Sayable is still on hiatus, but I'm writing elsewhere in the wild world out there. Revive Our Hearts asked me for some thoughts on singleness and the local church a few months back, and the post went live today. I loved writing this one because there's so much richness in this passage on Lydia and the church. I hope you'll check it out whether you're single or married. It's important for both to see the value of singleness within the local church.
One of the things I appreciate about the Bible is that it gives us exactly the information we need—no more, no less. Sometimes this means we have to extract meaning from its riches, and sometimes it means we trust that we don't have all the details for a reason.
In this passage, we're not told whether Lydia was married, but the implication (the fact that she leads her own household) is that she is not. Whether it's because she never married or was widowed, we aren't told—so we trust the specifics of her story to God.
This passage encouraged me deeply in my years of singleness and continues to encourage me less than a year into marriage. For years I felt thwarted of ministry opportunities because of my singleness. There seemed to be no place for me in the local church unless it was in children's ministry, to which I didn't feel a particular call. Lydia's story fueled me to believe that God did want me to exercise the gifts He'd given me and not wait until marriage to do so.
Within the story of Lydia are eight observations that may encourage both the Church and women to whom God hasn't yet given the gift of marriage. They encouraged me and set me on a course for continued ministry within marriage instead of waiting for marriage to magically set my ministry in motion.