What does it mean for a modern lady to keep her home? Does it mean that she should always have an HGTV worthy space? If so, that would probably count most of us out! Does it require a woman to be married with 2.5 kids in tow? If that were the case, millions of women in the U.S. would be excluded. I have kept a home both as a single woman and as a married woman. One definition of home I found most intriguing is, “the place in which one’s domestic affections are centered.” This definition does not specify life circumstances or marital status, but rather the heart with which one approaches the home, even for the least domestically inclined.
Being a lady in your home means that you have a heart to take care of what God has given you. Whether God has given you a table for 10 or a table for 1, you can glorify God by being the best steward of your space that you can be. When I think of someone in the Bible who used her home well, I think of Lydia. In Acts 16 we find that she was a smart businesswoman with a heart for God who used her home for ministry. Based on her example we can see a few timeless principles about what it means to be a lady in our homes.
1. Lydia had a concern for others –
We know that Lydia and the members of her household were baptized, so she didn’t stop with herself when she became saved. She made sure the other members of her household met Jesus too. If you have people living in your house, then they are the primary people you should introduce to Jesus and disciple. If not, you may have extended family members who need to know Jesus. In the ancient world, families were highly interconnected. Our culture may be different, but that does not dismiss our responsibility to share with those closest to us. Andrew introduced his brother Simon (later called Peter) to Jesus, and Peter became one of the most outspoken disciples (John 1:41-42). You never know what God has planned for those closest to you whom you introduce to Christ.
2. Lydia took initiative –
We do not know if Lydia or Paul introduced her household to Jesus, but we do know Lydia took initiative to make sure it happened. Then she invited Paul and his team to stay at her house. Lydia did not wait for hospitality opportunities to come to her. She took action to extend kindness to those around her. I have learned through ministry moves and the busyness of life that if you want to stay connected to people, you have to make it happen. Lydia was one of those people who took opportunities to make ministry happen.
3. Lydia opened her home –
Lydia used what God had given her to show hospitality to Paul and his companions. Whatever space God has given you can be used to show the love of Christ. It may be as simple as a cup of coffee or as elaborate as a full meal. Extending kindness to others through our homes, no matter how large or small, can be the cup of cold water we give in Jesus’ name (Matthew 10:42).
Our homes can be used in so many ways to glorify God. They can be a place of refreshment and encouragement for weary sojourners, a haven of rest for our families and us, or a place of peace for the distressed. To be a lady in our homes means that we extend kindness and grace to all who walk through our doors. So the question is, who is walking through your door today?
Dr. Emily Dean serves as Adjunct Faculty and Coordinator of Women’s Programs at NOBTS. You can follow her at emilywdean.com.
 United States Census Bureau, “FFF: Unmarried and Single Americans Week Sept. 20-26, 2015,” available from https://www.census.gov/newsroom/facts-for-features/2015/cb15-ff19.html; accessed 29 March 2017.