Becoming Hospitable: Week 2

We were newly married and living in a shoe box of a home and we got this hair-brained idea to entertain!  One of the first people {aside from family} we entertained in our home was a missionary couple.  My husband and I had only been married a few short months but we were excited {and slightly terrified!}!  My husband had known this couple from before we had even met, but I had not yet met them.  I was a shy, nervous, bride but I really wanted to be hospitable!  I can count on one finger the amount of times we had people in our home growing up.  It just was not something my family did, however my husband had grown up in a home that was the complete opposite!  His parents had people in their home frequently.

I do not even remember what it was I had fixed for dinner, but I remember fixing a mousse for dessert because this couple were missionaries to France and mousse sounded so French.  My mind ran wild before they arrived with thoughts of, what was I going to say?  What if I burned the meal?  Praise the Lord things went off without a hitch and the mousse was absolutely luscious!

In the previous post we mentioned how we often put pressure on ourselves to have a perfect home before we welcome others in, but we learned that an inviting home has more to do with our attitude than it does our clean floors and counter tops.

So now that we have taken the pressure off of ourselves to have everything perfect before becoming hospitable, what do we do?  Well, I am so glad you asked!

The second step is, being hospitable does not just mean we open our homes to only those we know.  Though having family and friends over is wonderful and enjoyable and is something we often love doing, the essence of hospitality does not end with having only friends and family gather.  It also means to entertain those we may not know very well or even at all!

This can seem so intimidating right?  Having people in our home that we do not know can seem a bit frightening even!  Friends, can I be honest and share with you, I am as shy as shy can be!  One of the scariest things for me is walking up to complete strangers {such as new visitors to our church} and putting myself out there in an attempt to make them feel welcome.  I like my back row in the church and I would sit there quietly without disturbing a soul thank.you.very.much.  Isn’t it funny that my comfort zone is completely opposite of what God has called me as a Christian and also Pastors wife to do?  Walking up to the newcomers and making conversation, being warm and welcoming.  The more I do it though, the easier it has become.  I have found I care more about making people who enter our church doors to feel welcomed and loved than I do about my own comfort zone.

The same can be said about opening up our homes to those we may not know well.  The more we do it, the better we become at it and the more we will find ourselves wanting to be hospitable!

My mother in-law is amazing at this.  She and my father in-law have had countless people through their home and they love having them in!  My mother in-law makes everyone feel right at home and is quite possibly the most hospitable person I know!  A guest speaker comes to town? She has them in for dinner!  A traveling college ensemble?  They are bunking in her spare rooms or on the living room floor!  Everyone from family to complete strangers have sat at her dining table and she welcomes each one with open arms.  I want hospitalityto be just like that!

When we choose to stay within our comfort zones and only entertain people we are comfortable with, we can miss out on tremendous blessings!  Hebrews 13:2 states, Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” 

God desires for His children to be hospitable.  He blesses us so that we can be a blessing to others.  Let’s see what Romans 12:9-13, “Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good. Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another; Not slothful in business; fervent in spirit; serving the Lord; Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer; Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.”  

The best way to become hospitable is to simply take the first step!  Invite someone in!  Remember, our homes do not have to be perfect, we just need to be welcoming!

Maybe you are like me, you are shy or more introverted, and the thought of having strangers in your home terrifies you as it did me the first several times we had people in our home!  I want to let you in on a little secret I have that will help.  Before we have anyone in our home, I pray!  I ask the Lord to help the conversation to flow smoothly and help us to think of things to converse about!  It may seem silly, but sometimes I just have no idea what to say to people!  Praying has helped tremendously!

We have learned that our home does not have to be perfect to be inviting and we have also seen that God wants us to be hospitable to more than just our family and friends.  To come out of our comfort zones in order to be a blessing to others.

Join me in the coming days as we learn to practically apply the two steps we have learned.

Be encouraged!

Wendy

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10 thoughts on “Becoming Hospitable: Week 2

  1. Amen to this. Some of my husband’s and my best memories are of tables filled with military folks we barely knew. They became family and still are. Uplifting encouragement here today.

  2. Wendy, I love your definition of “hospitality: God’s love made visible.” The times I have opened my home and stretched myself, I have seen what a joy hospitality can be. I desire to be a woman with an open heart and open home. Thank you, Wendy, for encouraging me to step out of my comfort zone and for sharing your heart at #IntentionalTuesday on Intentionally Pursuing. : )

  3. Thanks, Wendy! My mother was much like your mother-in-law and I have wonderful memories of the many she invited into our home. At Thanksgiving the table was always full because she invited anyone she knew who had no family to share the day with. I enjoy having people in my home, but too often I get bogged down in thinking something far more exotic needs to be prepared or the table setting needs to be crystal and china. Your post is a great reminder of the heart of the matter!
    Blessings to you!
    Pam

    • Yes, I can get bogged down as well, especially with wanting to make everything perfect! I am still a work in progress in that area, but what a blessing it is when I get out of my own way and let God use us! Thank you for your encouraging words!

  4. Wendy, what a great reminder. I am a bit of an introvert as well so opening my home to those I don’t know can be intimidating, but I have done it and am always blessed. God is so faithful when we step out in obedience and love for him. Thanks for sharing.

  5. Oh,my! I could relate to much of what you said here, Wendy. I often have no idea what to say to people! As the Family & Fellowship lay-leader at my church I was forced to welcome and interact with everyone! It never got any easier, but God always gave me the grace to do what I needed to do, amen? Thank you for sharing this inspiring post!

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