Sow & Gather

Unlikely Hero

PhilippiansMarci AnthonyComment

I plead with Euodia and I plead with Syntyche to be of the same mind in the Lord. 3 Yes, and I ask you, my true companion, help these women since they have contended at my side in the cause of the gospel, along with Clement and the rest of my co-workers, whose names are in the book of life. Philippians 4:2-3

More than ever women are making headlines all over the world. Some women are standing up for themselves when no one else would. Some are making history running in the political arena. Others may be marrying into a famous family across the pond. There are those who celebrate their differences and continue to fight for equality. Whatever the news story, it’s a great time to be a woman.

While most discussions and coffee talk tend to lean toward current events, it's more important than ever to teach our next generation of women leaders about the women who helped shape Christianity in the Bible. What touches my heart is the special emphasis God has placed on females throughout the Bible. In story after story you read about brave female individuals willing to risk everything for the sake of their heritage or beliefs. These women, many of whom came from simple origins, God used for His glory. 

One woman named Lydia, was instrumental in helping the early ministry of Paul, one of the greatest missionaries of the early church. We first read about Lydia in Acts 16:14-15. In Acts we read about her conversion and how, as a successful businesswoman, she showed hospitality by opening her home to all believers of the faith. Lydia’s house may have been the meeting place that started the first Church of Philippi.

Lydia was one of the first women CEO’s of her time. She was a successful seller of purple cloth. What’s even more impressive is that she realized where her success came from and used that success as a springboard to support Paul’s ministry. She willingly supported Paul’s ministry and sent money and gifts to help him as he traveled to different cities spreading the message of Christ.

Throughout Paul’s letters to the church of Philippi in Philippians, we read about his references to females as sisters as well as referencing two females by name. Although Lydia is not mentioned by name, I believe that throughout the book of Philippians, many times Paul made secret references in his letters to individuals like Lydia who supported his ministry. Christianity was not a popular topic. In many cities Paul visited along his missionary journey, he had to depend on loyal supporters to help him by providing him a place to stay and by assisting him financially. Like Lydia many supporters risked their own reputation and life by supporting those spreading the message of Jesus Christ.

Having two daughters I feel a huge responsibility to my girls to help them understand how important their female heritage is. Even more important is the need to teach the girls about biblical examples of women breaking boundaries for the sake of Christ.

Dig Deeper |

Acts 16:14-15; Acts 16:40

Action Item |

Take some time to look through the Bible and read about the fascinating women God used for His glory.

Prayer |

Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for the example of Lydia and her willingness to step out in faith by showing kindness and hospitality to Paul. Help me to bring this example to life in my daily walk this week.

Join Us |

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