Friday, November 6, 2015

Show Hospitality

1 Peter 4:9
Show hospitality to one another without complaining.

Our culture is rapidly changing.  Things are just not the same as when I grew up.  When I was a kid, most moms stayed at home, and I didn’t know of anyone who was divorced.   We ate our meals together, without television or cell phones.   

Our home was one with an open door.  People were in and out of our lives.  I loved having company over.    My mom could have probably outdone Martha Stewart, I will admit, and I wanted to be just like her.

Well, I didn’t develop all of her skills.  My house has rarely been clean in every room at one time.  It’s hard for me to keep the laundry done, and I certainly didn’t get her sewing gene.  However, I did pick up a few things about hospitality.

My mom’s advice would be, “Whoever drops by just love them, listen to them and pray for them when needed.” 

Mom used to have a round platter with sections in it.  When these impromptu guests arrived, out came the platter with whatever she could find in the pantry and frig.  It might be crackers with peanut butter, cheese, pickles and store bought cookies, but arranged on that platter, it became a feast to guests. 

What is served and how things look isn’t as important as loving guests.   Recently a couple invited us to their home, and they were in the midst of major renovation.  The fact they didn’t wait until everything was complete to have us over caused us to see they had a heart of hospitality.   We all had an awesome time together, and they didn’t apologize for the unfinished projects.   

There’s a big difference in hospitality and entertaining.  Hospitality is all about the person visiting.  Entertaining is more about impressing guests.

I find in this day and time particularly, there are many young men and women as well as couples who have never had family life modeled to them.  They may have some false perception of what life will be like when they choose a mate.

When our kids were young, there was a young man we used to have over regularly.  I will never forget the night he told us there had to demons in our house because the kids were not getting along.  It was a little chaotic.  We just laughed and told him we couldn’t wait for him to get married and have kids.  Years later he called us to apologize.     

It doesn’t require the perfect Christian life to invite others to come along side you.  We all have growth areas.  There have been times I have discussed my shortcomings with a friend and told her I needed to change.  

It doesn’t matter how old you are or whether you are single or married, you are needed to pour your life into others.  There are so many people who would jump at the opportunity to be noticed, listened to, and encouraged. 

With the holidays approaching, let me challenge you to reach out to others in your own way.  In a future post, I will give some practical ideas, but until then, please feel free to comment and share ways you have found to welcome others into your own heart and life.

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