The Story of Lydia in the Bible: 7 Important Lessons

The story of Lydia in the Bible stands as an inspiration to women and believers as a whole. It encourages us to serve others, have a good character, and share the gospel message with others around us. 

Lydia is one of the women mentioned in the New Testament who contributed and played a part in Apostle Paul’s ministry. While we don’t get a lot of details about her, she was a remarkable, godly woman and we can learn a lot from her character. 

What is special about Lydia in the Bible? She is believed to be among the first converts to Christianity in the European continent. Her faith in God is unwavering, and she uses her influence and resources to make an impact in God’s kingdom. 

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The Story of Lydia in the Bible

The story of Lydia in Acts 16 is quite important. As Apostle Paul was on his second missionary trip he had a vision of a man who called him to come to Macedonia (Acts 16:9-10). This prompted him and his companions go there, and that’s when they met Lydia. 

The story of Lydia in Acts 16 is quite important. As Apostle Paul was on his second missionary trip he had a vision of a man who called him to come to Macedonia (Acts 16:9-10). This prompted him and his companions go there, and that’s when they met Lydia. 

Lydia who came from the city of Thyatira met with Paul, in the city of Philippi, a Roman colony and a leading city of that district of Macedonia. We are introduced to Lydia Acts 16 as a woman who sold purple cloth, making her a business woman. In those days, purple dye, or Tyrian purple was the richest fabric a person could own and the color of royalty. 

She is described as a worshiper of God who honored the Sabbath Day. She was gathered with a group of women in a place of prayer outside the city gate when Paul and Silas approached them and shared with them the good news of salvation. 

Lydia’s heart was open to the message of the gospel, and she accepted the Son of God as her Savior and was baptized. She shared the news with all the members of her household, and they all believed and were baptized. Lydia’s conversion and that of her household was a public declaration and confession of their faith in Jesus Christ. 

She then invited Paul and Silas to her home to stay for a while. Sometime later, Paul and Silas were falsely accused of disturbing the city and arrested. They continued to worship and praise God while in prison and miraculously God showed up, chains came loose, prison doors were opened, and the jailer who saw the power of God was converted by faith in Jesus! (Acts 16:16-34) 

Paul and Silas were released from prison the next day and told to leave the city. Before they did, though, they went to Lydia’s home a second time and encouraged and fellowshipped with the people gathered there. This showed that Lydia opened her house to became a meeting place for the European church. 

With her hospitality and invitation of people to her home we may wonder, was Lydia in the Bible married? The Bible doesn’t mention a husband. But does mention that she had her own house, which leads to the belief that she was not married. However, we are not told whether she was widowed, divorced, or never been married.

Characteristics of Lydia in the Bible

The character of Lydia makes her truly special. She was open-minded. She worshipped God and observed Jewish customs such as the Sabbath Day. Lydia had faith in God and believed in His ways. But she didn’t close her heart and mind to knowing more. Other women at the river that day may have rejected the gospel message, but Lydia didn’t. 

Because she had an open heart, Lydia received the gospel and immediately believed in the Lord Jesus Christ, accepting Him as her personal Lord and Savior. Her life was completely transformed after that. Lydia shared Paul’s message with the members of her household. She didn’t keep it to herself. She was ready and willing to follow the Great Commission and spread the gospel to others. 

Lydia put her faith into action by sharing the Word of God and inviting Paul and Silas to her home. She used her resources and what she had to help the men of God. This was her ministry to them. Later we learn that her kindness, generosity, and helping spirit extended to the early church in her city as people gathered in her home. 

She was a God-fearing and courageous woman. A short while after meeting Apostle Paul, he was arrested. The early church faced persecution and arrest, and some were even killed. So, for Lydia to publicly display her faith through baptism and inviting Christians to her home, showed courage. 

Her new life as a follower of Jesus wasn’t going to be easy, but she trusted in God’s strength and presence along the way. 

Lydia’s story shows that she was a woman of great influence with good leadership qualities. As a dealer of purple cloth, she had influence and most likely had a successful business. She used her influence positively to spread the gospel message to her entire household and others and helped to build the Christian community in her town. She made a positive impact in the kingdom of God.

Lessons From Lydia in the Bible

While we don’t get a lot of details about Lydia’s life, there are certainly valuable lessons we can learn from her. She was a remarkable woman who played a part in Apostle Paul’s ministry. These are some of the key lessons we can takeaway from her life. 

1) The story of Lydia in the Bible teaches us to be open-minded. 

