John Calvin Complete Commentary - 1 Timothy 3:5 - 3:5

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John Calvin Complete Commentary - 1 Timothy 3:5 - 3:5


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5And if any one know not how to rule his own house (61) This argument, drawn from the less to the greater, is in itself manifest, that he who is unfit for governing a family will be altogether unable to govern a people. Besides that it is evident that he is destitute of the virtues necessary for that purpose, what authority will he have over the people, seeing that his own house makes him contemptible?



(61) “ house of a believer ought to be like a little church. Heathens, who did not know what a church is, said that a house is but an image and figure of any public government. A poor man, living with his wife and children and servants, ought to be in his house like a public governor; but Christians ought to go beyond this. Every father of a family should know that God has appointed him to that place, that he may know how to govern his wife and children and servants; so that God shall be honored in the midst of them, and all shall do Him homage. Paul speaks of children; and why? Because he who wishes to discharge his duty as pastor of a church must be like a father to all believers. Now, let us suppose that a man cannot govern two or three children which he has in the house. They are his own children, and yet he cannot keep them in subjection; they are deaf to all that he says to them. How then shall he be able to govern those who are at a distance, and who may be said to be unknown to him, who even refuse to become wiser, and think that they have no need of being instructed? How shall he be able to keep men in dread when his own wife is not subject to him? Let us not, therefore, think it strange if it is required in all pastors, that they be good fathers of a family, and know what it is to govern their own children well. It is not enough to condemn the children, but we must condemn the fathers, when they permit their children to be worse than others.” — Fr. Ser.