This year, do you hope to spend more time with family and friends, nurturing those relationships that mean the most to you? Christian Mommy wants to help with this two-part series on how to entertain in your home without the stress. Part 1 is all about the heart behind the hospitality.
Does the thought of practicing hospitality make you nervous? I’ve been there, and even today, I can still let my anxiousness get the best of me. But I take my thoughts firmly in hand and remind myself that hospitality is the glue that holds the body of Christ together.
When I was a young wife and mom, the thought of guests showing up at my door—those who I knew were coming as well as friends who stopped by unannounced—sent me into a dither. Mom to three young boys, my house often looked like a whirlwind had recently passed through, and as a result, I wasn’t comfortable welcoming folks into my home just so they could get a firsthand glimpse of the disaster that was my home.
When my out-of-state in-laws were due for a much-anticipated stay, I’d launch into a cleaning frenzy several days before they were scheduled to arrive. I’d drive my poor family crazy with nonstop demands—clean this, dust that, pick up your rooms, mow the lawn, weed that garden, and get all of the laundry done and put away (a miracle in itself)—our home had to be spotless! I was like a drill sergeant, and it was virtually guaranteed that my family would end up grumpy and frazzled by the time the big day arrived—hardly the mindset for joyfully receiving guests.
But one day, God stopped me short. As part of a Bible study, I read several verses during my quiet time that gave me pause. Here are some of the verses that I took to heart that day:
“Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:9).
“Be devoted to one another in love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:10-13).
“Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it” (Hebrews 13:2).
Did the Lord really expect me to offer hospitality without grumbling (1 Peter 4:9)? I didn’t need to be a genius to figure out that I’d been going about this hospitality thing all wrong. The time had come for me to change my ways.
The first thing I needed to change was my attitude. I decided that no matter the state of my home, I would greet my guests at the door with a smile and welcoming words. And I’d remind myself that they were here to see me; not my house.
Showing hospitality isn’t about setting the perfect table or having a magazine-worthy home. Instead, hospitality gives us opportunities to show kindness to others by opening our hearts and our homes, and to experience the joy that comes from serving others. And, as is always the case, our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ is our ultimate role model as the joyful Servant.
“And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God” (Hebrews 12:1-2).
So go out and invite someone into your home today. Make them feel welcome. Rejoice as you have the opportunity to shine the light of our Lord into the hearts and minds of those who surround you.
Connect with Georgia at firstname.lastname@example.org