3:8-13 The deacons were at first appointed to distribute the charity of the church, and to manage its concerns, yet pastors and evangelists were among them. The deacons had a great trust reposed in them. They must be grave, serious, prudent men. It is not fit that public trusts should be lodged in the hands of any, till they are found fit for the business with which they are to be trusted. All who are related to ministers, must take great care to walk as becomes the gospel of Christ.
12. husbands of one wife—(See on 1Ti 3:2).
ruling their children—There is no article in the Greek, "ruling children"; implying that he regarded the having children to rule as a qualification (1Ti 3:4; Tit 1:6).
their own houses—as distinguished from "the Church of God" (see on 1Ti 3:5). In the case of the deacons, as in that of the bishops, he mentions the first condition of receiving office, rather than the special qualifications for its discharge. The practical side of Christianity is the one most dwelt on in the Pastoral Epistles, in opposition to the heretical teachers; moreover, as the miraculous gifts began to be withdrawn, the safest criterion of efficiency would be the previous moral character of the candidate, the disposition and talent for the office being presupposed. So in Ac 6:3, a similar criterion was applied, "Look ye out among you seven men of honest report." Less stress is laid on personal dignity in the case of the deacon than in that of the bishop (compare Notes, see on 1Ti 3:2,3).