Making a Home

Practice Hospitality

Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
Romans 12:13


hospitality – the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.

My husband and I have always enjoyed having people over. It’s always been something we’ve just done. Invited friends over, for various events, or just because. So, naturally when we started going to church, we continued this practice, inviting people into our home. There is a special call on us as believers to practice hospitality with other believers. Not only with other believers, but other believers “who are in need” (Romans 12:13), strangers (Hebrews 13:2), and people who cannot invite us back (Luke 14:12).

“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:9

But what if you don’t know how to do that? Or you feel like what you have to offer isn’t good enough?

Maybe you feel like your house is too small, not updated, too cluttered or just not what you want it to be. Maybe you feel like you’re not a great cook, or you’re not at all sure what to feed other people.

This is where practice comes in. The Bible tells us to practice hospitality. And, like I always tell my boys, “If you want to get better at something, you have to practice.”

When we first started having people over, I really didn’t know what I was doing. We had a very small apartment, were newly married, and had a baby on the way. We prepared the food we liked and thought other people would like, we tidied our home, and we welcomed people in. As the years have gone on and we have continued to invite people over, and have been guests in other people’s homes, I’ve learned a thing or two. I can make better dishes to serve, I try to have my house clean when our guests arrive, and I welcome them into my home.

welcome – (of a guest or new arrival) gladly received

Here’s the thing, even all those years ago, when I had no idea what I was doing, I welcomed people in. It was my desire to make them feel welcome and comfortable in my home, and that is still my desire now. I offer the best that I have, and at times my best has consisted of a messy house, a glass of tea, and a conversation, not always, but sometimes. At times, me showing hospitality has been bringing food to someone who needs it. At times, it has consisted of a celebration, with a clean house, decorations, and all the fixings. Whether I’ve had a little to offer, or a little more to offer, I’ve always tried to offer an attitude of hospitality.

When someone comes to my house that hasn’t been here before, I still do get a little nervous about what they might think. I wonder if what I have to offer might not be to their liking. If I’m having them over for a meal, I always try to check with them about allergies, or likes and dislikes of food, because I don’t want to serve something that they don’t like to eat (or can’t). But as I’ve gotten older, I’ve realized that most people don’t notice all the little things about my house that I notice. Most people are not coming into my home wanting to critique it, or me. Most people genuinely just want to visit, or eat, or both. That’s how I feel when I go to someone else’s home. I feel glad to be there and enjoy the time I get to spend with them. I’m always glad to be invited, and I think generally that is how other people feel too.

Although you and I can improve our surroundings, and refine our cooking skills, what matters most in having people over is the attitude and intention of our heart. And that, I think, is more important than food, atmosphere, or any other thing we can do – so let’s put our focus on having an attitude of, and making a practice of, hospitality.

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