Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality. - Romans 12:13 NIV
What comes to mind when you think of hospitality? Having a fancy dinner party or sipping a cup of coffee with a friend? Or maybe a cookout in your backyard? All of these things fall under the banner of hospitality- the opening of your home and heart to friends, family, or guests in a warm, generous way.
Hospitality is an important thing for Christians. My husband read to me from scripture just this morning in Romans where it says hospitality is the mark of a true Christian. He was also looking up the qualifications of an elder and one of them was hospitality. Paul urges Christians to open their hearts in hospitality to others because God has opened His heart to us!
For moms, sometimes sharing hospitality seems easier said than done. Our to-do lists are never-ending, there's just no time, we may feel like we are neglecting our kids too much already without adding more to the schedule. So what can you do, as Romans 12:13 says, to practice hospitality?
True hospitality starts within the family. Our children are little gifts from God. Give your children what every guest would want- love, acceptance, safety. Your children's friends are your second opportunity for hospitality. Ignore the mud, mess, and noise that comes with them. Show them respect and love. Then broaden your horizons. Look around your church and neighborhood. Is there a single mom, or a widow who wouldn't care about dust but would love a cup of coffee and a smile? Forget about the feast that costs a ton of money. Share what you have with others while you are doing what you would normally do. Share your heart and your home - that's what true hospitality is all about.
Our family enjoys showing hospitality to others and our children get very excited when anyone comes to visit. We love to have friends over for a meal and games, and we love to have out of town guests come to stay overnight or even for several days. The kids always help to clean the house and prepare the food and have always given up their beds and slept on the floor without complaint. (our house is NEVER perfect...we have 5 children, that says it all doesn't it?) We are extremely grateful to have wonderful friends who welcome us home with warm hospitality and great meals and sweet fellowship. We are thankful also for the family members who invite us to visit, make room for us, and fix the children's favorite foods. All of this is teaching our children about hospitality and helping us to know how we want to show hospitality in our own home as well.
Here are some things to do to encourage hospitality in your home:
- With your kids, brainstorm ideas for adding warmth and hospitality to your home.
- Purchase a teapot as a family reminder to be hospitable. Make tea whenever someone visits.
- Pray and ask God to make each room in your home a place for hospitality.
- Decide on an inexpensive, simple meal you can keep on hand for unexpected visitors.
- Understand that people of all ages need to receive acceptance and hospitality.
- Remember what it feels like to be alone, left out, and unaccepted.
- Thank God for those who have reached out in hospitality to you and your children.
- Recognize that God can use you just as you are to show hospitality to others.
- Show hospitality to your immediate family just as much as you do to those who come to visit.
- Open your heart and find creative, inexpensive ways to make hospitality a lifestyle choice.
1 Timothy 5:10 She must be known for her good works - works such as raising her children, welcoming strangers, washing the feet of God's people, helping those in trouble, and giving her life to do all kinds of good deeds.
The crown of the house is godliness; the beauty of the house is order; the glory of the house is hospitality; the blessing of the house is contentment.
-Henry Van Dyke