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Husband of One Wife, Deacons Meeting

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1 Timothy 3:2 ESV
2 Therefore an overseer must be above reproach, the husband of one wife, sober-minded, self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach,
“of one woman [wife] man [husband]”
“of one woman [wife] man [husband]”
View #1
“having the character of a one-woman man,”; “faithful to his wife”
Many Bible students say the words a “one-woman man” are saying that the affections of an elder must be centered exclusively on his wife. BKC
-Interpreters who hold this first view conclude that the wording of 3:2 is too specific to be simply a requirement of marriage and not specific enough to be simple a reference to divorce or remarriage after divorce. ESV
-In the context of this passage, the phrase therefore prohibits any kind of marital unfaithfulness.
On the other hand, if we take “a one-woman man” to mean one who has shown and demonstrated constant faithfulness and who has eyes only for his wife, then this qualification falls in line with the others from this standpoint. Whereas, if it is taken in the absolute sense of “married only once,” then it stands alone as the only absolute qualification.
Doug agrees with this: If divorce occurred in the past, but the man has demonstrated growth, maturity, faithfulness to his wife and family for a sufficient time to give solid evidence of the reality of this, then I question whether we are truly acting biblically to hinder such a man from leadership. Does it not illustrate the restorative nature of God’s grace and forgiveness?
Concerning divorce and remarriage, and are key Pauline texts. In short, I would say that Paul’s view is that a believer whose unbelieving spouse has deserted him is not disqualified from being an elder or deacon; a believer who was divorced when he was an unbeliever is not disqualified; and a believer who is the innocent party in a divorce involving adultery is not disqualified. Having said all this, one still ought to look into any pattern of behavior that might reveal a character flaw (e.g., a man who has had multiple marriages as an unbeliever). In other words, the fact that there is not necessarily a disqualification does not of itself endorse a particular candidate.
The New American Commentary: 1, 2 Timothy, Titus An Appeal for Obedient Behavior (3:2–3)

It is better to see Paul having demanded that the church leader be faithful to his one wife. The Greek describes the overseer literally as a “one-woman kind of man” (cf. “faithful to his one wife,” NEB). Lenski suggests that the term describes a man “who cannot be taken hold of on the score of sexual promiscuity or laxity.” Glasscock uses Lenski’s understanding to support his view that a divorced man can serve as a church leader if he is thoroughly devoted to the wife whom he has married.55 His application prohibits a monogamous man known to be flirtatious from serving in a place of leadership. Glasscock does not seek to encourage either divorce or the presence of divorced men in the ministry. He suggests that we must not hold a man’s preconversion sins against him (Col 2:13). Had Paul clearly meant to prohibit divorce, he could have said it unmistakably by using the Greek word for divorce (apolyō, cf. Matt 1:19).

