15 for some have already turned aside to follow Satan. (1 Tim. 5:15 NASB)

This verse shows why Paul’s previous instruction was so urgent (vs.14): Some younger widows had already turned aside to follow Satan. The things that Paul described in the previous verses weren’t hypothetical, they were things that were actually happening in Ephesus. In light of 1 Timothy 5:11 it would seem that they had pledges and commitments that they were breaking in disregard of Christ. Having a desire to marry, but perhaps not being able to find Christian men who wanted to marry a vow-breaker, they could have been marrying outside of Christ, turning away from the faith, engaging in immorality, and even giving heed to false teachers (cf. 2 Tim. 3:6). Additionally, they were not only idle but were engaging in slander and gossip, being busybodies in matters that didn’t concern them (1 Tim. 5:13). From the snippets we have in the passage before us we can see how the paths of their feet were not in the direction of service to Christ but of Satan.

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