If a man is qualified to serve as an elder but his wife dies before he is installed, can he still became an elder? If an elder's wife dies may he continue to serve?


In looking for qualified men to be elders, we put so much emphasis on the qualifications of the man that we forget that his wife must also display certain qualities. "Likewise their wives must be reverent, not slanderers, temperate, faithful in all things" (I Timothy 3:11). The reason for elder and deacon's wives to have qualifications is because they are involved in the work of their husbands.

Both elders and deacons must be husbands of one wife (I Timothy 3:2, 12; Titus 1:6). Like the other qualifications, it is presented in the present tense as actively being displayed. We would not think of selecting a man who used to be blameless or had been above reproach. For the same reason, we should not consider a man who once had a wife of fine qualities.

By the same token, would you consider keeping an elder who developed a drinking problem or is starting quarrels? If losing a qualification makes a man disqualified for the office, why should the qualification of being the husband of one wife be treated differently?

October 15, 2010