But if anyone does not provide for his own, and especially for those of his household, he has denied the faith and is worse than an unbeliever.
The Bible teaches us to love everyone, but the religion of the Bible is a practical religion that gives us priorities and starting places. God gives us family as a support structure and a workshop for human relations.
Showing love must start at home and with our nearest relatives. If we can’t love and fulfill our responsibilities toward our own family whose needs we know, how can we show love for those we don’t know? Paul pronounced those Christians who did not care for their family members as worse than the unbelievers, since many unbelievers take better care of their families than that.
Jesus Christ mentioned an example of people trying to get out of caring for their own parents by claiming to dedicate the money to God instead (Mark 7:9-13). This tradition, called Corban, “was evidently a pious-sounding evasion of the requirement of honoring one’s parents by supporting them financially” (The Nelson Study Bible, note on Mark 7:11-13). Jesus said it was rejecting “the commandment of God” (verse 9).
For more about the commandments of God, including the Fifth Commandment about honoring parents, see our section on “The 10 Commandments.”