Hospitality. It really has more to do with a generous heart than with food or space. It is not about elaborate meals or the perfect home. It is about sharing real life together and living in community. Hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard. And most of all, loved. I want people to feel warm and welcome in my home and full. Not just having their tummies fed, although I do love to cook, but having their heart fed. To know that they are wanted and that I am genuinely listening to them.
Why should you need to make opening your home a priority? I have a Pinterest board where I like to save ideas for recipes to make, parties to host, and a home to decorate. How many of you can relate? Although the world tells us that hospitality demands more, it is definitely not about perfection. Hospitality is actually more than that. It is more of a spiritual discipline. It has taken me years to realize this!
Titus 1:7-8 says, “For an overseer, as God’s steward, must be above reproach. He must not be arrogant or quick-tempered or a drunkard or violent or greedy for gain, but hospitable, a lover of good, self-controlled, upright, holy, and disciplined.”
No one was more hospitable than Jesus.
Although hospitality seems to be on the decline in our modern society, I find true delight in having friends over to just to sit and be real with me while I cook, organize, fold laundry, or watch the kids play outside. While I may not be the chattiest of women, I enjoy listening and offering encouragement. Letting friends see the inside of my home, the laundry going, the dirty dishes in the sink, the scatter-brained busyness life brings allows them to see inside my heart. Hospitality is where we allow friends to see how we live and where our hearts are at. It reveals the inward priorities of our hearts. It reflects humility.
Romans 12:13 says, “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
There have been many days when a friend dropped by and I thought about how the weeds had not been pulled in my driveway or how the dog should have been to the groomer much sooner, or my makeup wasn’t in its presentable state, or countless other reasons why it was not the best time for me. Lord, help us to put aside our distorted views of hospitality and teach us what it truly means to welcome people into our homes and our hearts. Being hospitable and allowing my friend into my heart creates a defining moment for both of us. My friend would never have known of their possible inconvenient timing and I would forget about all of my possible excuses once we are together visiting, being hospitable to one another.
Each time we invite someone into our homes, we are inviting Christ in.
Hebrews 13:2 says “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.”
Hospitality might feel uncomfortable or awkward, but it is really very life-giving. It allows us to offer what we have in a service to one another. It allows us to exude friendship, community, and love. Hospitality is a blessing when we take the leap and do what God allows us to do.
We would like to thank Bonnie McIntosh for writing this blog!