Monday, August 30, 2010

Practicing Hospitality (without grumbling)

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:9

Notice how this verse had to say “without grumbling”. I think this was written just for me. I wish I could say that I’ve always practiced hospitality with great joy and excitement, but that wouldn't be the truth. I think the reason I grumble about hospitality is because my focus becomes stuck on myself and not serving others. Practicing hospitality takes effort, time, and energy. It is a sacrifice. I tend to get pretty comfy in my “comfort zone” and forget how practicing hospitality should be part of our families ministry.

I also found that I've had the wrong mindset about what hospitality even is.  I have made countless excuses for not practicing hospitality. Some of them include the following:

It already takes a lot of effort to feed our family of 5. How would I manage to feed anymore?

I’m an introvert- not a people person.

Hospitality is expensive- we can barely afford to buy groceries for our own family.

I just don’t have the gift of hospitality.
I’m not Martha Stewart.

I don’t cook very well.

My house is to small.

I don’t have a big enough kitchen table for everyone to sit.

We’re to busy.

I don't even know who to invite.

I’m learning what hospitality is not about:

It's not about me.

It’s not about the size of my house or my kitchen table.

It’s not about how good (or bad) I cook.

It’s not about showing off my homemaking skills. (or lack thereof)

It’s not about having the gift of hospitality.

It’s not about impressing others.

Hospitality is about: 

Sharing the gift of Jesus Christ with others who don’t know Him.

Leaving my comfort zone.

Serving others.

Sharing all that God has blessed us with.

About fellowship.

About ministering to the needs of others.

About giving without expecting anything in return.

Bringing honor and glory to God.

In the book The Family Meal Table by Nancy Campbell she shares an acronym for the kitchen table. 

T: A place of training, teaching and togetherness
A: A place of affirming , anointing and atmosphere
B: A place of binding, building and blessing
L: A place of loving, listening and laughter
E: A place of encouragement, example and enjoyment.

What excuses have you been making for not practicing hospitality? 

Let's remember hospitality isn't about impressing others, but about bringing honor and glory to our Lord Jesus Christ!

"When you entertain, you bring honor and glory to yourself, showing hospitality brings honor and glory to God." Unknown author

Titus 1:8

Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.

1 Timothy 5:10

No widow may be put on the list of widows unless she is over sixty, has been faithful to her husband, and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the saints, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.

Luke 14:12-14

Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous."

Hebrews 13:2

Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some people have entertained angels without knowing it.

1 Peter 4:9

Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.

Romans 12:13
Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

Karen Mains writes in Open Heart, Open Home:

"Entertaining has little to do with real hospitality. Secular entertaining is a terrible bondage. Its source is human pride. Demanding perfecting, fostering the urge to impress, it is a rigorous taskmaster that enslaves. In contrast, scriptural hospitality is a freedom that liberates.

Entertaining says, 'I want to impress you with my beautiful home, my clever decorating, my gourmet cooking.' Hospitality, however, seeks to minister. It says, 'This home is not mine. It is truly a gift from my Master. I am His servant, and I use it as He desires. Hospitality does not try to impress but to serve."

contributed to Raising Homemakers Link-up.


  1. Thank you for sharing on this topic, I used to be really good at this but somehow I've lost the art, or the desire and have been feeling it pressing on my heart again. I appreciate you sharing your heart and what you are learning.

  2. Wowzer! This is something I so struggle with! When peeps see me they usually comment on how out-going I am, but- honestly, I am a HUGE introvert. (To understand: Read my faer post a fews post back.) We hardly have people over! Lately, God has been working on my MANY bondage issues and I just can't wait for our first dinner party THIS Friday! I have been SO nervous about the house, the costs, the food, etc. But... Your post is exactly what I needed to read! It's not about the house... or serving the best food! It's about fellowshiping in Christ and haring His amazing love with others. Thanks... :0)



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