Should a Single Woman Live at Home?
Cultural context clouds the issue of a single woman’s role. In the Bible, communal and family solidarity was a stronger social force. Single and married sons would continue to live with their parents’ families, and women would often live with their family until they were married (the story of Isaac and Rebekah in Genesis 24 is one example). Children of living parents would serve the family in business and familial roles. But these particular patterns were rooted in that culture. Just because a particular behavior is described in Scripture does not necessarily mean that God condones or prefers it. Thus, when we read passages like Acts 21:7-9, where Phillip the evangelist had four unmarried daughters in his home, we are not to mandate that all unmarried women should live with their parents.
The Scriptures do not make specific commands regarding single women, in regards to vocation and location. There are no commands that restrict a single woman to living with her family. In our culture, single women have proven to be valuable members of society as independent individuals, but we must not view those who choose to remain at home as second best. There is great worth and value to be found in the home, whether we are male or female. In fact, if more singles were invested in their families, we might see a strengthening of family relationships through mentoring and serving together.
Occasionally, adult children merely stay home out of laziness. In these situations, the parents ought to make wise, prayerful decisions in order to bring about a spirit of responsibility and independence. We can’t offer a simple “you must do this” response. This issue truly depends upon the situation, and we must be careful to not rigidly respond to these situations in a legalistic manner. As with many other issues, this is a matter of personal preference and conscience.