Make a Habit of Hospitality
Hospitality. Practice hospitality. God emphasizes the word the idea of practicing, it seems, when he says, “Use hospitality.” (1 Peter 4:9) That word use or practice is important. In the past, I’ve had a habit of hospitality. I was trained and raised to practice hospitality by my mom who had a deep-rooted habit of hospitality. And, she was good at it! She loved having people in her home, and communicated her love for people easily (or so it seemed:). I love having people in my home, too! For a period of a few years, we were counting the number of people through our home each year by the hundreds.
Then, due to a number of extenuating circumstances I got out of the habit of hospitality–my mom needed increasing care over a couple of years before her death and then right after that I had foot surgery which required a long period of recovery.
This was a difficult and humbling time. The Lord stripped me of everything that had been “me” and part of my ministry and purpose. This was when He brought me to the place where I was ready to say, “Ok, Lord, change me.” And, He did. He taught me a ton! He changed me.
Let’s Be Used By God For His Purposes in Hospitality!
When I tried to get the habit of hospitality back–something that had been like falling off a log for me, and that I enjoyed immensely–it was suddenly uncomfortable, inconvenient, and didn’t feel good at all. Because I was out of practice, I didn’t feel competent at showing hospitality anymore. Perhaps the Lord wanted to humble me. Maybe He wanted me to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes (always a good thing). Now I can relate to the person who finds practicing hospitality burdensome, where before I couldn’t.
If You Do Not Practice, You Will Get Rusty
No matter if you’ve done something a million times, if you don’t continue to practice it regularly, you will get rusty eventually. It’s just a fact. So, how do you get back into the habit of practicing hospitality, or start to practice hospitality, if you’ve never done it?
What It Means To Show Hospitality
How To Make a Gracious Habit of Hospitality
Here are my 7 Tips for Making a Habit of Hospitality:
- Start small and keep it simple: Invite 1 friend for popcorn and to watch a movie together, or invite a couple over for ice cream and Cookie Butter topping (Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter is absolutely the best!)
- Lower your expectations (obsessiveness/OCD-ness) of your house being perfectly clean and picked up (or decorated like a picture in a magazine): pick up and clean one room, if your house is really a mess–and lead your guests there. Or, let it motivate you to spend some time de-cluttering and organizing. But, invite guests first, so you don’t delay for 6 months because your house is too messy. Don’t embarrass your guests by apologizing for your messy house. They are there to see you. They probably have their own mess at home. Show them love, make them feel at home, listen to them, care. That’s what’s important. And, Relax.
- Get something on the schedule a month or so out to give yourself time to prepare, but do get it scheduled.
- When the Lord prompts you to invite someone specific, obey the prompting.
- Think of a meal that you can make by heart and invite someone who’s lonely to share it with you (is there a widow in your neighborhood? A foreign exchange student or immigrant trying to assimilate? A single college student in your church?)
- Invite someone to come for tea (or coffee). Maybe also serve a plate of crackers and cheese, an apple cut up, possibly some of your favorite chocolates set out, and use your favorite cups or mugs (don’t worry about matching!) with a small plate for each of you. Use inexpensive napkins that are pretty, or cloth napkins, and get an assortment of good teas (Vanilla cream, chamomile, rooibos, raspberry zinger…). Lay it out on the coffee table or kitchen table before your guest arrives, and it will say, “Welcome!” If you have small children, have an area with toys set up to keep them occupied, and if they’re old enough, send them to another part of the house to play so you and your guest can visit in (relative) peace (or let them serve your guests:).
- Think of questions to ask and be a good listener. Pray with and for your guests. Share what the Lord is doing in your life and be an encourager.
Simple Steps Will Improve Skills to Show Hospitality
Once you’ve begun (again), then repeat and practice! Expand to larger groups and more often as you feel more and more comfortable.
When you want to make a habit of hospitality, start small and keep it simple! Wendy Gunn
If you ask God and pray for Him to show you who He wants you to have over, to lead the conversation, and to bless your time together, He will.
If you do it for the Lord, He’ll help you to forget about yourself and be able to practice the true meaning of the word hospitality, which comes from the word “hospital.”
You’ll be a means of bringing His healing, encouragement, and love to others. The surprising thing is that you will be the one most blessed!
Who are you going to invite this week to come this month?
Have a Great Day Making Your Home For God!
I help Christian moms raise their kids according to Biblical principles, get organized to manage life, achieve their unique God-given goals and dreams, and fulfill God’s purpose for them to make a difference in the world through my workshops, courses, and coaching founded on Biblical principles. You are already successful in many areas. I can help you in those that you’re not. Dream big dreams, and see God transform and use your life in amazing ways! Let’s work together for your success!
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