Must Deacons Have Children?

Must Deacons Have Children?
by Jack Cottrell (Notes) on Wednesday, December 2, 2009 at 2:42pm

A RECENT QUERY: I was recently nominated at my home church to serve as a Deacon. However, my wife and I have no children and we do not see any in the near future. But 1 Tim. 3:12 says, “Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and good managers of their children and their own households.” Having no children of my own leaves me with a lack of life experience when dealing or ministering to other Christians with families. What should I do? Should I accept the nomination?

MY REPLY: I appreciate your conscientiousness on this issue. You must follow your conscience, even if there may be more than one way to answer your question. My own conviction is that this verse is not an absolute requirement that deacons must have children. I take it to mean thus: “Deacons must be husbands of only one wife, and (if they have children) good managers of their children and their own households.” Having children would be the usual and normal circumstance in that day and to a lesser extent even today, and I think the qualifications address the usual and normal circumstances. I don’t think this qualification is intended to insure that all deacons must have experience in dealing with children, since the main tasks of deacons (as far as we know) do not include family counseling. The point is to insure integrity in all matters, including one’s home life. My judgment is that if you are content with how you measure up with the other qualifications, I would not let this one factor stand in my way.

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