Discovering the Heart of True Hospitality
by Ruth Simons, GraceLaced
I don’t know if you’ve noticed, but we live in a culture that loves to entertain, but rarely shows true hospitality. We pin endless links to great party ideas and beautiful photos of elegantly set tables and thematic dinners. I love all that. But, how daunting it must feel to read about hospitality in the Bible and have those images from Pinterest pop in your head.
Is that what hospitality looks like? What does it take to be hospitable?
What we think hospitality is:
• pressed linens
• home-cooked four-course meal
• spotless home
• fresh flowers
• matching dishes
• quiet children
What True Hospitality really is:
• sharing what you have
• sharing who you are
• involving your children in serving
• inviting others into your home
• inviting others into your real life
• being available when a need arises
What we have to believe to be truly hospitable:
• that we have to get over our pride
• that our sense of perfection is a lie
• that our possessiveness about personal time can be simply selfishness at times
• that we are hospitable unto the Lord and not for reciprocation or accolades
• that our provisions come from God, who owns everything
• that He gave to us for us to give generously
• that the most important thing we can share is not food or our home, but Christ, himself.
You see, hospitality is not about impressing or entertaining. As my wise mom-in-law shared with me in a Special Interview on Hospitality – True hospitality is about extending all that God’s given you…to another. I pray this encourages you to see hospitality in a new light – one that makes much of Christ and less of you.
How can you get started with being more hospitable? Here are a few simple suggestions:
• Hospitality isn’t limited to just dinnertime. It can also happen over a simple breakfast or lunch.
• Mid-mornings and mid-afternoons can also be a wonderful time to set aside for occasional get-togethers with other moms. Simply raid your pantry for dried fruit and nuts, and your fridge for cheese, to make a simple snack platter to share, along with a little spot of tea.
• Do you go to a Bible Study? Consider making an easy snack, and quickly picking up around the house before you leave, so that you can invite a new friend or two over after the study to get to know one another better.
• Surprise a single friend with a last-minute invite to join your family for dinner.
• Once a week, make an extra big batch of something super simple for dinner and offer to bring a meal to another family who may be having a difficult week.
Everything we do ultimately stems from our beliefs. Our theology defines our methodology. It is no different when it comes to hospitality. True Hospitality is a desire to bless, as you have been blessed. We don’t show hospitality to others simply because we have a new recipe to show off, a home that feels clean, or even a desire to help someone out. Our hospitality should flow from a heart that desires to honor and bless the Lord.
When He is our Guest of Honor, there is no end to the richness of our hospitality, or the fruit of what can become of simply opening our hearts and our homes to others.
Ruth is the author of Gracelaced where she writes about finding grace in the everyday life. Her days are filled with 5 energetic boys, whom she homeschools part-time through the Classical school her husband heads and co-founded. She has recently transitioned out of her 10 year role as a Pastor’s wife through which she has consistently learned this marvelous truth that keeps her going each and every day: “The Lord is not through with us yet.”