Acts 16:11-15 Lydia And Covenant Headship.
In answering the call to Macedonia, Paul, Silas, and Timothy head straight for Philippi, “the foremost city of that part of Macedonia, a colony” (v. 12). On the Sabbath they went to a place by a river that was known for being a place of prayer. Evidently there was not enough men for the establishment of a synagogue, and we are told that it was women who were gathered together for prayer (v. 13). This is where we meet Lydia. We are told she was a seller of purple, which was the cloth of royalty (v. 14). “The Lord opened her heart to heed the things spoken by Paul” (v. 14 Cf. Lk. 24:45). So, once again we are reminded that our responsibility, as it was with Paul, is to speak the truth, and it is the Lord alone who can open the heart to receive it. It is evident that she did not have a husband, and in this case she occupied the place of covenant headship for her family, because we are told that “she and her household were baptized” (v. 15). She also immediately lent her support to the work, inviting them to stay at her house, no doubt also wanting to learn more.