What comes to mind when you think of hospitality? Do you think of playdates gone wrong and unruly children bouncing on your couch? Or do you assume that meals planned to a tee with matching dinnerware, cloth napkins and children who act just the right way are what’s expected? A lot of moms shy away from hospitality because they are either afraid of their things getting ruined or they don’t think they can live up to the hype. In our 4 post series on the Heart of Hospitality, Rebecca and I will explore how opening your home doesn’t have to look like either of the above but can actually be a blessing to both you and your guests.
SO WHAT IS HOSPITALITY AND WHY IS IT IMPORTANT?
Hospitality is the art of creating and sharing a generous and pleasant environment with others. It is joyfully inviting others into your family’s life with a genuine attitude of “what’s mine is yours.” This takes intention and practice, but it’s worth it.
Everyone has a desire to know and to be known. Hospitality provides an opportunity to love people in a deeper way which encourages this knowing. In Romans 12, God tells Christians to show hospitality to one another. Practicing hospitality comes with great benefits. There is no better ground for teaching your children about sharing and what is important then by bringing others into your home. Your attitude and actions demonstrate that it is a joy to share your possessions. Sharing a meal in a home encourages relationships to develop and deepen in a way that can be difficult in a less intimate setting. Hospitality is a practical way to love both your neighbor and the stranger.
THE PROS OUTWEIGH THE CONS
Practicing hospitality with little ones around isn’t always easy. Conversations are often interrupted, children don’t always like to share and there is guaranteed to be a poop incident. But inviting others into your home has it’s advantages too. You don’t have to be anywhere at a certain time, which means you don’t have to load up all the things. You can encourage your children to share and teach them about interacting with others in an environment that you control. It’s also a great excuse to bake muffins and enjoy an extra cup of coffee.
HOSPITALITY IS A BLESSING TO YOU AND OTHERS
Hospitality doesn’t have to be fancy in order to show love. Recently for Rebecca’s family, it meant inviting a new family from church over for a simple dinner of Costco rotisserie chicken and roasted frozen veggies.
When I was deep in the throws of prenatal depression, sweet friends had us over for dinner. It wasn’t anything fancy, but it meant so much to me and my family just to get out of the house. We left feeling so loved.
One time we had a friend of mine, who’s gluten free, and her family over for dinner. For some reason we decided to serve spaghetti and managed to mess up her gluten free noodles. Thankfully she was very gracious and the night was a huge success. You could tell how much fun the kids had by the amount of toys everywhere. As they were getting ready to go my friend said: “I wish we didn’t have to leave.” Hospitality blesses both the guest and the host. It’s not about perfection, it’s about sharing and enjoying one another.
We hope you’ll join us tomorrow. Rebecca will talk about the ministry of the playdate and why she hasn’t always thought about it this way.
Good Resources of Hospitality:
Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock. Becoming a Woman who Pleases God. Chapter 7: The Wise Women Practices Hospitality.Moody, 2003.