Lydia was a worshiper of God and open to hearing the gospel of Jesus Christ. Lydia’s conversion teaches us to be open to hearing God’s voice, experiencing Him in a new way, and allowing Him to change and transform us. 

While it is said, To day if ye will hear his voice, harden not your hearts, as in the provocation.

Hebrews 3:15

Open-mindedness extends to our relationships with others as well. We need to be willing to build relationships with people of different cultures, backgrounds, and social settings. Jesus Christ welcomes everyone into the kingdom of God. He died so we His children could be united. 

2) The story of Lydia teaches us the value of hospitality.

Lydia’s house was open to Paul, his friend Silas, and other companions. She didn’t know them that long, but what she knew was that they were fellow brothers in Christ. Moreover, she opened her home and welcomed other members of the early church. 

As a follower of Jesus, the Word of God encourages us to be willing to help others in need. We don’t need to live in a mansion or perfect home to invite someone for coffee or tea or a small group meeting. Lydia inspires us to think of new ways to use the resources we have to serve God and others. Hospitality opens the door for God’s blessings to be poured into our lives. 

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.

Hebrews 13:2

As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith.

Galatians 6:10

For more help growing in your walk with God, you’ll want to be sure to check out all these Practical Ways to Get Closer to God Today!

3) The story of Lydia in the Bible shows us the importance of service. 

Lydia had a good heart. She served others and enjoyed it. She was a wealthy businesswoman with her own house and an abundance of resources which she used to serve the early church. She understood that all she had belonged to God, and as His child, she should give it all back to Him in service. 

We learn from Lydia to use our resources to bless others and help those in need. She teaches us that Christian leadership and a Christian lifestyle are about serving others wholeheartedly and humbly in the same way God’s Son Jesus came to serve us. 

For even the Son of man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister, and to give his life a ransom for many.

Mark 10:45

4) The story of Lydia in the Bible teaches us to be courageous. 

In the face of potential danger and persecution, Lydia stood courageous and declared her faith in Jesus Christ. She was fully aware of the consequences, but her faith in God was strong and unwavering. 

As a follower of Jesus today, we may face different challenges in our community when we declare our faith, but God calls us to live boldly for Him even when it’s difficult. The good news is God is always with us and will help us and strengthen us as believers.

But whosoever shall deny me before men, him will I also deny before my Father which is in heaven.

Matthew 10:33

God calls us to live boldly for Him even when it’s difficult.

5) Lydia teaches us to fulfill the Great Commission.

When Jesus left, He gave us the Great Commission which is to spread the good news to all people in every nation. Apostle Paul, Silas, and his companions were already doing this as missionaries. Lydia also started to do the same, beginning with her own family. 

Lydia teaches us not to keep the gospel to ourselves but boldly share our testimony with others around us and bring glory to the Lord. 

Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Matthew 28:19–20
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6) The story of Lydia in the Bible teaches us that our identity is in Christ.

When we are first introduced to Lydia, she is described by her profession and as being a worshiper of God. After she received the message of God and became a follower of Christ, her identity became firmly rooted in Him. 

Lydia’s story teaches us not to find our identity in our earthly success or in being a wife, mother, daughter, or career woman. Our identity and priority should be rooted in Christ alone. 

Our identity and priority should be rooted in Christ alone. 

7) The Story of Lydia teaches us to worship with others. 

As a believer, it’s important to meet with other believers to fellowship, be encouraged, be inspired, share our struggles, and grow in our faith. Lydia of Thyatira was with a group of women in a place of prayer when she heard Paul’s message. 

The Word of God encourages us to never neglect meeting with others. Moreover, we should have good friends who help us grow in our faith and with whom we can meet to pray and do Bible Study. 

Not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another: and so much the more, as ye see the day approaching.

Hebrews 10:25

Learn More about the Story of Lydia in the Bible

If you’d like to dive deeper into the story of Lydia in the Bible, you’ll want to check out this free resource! 

FREE! Bible Study on Lydia

Download these Lydia Bible Study Questions for FREE! Included are 10 study questions and 5 reflection questions, along with the specific Bible passages to read her story.

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Resources to Learn More about Inspiring Bible Women

If you’d like to study the story and lives of other inspiring women of the Bible, you’ll want to check out this 30-day Bible reading plan and journal >> Inspiring Women of the Bible Study Journal – Digital & Printable!

Be sure to read more from our Women of the Bible Series!

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Tinashe Jaricha is a child of God, saved by His amazing grace. Her passion is to encourage moms to grow in Biblical knowledge. She shares Christian living tips and resources at Our God Is With Us.

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