II. Domestic Qualifications
1. A deacon is to be the husband of one wife (I Tim. 3:12). This qualification does not specifically involve divorce and/or remarriage though the two may relate. A deacon must be a loyal husband without adulterous relationships or attitudes. The Greek for this qualification is mias gunaikos meaning “of one woman.” A literal translation would be “a one-woman husband.” A deacon should be totally dedicated to his wife and not flirtatious. This qualification does not disqualify single men or women; the Apostle Paul himself was single. Other translations of this phrase include:
- “Be appointed from those who have not been polygamous.” N.T . according to Eastern Texts
- “Faithful to his one wife.” NEB
2. A deacon is to rule his house well (I Tim. 3:12). A deacon must preside over and manage the affairs of his household well. A deacon’s house must be in order according to the Word of God (see I Cor. 11.3-12; Eph. 5.22- 32). The man is to be the head of the home. However, headship is not dictatorship. Headship involves concern and care and provision. The man is responsible for the overall direction of the family. A deacon must not guilty of heeding the voice of his wife above the voice of the Lord (Gen. 3:17).
3. The deacon is to rule his children well (I Tim. 3:12). Children are a reflection of the quality of home life. Continuous upheaval in public is a sure sign that the home is not in order. The following guidelines for elder’s children are applicable for deacon’s children as well.
- A deacon’s children should be in submission (I Tim. 3:4).
- A deacon’s children should have reverence (I Tim. 3:4).
- A deacon’s children should be faithful (Tit. 1:6).
- A deacon’s children should not be accused of riot (Tit. 1:6).
- A deacon’s children should not be insubordinate (Tit. 1:6).
4. A deacon’s wife is to meet certain qualifications (I Tim. 3:11). Paul lists certain qualifications for the deacon’s wives. These qualifications include:
- Reverent: This means “venerable, honorable, honest.”
- Not Slanderous: Greek: diabolis, meaning “to give false report, injure another by defaming.” This is the Greek word translated “Devil.”
- Temperate: Self-control and discipline
- Faithful in all things: The deacon’s wife should be reliable, trustworthy, and dependable.
Next, we will review the spiritual qualifications for a deacon.