In keeping with this, we know historically that in Paul’s day in the Roman world that divorce and sexual impurity was even more rampant than it is in our day. Finding men or women, for that matter, who were married only one time, could have been as difficult as it is becoming in our day. This is an argument from silence, but maybe it is one we should consider.
View #2
View #2
“Husband of one wife at a time.”
-This means polygamists cannot be elders.
Virtually all commentators agree that this phrase prohibits both polygamy and promiscuity, which are unthinkable for spiritual leaders in the church. BKC
View #3
Paul is absolutely requiring that an elder be someone who has never had more than one wife. But that does not fit the context as well, with its emphasis on present character.
There is a longstanding tradition that it means “married only once.”
Many others hold, however, that the phrase further prohibits any who have been divorced and remarried from becoming overseers. The reasoning behind this view is usually that divorce represents a failure in the home, so that even though a man may be forgiven for any sin involved, he remains permanently disqualified for leadership in the congregation (cf. vv. 4-5; ). BKC
No one is clean. We are all disqualified because none of us is above reproach. We are all murderers, adulterers, coveters, idolaters, etc. Yet, because a repentant person is divorced, they are not worthy? This arguments falls apart because of the depravity of man. It starts to come across legalistic. Doug
View #4
A pastor/deacon must be married (and have children)
The most strict interpretation and the one common among the earliest commentators (second and third centuries) includes each of the above but extends the prohibition to any second marriage, even by widowers. Their argument is that in the first century second marriages were generally viewed as evidence of self-indulgence. Though Paul honored marriage, he also valued the spiritual benefits of celibacy () even for those who had lost a mate (). Thus he considered celibacy a worthy goal for those who possessed the self-control to remain unmarried. According to this strict view Paul considered a widower’s second marriage, though by no means improper, to be evidence of a lack of the kind of self-control required of an overseer, in much the same way that a similar lack disqualified a widow from eligibility for the list of widows (5:9). BKC
Other thoughts...
Further, if the passage means married only once, regardless of the reason, even in the case of the death of the spouse, then this is the only qualification in the list that is an absolute. Here is what I mean. All the other qualifications are somewhat relative since no man is 100% perfect in fulfilling these qualifications. Even the most mature and godly man is going to fall short to some degree in this life in these qualifications. Who, for instance, is perfectly temperate in all areas of his life? I see many elders, deacons, and well-known preachers who are thirty, forty, fifty pounds over weight because they are not temperate in their eating habits and disciplined in exercise. Yet, we never think twice about selecting such men to these offices. The point is, these are characteristics that should be generally evident to a large degree in an elder or deacon.
-How come Paul didn’t simply say, “not divorced and remarried”?
-How is it divorce is unpardonable yet Paul’s murders were?
-How is the absolute view compatible with the gospel? Even if a man’s marriage ended with sin, he is forgiven with faith and repentance.
Psalm 103:12 ESV
12 as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.
Psalm 51:7 ESV
7 Purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean; wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Doug, this is A.T. Robertson
    The bishop (ton episkopon). The overseer. Old word, in LXX, and inscriptions and papyri. Deissmann (Bible Studies, pp. 230f.) has shown it is applied to communal officials in Rhodes. See  for its use for the elders (presbyters) in verse  . So also in   . See  . The word does not in the N.T. have the monarchical sense found in Ignatius of a bishop over elders. Without reproach (anepilhmpton). Accusative case of general reference with dei and einai. Old and common verbal (a privative and epilambanw, not to be taken hold of), irreproachable. In N.T. only here, Philippians 5:7 ; Philippians 6:14 . Of one wife (mia gunaiko). One at a time, clearly. Temperate (nhpalion). Old adjective. In N.T. only here, verse Philippians 11 ; . But see nhpw, to be sober in   . Soberminded (swprona). Another old adjective (from sao or sw, sound, prhn, mind) in N.T. only here,  ;   . Orderly (kosmion). See on  . Seemly, decent conduct. Given to hospitality (piloxenon). Old word (see piloxenia in  ), from pilo and xeno, in N.T. only here,  ;  . Apt to teach (didaktikon). Late form for old didaskaliko, one qualified to teach. In Philo and N.T. only (  ; ).
From Dennis-
To move toward “husband of one wife” meaning faithful to one woman, the woman to whom you are now married, is not liberalism, it is Semper Reformanda. Early Southern Baptist Greek scholars and present day respected Bible teaches most often agree on that meaning.  So, in reality, you are becoming more biblical and more Baptist by that decision. 
How did we get away from that?  It is probably because well meaning me knew the prohibitions and problems related to divorce and made a rule to avoid it.  We frequently turn to legalism, which in reality is no more biblical than license.
However, this does not give license for divorce.  Divorce is a red flag and a man must develop a track record of faithfulness before he is considered to for eldership or deacon.
1 Timothy 3:12 ESV
12 Let deacons each be the husband of one wife, managing their children and their own households well.
1 Timothy 3
1 Timothy 5:9 ESV
9 Let a widow be enrolled if she is not less than sixty years of age, having been the wife of one husband,
a qualification for widows, “having the character of a one-man woman”. In the verse it seems to refer to the trait of faithfulness, for a prohibition of remarriage after the death of a spouse would be in contradiction to Paul’s advice to young widows in 5:14.
If Paul meant married only once in 5:9 rather than referring to a woman who had been faithful to her husband, then he would have been excluding these younger widows (in v. 14) from ever being able to be included in the list of widows should they be widowed again.
Titus 1:6 ESV
6 if anyone is above reproach, the husband of one wife, and his children are believers and not open to the charge of debauchery or insubordination.
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