Being Intentional With Hospitality
Over the last few weeks we have been going through Proverbs and I felt the need to address hospitality. In this day and age this gift is slowly dying out. Seems to me that we are so rushed all the time that slowing down takes so much effort. For some of us, hospitality comes easy and is a love language we are born with; for others, hospitality is a struggle.
Why should we care about hospitality?
God cares about hospitality. Here are some scriptures:
Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality. Romans 12:13
Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2
Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 1 Peter 4:9
Hospitality is defined as a “cordial and generous reception of or disposition toward guests.”
Another part of this definition includes: “An instance of cordial and generous treatment of guests.”
Hospitality was something that was second nature in the house I was raised. There were always people in and out of our house – folks that worked for my Dad, family, friends, our church community, the list goes on and on. My mom would always whip up some food and could feed a small Army in no time flat. She always was happy to do so and loved having friends and family over. She never seems frazzled or got upset by people coming and going. When I was a kid, my mom always had cookies and other baked goods for my friends during sleep overs. I have so many fond memories of those times. When I got older, I started being the hostess and learned early to prepare meals for many people. My brother and I regularly had friends over and, as a female, I did much of the preparing for my brother’s friends as well:).
If I had to be labeled as something, it would probably be a social butterfly. When my husband and I married, I had no idea I was marrying a social moth( his words not mine lol). Now for those who know my husband in real life, he is a talker, he loves people and he loves to meet others and carry on conversations. However, he struggles with the gift of hospitality. Take that and add in having a few kids in a short amount of time, the house being a constant state of chaos, well….it doesn’t make for a Martha Stewart type of dinner party:).
(This is a couple of my hubby’s Soldiers we had over this past Sunday. We had other friends, too, I just didn’t get pictures!)
I eventually stopped inviting people over. I had the “call before you come” mentality, which translated to “please don’t stop by!” Then we began attending a church that regularly had folks stop by when we were in OH. They were not inspecting my house or expecting a four course dinner. They were simply coming to see us, get to know us and to connect. What? You mean I don’t have to impress anyone?
Over time, I started inviting friends over regardless more and more. Eventually we were inviting Soldiers over for Christmas and Thanksgiving and taking those who work staff duty (24 hour shift) food so that they had meals for the holidays. I won’t lie, I still get butterflies sometimes thinking about entertaining; however, it has become something that my husband and I both truly love. Probably more so me than my husband, but he’s coming along. We really love having our friends stop by and we again attend a church where, randomly, folks come by. We love it! We also have an open house to my husband’s Soldiers if they need a place to eat a home cooked meal or come for the holidays. I always send a lot of leftovers and home-canned goods:).
What happened over time? Why was I becoming hospitable again? How did I come to my change of heart?
She stretcheth out her hand to the poor; yea, she reacheth forth her hands to the needy. Proverbs 31:20
A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach; 1 Timothy 3:2
I didn’t really have a change of heart, I just got back to my roots. I have always believed that women are called to be hospitable and to embrace the art of hospitality. It doesn’t mean that your house has to be a home decor showcase. Folks are not really coming over to inspect your latest interior design or lack thereof. They are coming to spend time with you, get to know you, and make meaningful connections. Christian’s should embrace hospitality because it is a wonderful opportunity to be the hands and feet of Jesus by serving others. It means opening your heart and your house to others.
And when Jesus was come into Peter’s house, he saw his wife’s mother laid, and sick of a fever. And he touched her hand, and the fever left her: and she arose, and ministered unto them. Matthew 8:14-15
Before extending hospitality here are some tips:
- Pray for God to use your hospitality to minister to others; make sure that you are setting a good Christian example.
- Don’t turn down hospitality to someone just because they are a non-believer. This may be the chance for you to share the gospel of Christ.
- Pray for God to calm down any anxious thoughts and to show you how to better serve with grace.
- Don’t wait until your house is perfect. If you do, you will never have anyone over 🙂
So what did I wear?
Flexi Clip: Lilla Rose
Sweater, White Top, and Skirt: They are ALL MikaRose from SierraBrooke
Shoes: Are they not the best!? I LOVE them!!! Bought at Zulily 🙂
I hope you all have a blessed week in the Lord. Do you struggle with hospitality or are you a natural? I would love to hear from you!!!