hos·pi·tal·i·ty: the online dictionary states, the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers
When you think of hospitality, who comes to mind? I immediately think of my mom. She has always been so generous with her home and her amazing dishes. She still brings us Korean food almost every week and even to my girlfriends! God has gifted her with a true heart of hospitality as she pours so much love into making and sharing her delicious dishes.
It’s easy to get overwhelmed with the thought of hospitality. We can set high standards for ourselves when it comes to what we serve and how our house looks. Since it can be really stressful, sometimes we forget the act altogether and just say we’re not gifted with hospitality. I’ve come to realize that people don’t really care what you serve them as long as you feed them something. ha! For the most part, people don’t really care if your house is pristine or not either. Actually, I think most of us feel more comfortable when the house we’re visiting isn’t so perfect. Since I have 3 young kids, I’ve faced the reality that my house can’t stay clean for that long. There are toys in various parts of the house, unfolded laundry still left in the baskets and crumbs everywhere. I’ve slowly learned to let it go and really enjoy welcoming people into our house regardless of a little mess! Now, I’m not saying let your house be a pigsty but I am saying that it’s just not the most important thing. I loved reading this book by Myquillyn Smith (where I got the inspiration for the book page wreath) because it’s about embracing reality and the natural imperfection of our home. It’s coming from a believer’s perspective so I totally connected with what she shared. I love her tagline, “it doesn’t have to be perfect to be beautiful.”
I love preparing a nice homemade meal for my friends and guests when they come over but I’ve also come to realize that that’s not the most important thing either. There were times when we had guests over and I would stress because the food didn’t come out right or my house wasn’t as clean as I wanted. What a headache! Now, when having guests over, I try to plan a relatively simple meal that’s less hassle. I believe the most important thing is being available for your guests and spending time with them. We can often struggle with having the Martha complex with guests and it’s so not enjoyable. If you tend to stress over the food, just get take out! Oh the horror! haha. I believe food tastes best when shared with others so there’s no need to think that we have to slave away all day to be hospitable.
I read this really great article on secular hospitality verses biblical hospitality. I love how it talks about true hospitality being sacrificial, uncomfortable, and not seeking to impress others. It doesn’t mean you can’t go all out on a meal with fancy silverware and creating something beautiful. I love all of that too and appreciate it! All of it just goes back to the posture of your heart. Are you being hospitable so that you can look good or that Jesus can look good? Is it so that you can serve others or so you can get credit? The article states how “biblical hospitality is the outpouring of mercy and grace to others without expectation for reciprocation.” Now, I’m a selfish person at times so of course this isn’t always easy. I love that we don’t even need a physical home to be hospitable! We can serve others and let it be an overflow from our hearts. It can be through bringing food, being a listening ear, praying for others or just simply being available to others. We understand hospitality because God demonstrated it to us first. If we have experienced that supernatural grace, we are compelled to demonstrate it to others.
One of my favorite things about inviting people into my home is listening to their stories. Everyone has a story. EVERYONE. This morning I just got done meeting with a sister and sharing our hearts while brunching (yes that’s a word according to me), affirming each other and praying through our messy hearts. Oh what a beautiful thing. I love eating, sharing, laughing, crying, listening and praying through our brokenness together. God knows I’ve experienced my own seasons of brokenness and it was never in vain. He is the author and perfecter of our faith and uses our brokenness to minister and speak truth into people’s lives. How amazing is that? That is true hospitality. May this continue to be a prayer of my heart, for God to remind me of this beautiful truth and let it be a way for him to use and bless others. With that said, I hope you have a wonderful weekend and find a way to show hospitality to someone that will be blessed by it.
Thanks for reading,
The LORD is near to the brokenhearted And saves those who are crushed in spirit. -Psalm 34:18-
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it. -Hebrews 13:2-