talents, but on their personal character traits.
During the time of the Apostle Paul, the household structure was central to society, especially in Greco-Roman culture. The household was not only a place of residence but also a unit of economic, social, and religious significance. The head of the household held considerable authority and responsibility, and effective leadership within the household was highly valued.
The phrase “managing his own household well” carries implications beyond mere administration. It encompasses the ability to provide for, protect, and guide one’s family members in a manner that fosters harmony, stability, and growth. This cultural backdrop helps us appreciate the importance of household management as a criterion for leadership within the early Christian community.
1. What is it to MANAGE? He must manage his own household well
Literally, you must stand before them to guide and direct them. That’s what the word “manage” means in the original language.
It pictures someone who “stands before” a group of people. 
He is in charge, and that is demonstrated by the willing obedience of those under him.
Whether we’re leaders, want to be leaders, or just starting out we are to keep a watchful eye over our families. Why would Paul make home leadership an aspect of godliness?
From the very beginning of time, the idea of leading well started. 
Adam and Eve were created to manage and rule over creation. 
As their children and as people made in God’s image, we also have that responsibility. 
This role of guiding and supervising won’t end but will continue forever in the new world that God will create. Revelation 22:5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever.
Part of our sanctification is growing in that ability.
And the first place we need to lead is in our own homes.
1a. Leading well does not mean we will have no problems.
Anyone who manages people should expect complications.
What manager has no problems? If we are serving people, we will have problems. But ruling well means responding well to those problems when they arise.
Dear men is your heart set on guiding your household with wisdom and dignity; bringing up your children to worship with devotion and purity. ?
Dear women Proverbs 14:1 says “The wise woman builds her house, but with her own hands the foolish one tears hers down.” are you playing a role in shaping the atmosphere of your homes through wisdom and actions.
1b. Managing well also means elevating others.
Philippians 2:9-11 highlights the principle of elevating others.
True leadership isn’t about seeking personal glory or recognition but about lifting others up and enabling them to reach their full potential.
In a family context, this means nurturing and supporting each family member to grow and flourish in their own unique ways.
Managing well involves embracing servanthood without compromising the values of Christ.
Philippians 2:6-11 makes it very clear: Jesus earns the respect of the whole world, not by hanging onto his rights as God, but by emptying Himself of all those rights and stooping to serve even to the point of death on a cross.
Mark 10:45 says, “The Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give His life a ransom for many”
It’s also important to note that a leader’s children don’t all have to be believers. Some have misunderstood Titus 1:6 on this matter, causing further distress to parents with wayward children. However, Titus 1:6 essentially repeats what is said in 1 Timothy 3:4–5. The accurate translation isn’t “believing children” but rather “faithful children.” Ultimately, the Holy Spirit is the one who changes hearts, and parents cannot guarantee their child’s faith.
4. The qualification – with all dignity keeping his children submissive
The idea of keeping children submissive may sound outdated and offensive to modern ears. Should we overlook Paul’s seemingly outdated and backward perspective on parenting?
Contrarily, it’s our understanding that is flawed
God commands
Ephesians 6:1–3 Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right. 2 “Honor your father and mother” (this is the first commandment with a promise), 3 “that it may go well with you and that you may live long in the land.”
Training for obedience doesn’t suppress our children, rather it pleases the Lord and will result in life going well with them
Col. 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
Overseer is to have faithful children who are not unruly and disobedient , unlike Eli and David (examples).
1 Samuel 2:12 Now the sons of Eli were worthless men. They did not know the LORD.
The sons of Eli were corrupt and disobedient, treating the offerings of the Lord with contempt and engaging in immoral behavior, despite their father’s admonitions. Their sinful actions were severe in the eyes of the Lord, leading to their ultimate downfall. (1 Samuel 2:17, 1 Samuel 2:22 , 1 Samuel 2:23–25)
1 Kings 1:6 introduces Adonijah, one of King David’s sons, highlighting his handsome appearance and lack of parental discipline. Adonijah’s unauthorized proclamation as king triggers a succession conflict with Solomon, leading to political intrigue and alliances. Ultimately, Solomon emerges as the rightful king, ending Adonijah’s rebellion.
Paul not only mentions the outcome of leadership but also emphasizes the approach: “with all dignity.” This could be understood as maintaining one’s dignity without compromising it. Alternatively, as the NIV renders it, “worthy of full respect.” Essentially, it means that the leader maintains authority while keeping composure, even when dealing with submissive children.
He doesn’t govern his children through fear as a harsh dictator would. Instead, He guides them with both authority and compassion.
According to John Stott, pastoral ministry involves serving with gentleness, yet it also carries a necessary authority. Without pastors demonstrating discipline in their own homes, it’s unrealistic to expect discipline within the local church.
Don’t expect perfection. Instead, assess if your children are on a trajectory toward obedience. As the leaders, we’re responsible for the atmosphere of the home. We should expect our children to obey us because God commands it. But we aren’t surprised when our children disobey us because they’re sinful. Since there’s sin in every heart, a godly parent will receive problems in the home as personal training assignments from the Lord.
Don’t expect your children to be perfect. Instead, consider if they’re moving in the right direction towards obedience. As parents, we set the tone for our home environment. We should expect our children to obey us because God commands it, but we shouldn’t be surprised when they don’t because everyone is affected by sin. A wise father sees challenges at home as opportunities to grow personally with God’s guidance.

If we understand the importance of this qualification, we’ll also grasp the significance of living faithfully in our homes. Equally important, we’ll be nurturing future leaders with a crucial quality that’s often lacking—practical wisdom gained through experience. Many young pastors leave seminary with abundant knowledge of the Bible but limited understanding of relationships. Both are essential for leading God’s people. The home is where we learn how to lead relationally, and it’s where we first put this wisdom into practice for God’s glory.


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