“Be hospitable to one another without complaint”- 1 Peter 4:9
Not too long ago, we found our home in the open land of rural Tennessee, yards flowed from one property to another and our small home was nearly always flooded with unexpected, but beyond welcomed visits from friends and church family that just happened to be driving past our home on their way “to town”.
I loved that I woke up every morning and picked up the house, scrubbed the bathrooms and made sure to always have some sort of small treat on hand to share with these visitors, just in case.
When my husband found out that he got a job that required us to move across the country to the state I grew up in, the first thing that came to mind was the privacy fence. Growing up, people didn’t come over unannounced, but rather made plans weeks in advance.
I remember that my husband and I were filled with hopes and conviction of showing hospitality and bringing our country hearts with us. We’ve lived here for nearly two years and I’m learning that my assumption was far from true. I’ve learned a lot of practical hospitality skills from the ladies in our church and I am seeking to share my heart for showing love to others by opening your home.
1.) Hospitality is a Joy
“Be hospitable to one another without complaint.”
I get it. For me, it’s totally out of my comfort zone. I have 6 pretty small children. We homeschool and they all have hefty appetites. We have way too many toys in the house, and the idea of keeping a clean house is overwhelming.
We had been financially…. well pretty much ruined for nearly 5 years, our furniture is worn, some pieces are secondhand and very unattractive. I don’t like cleaning base boards or ceilings. My kitchen sink is often ignored and dubbed “clean” simply because the huge mountain of dishes has been washed. Don’t get me started on the issues with the laundry!!
It is easy for me to be focused on the work needed to be done and to complain. It is easier to clean at my own pace and keep the doors locked to the home.
What I have learned is that isolating yourself is far more miserable than doing the large job and opening your home.
Galatians 5:13 says that were called to freedom, not to serve our desires, but to serve one another.
“For you were called to freedom, brethren, only do not turn your freedom into an opportunity for the flesh, but through love, serve one another.”
What a blessing! Hospitality is a wonderful outlet to express our gratitude for the high price with which bought our salvation!
Such an opportunity to celebrate of God’s grace with fellow saints, such an open door to welcome in the lost and pour love onto them, that they may see results of Christ’s work in you.
2. Hospitality is a Service to Others
“Contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality” Romans 12: 13
There are often times within our church family or wider range of brothers and sisters in faith when needs arise. Having had six babies and some miscarriages, I know the spot of being “in need”. Unable to get up much and cook and clean for my own family, it has been a blessing to have had my Christian family bring hospitality to me.
Your church family is going to suffer sickness, poverty, loss, injury and many other painful times, and a practical way to love them is through hospitality. Take freezer meals, hot meals, offer to clean, watch little ones in your home so a weary mama can breathe and relax.
We should note here in Romans 12, the same chapter speaking on hospitality, we are also reminded what a Christian ought to look like. Christians are exhorted to present their bodies as a living and holy sacrifice as a spiritual act of worship. Serving others should be practiced with as much dedication as attending church on the Lord’s Day.
3. Hospitality brings Joy to others and YOU.
“Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord, rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance. It is the Lord Christ whom you serve.” Colossians 3:23-24
“With good will render service, as to the Lord and not to men, knowing that whatever good thing each one does, this he will receive back from the Lord, whether slave or free” Ephesians 6: 7-8
“For I was hungry, and you gave me something to eat. I was thirsty, and you gave me something to drink. I was a stranger, and you invited me in; naked and you clothed me; I was sick, and you visited me; I was in prison, and you came to me. Then the righteous will answer Him, “Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give you something to drink? And when did we see You a stranger and invite you in, or naked, and clothe You? When did we see You sick, or in prison and come to you?” The King will answer them and say “Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.” Matthew 25:35-40
And lastly, my personal “Aha” moment.
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.”
I don’t have much to add to these verses, I read them and it makes me want to deep clean my house, put a pot of soup on, whip up some brownies and shout on my porch … “Come in that I may love the Lord by serving you!”
What a beautiful double reward! Not only do you get the joy of fellowship and getting to know others, but the joy of serving Christ by serving!
Read the sister article Making Your Home a Refuge!
This post was written by my friend Maggie from Sweet Little Toppings. Make sure to pay her a visit and check out her lovely handcrafted items for your family.