For my purposes here, I am going to classify her as a SFWP.  Because of her “means,” she was able to open her home and accommodate Paul and his companions while they were there to spread the Good News.

In twelve extraordinary women:  how god shaped women of the bible and what he wants to do with you, John MacArthur says this of Lydia:

“It would have been no easy task, even today, to host so many strangers.  Since they had no plans for where to go next (they were there, after all, to plant a church), she was offering to keep them indefinitely. …  Her wonderful act of hospitality nevertheless opened the way for the church to penetrate Europe.”

Aha!  A bigger plan—God’s plan in action.  A woman’s career enabled her to play an important role in the spread of the gospel.  An extraordinary woman indeed!

In both Ruth’s and Lydia’s cases, I think we can take away a good lesson:  Don’t write off someone because she may not look like the kind of woman you think is right for you and your plans for your life. 

Your view of a SFWP’s career as an “obstacle” may not be in line with God’s plan.  He may have plans that are completely outside of your realm of thinking that may or may not involve a woman’s career.  Yes, he might want a woman to put her career on the back burner for a while.  Or he may have her cease working outside of the home altogether … forever.  But maybe he will have her continue a successful career out of the home while also raising your children.  Or perhaps he will involve her career with yours so that you can serve the Lord together in an even bigger capacity than you could have ever imagined … and still raise your children at home. 

What may seem impossible and like it could never work to you right now, just may be part of a bigger plan.  With God, all things are possible! 

Plus, until you get to know someone, your assumptions about her desires or plans for how to raise a family will be just that:  assumptions.  There could be many wonderful, quality women sitting right under your and your friends’ collective nose.  Don’t let their SFWP status be what blocks your interest or pursuit. 

I encourage you not to miss out on getting to know these wonderful sisters in Christ.  The more time you spend with them, the more you will hear from their hearts.  And the information you are seeking related to career vs. child-rearing?  It will be revealed at the proper time—in God’s time

DISCLAIMER:  We are not trained psychologists or licensed professionals.  We’re just singles like you who understand what it’s like to live the solo life in the 21st century.  We believe that the Bible is our go-to guide for answers to all of life’s questions, and it’s where we’ll go for guidance when responding to your questions.

GOT A QUESTION?  If you’ve got a question about anything related to singleness, please click here to submit (selected questions will be posted anonymously).  While we are unable to answer every inquiry, we do hope that He Said-She Said will be an encouragement to you.

HE is … Cliff Young, a contributing writer and a veteran single of many decades.  He has traveled the world in search of fresh experiences, serving opportunities, and the perfect woman (for him) and has found that his investments in God, career and youth ministry have paid off in priceless dividends.

SHE is … laura maccorkle,’s Senior Entertainment Editor.  While she’s still holding out for Mr. Right, Laura has recently downsized her “perfect” wedding day ideal from high-budget, blow-out extravaganza to inexpensive, beachfront ceremony or informal, backyard barbecue.

**This column first published on March 5, 2008.