WELCOME!! Thank you for stopping by my blog today. I love my readers and appreciate each one who stops in for a visit. Even though it is not expressed often enough, I am thankful for you. Thankfulness and appreciation are valuable virtues which can continually be improved upon. These virtues are also an important part of the discussion over At the Well today: Biblical Hospitality.
I used to think that hospitality encompassed serving a great meal and inviting guests into a spotless home. Many times I did that, but after a day spent cleaning, cooking and preparing for the guests, by the time they arrived, I was not good company! Neither was my family since I had been grumpy, irritable and threatened them continually for leaving a speck of dust or footprint in the house before the guests arrived!
Through the years, I have learned that hospitality is not only action and work, it is an attitude that starts in the heart and extends outward through love and service. Hospitality begins with thankfulness for what we have and a desire to extend that to others. It is a sharing of friendship, food, fun, but can also provide a refuge, a safe place for someone to simply unload while feeling secure and loved.
Our home is where our heart is. We move freely around our home and our truly ourselves. When we open our homes, we open our hearts. It doesn't have to be elaborate and our home does not have to be spotless. Hospitality is the act of inviting someone into your home and sharing who you are with them. It is an act of service where we put our insecurities aside and put the needs of our guests first. Are they comfortable, relaxed or in need of anything? The best thing we can do for our guests is to relax and be ourselves. Make them feel at home by continuing with the home routine but also making time for some one on one conversation. Making the guests a part of the home routine (helping set the table etc.) helps them feel a greater part of the home and family.
Now of course we all want to be hospitable people, but what are some things that hinder that hospitable attitude?
What excuses have you used lately to justify not "entertaining" in you home?
My home is not big enough, nice enough, don't have matching plates, I may not can keep guests entertained are just a few of the "biggies"! Here is where a dose of gratitude comes in. If we learn to like what we have instead of liking what we don't have, we will freely share with a heart of gratitude.
What are some steps you can take to prepare your home to have others over?
A recent book about hospitality I read did a poll of what guests prefer. Having a spotless house was not a major issue, but tidiness was. Guests don't like to move piles of junk to sit down. I love a tidy house. But it takes lots of work. Training the kids to pick up and put away things and spot cleaning through the day helps keep things tidy. Having ingredients for a meal you can quickly cook on hand will eliminate the panic of not having food for company. A little foresight and daily keeping things up are a few ways to be ready for guests at all times.
What are some steps you need to take to prepare your heart for an attitude?
The first two questions were a bit easier to answer!! Many times our attitude is the biggest thing to prepare! At times we don't feel sociable or don't want to be inconvenienced by company. Many times it seems like so much effort to entertain and we just don't feel up to it. An open heart is an open home. Often times hospitality is in the little things. Offering a neighboring child a drink or snack, being open for those overnight guests our kids want to stay. Inviting a neighbor in for a moment as they are dropping something off. Some of these quick, spontaneous moments make for the best relaxed fellowship. Keeping an open heart for ways to be a blessing and taking advantage of them cultivates a hospitable heart.
Hospitality is Biblical. We are encouraged to show hospitality to one another (Romans 12:13, I Timothy 3:2, I Peter 4:9). I recently came across a list of 10 Reasons You Can't Afford Not To Be Hospitable from Revive Our Heart. It will bless and encourage you as you open your heart and home and let the Lord fill both!