Aug 8, 2017

Project Love: Hospitality || guest post

For this next slice of our blog series, I asked my mom to write her thoughts on hospitality - an important next-step in the process of loving others.  Although she could claim to be an introvert, she is so good at stepping out and loving people by welcoming them into our home with open arms.  She inspires me...and I hope what she wrote is also an encouragement to you.  =)


What images come to mind when you hear that word?  Fine china?  Aprons?  Perfectly prepared food and table linens?  Does that word make you feel stressed and think of how much work is entailed?  Or maybe "hospitality" makes you excited?

This word encompasses so much more than just having a Christmas party or inviting important guests to your home.  For extroverts, hospitality might be the easiest thing in the world that just makes you so happy.  For introverts, it might seem overwhelming to actually invite people into your safe, private place called home.

If you look at the definition of what Noah Webster has to say and mesh that with what the Bible has to say, I think you will get a far wider, more relaxing picture in your head that hospitality can encompass so many different aspects to meet each of our personality needs!

Webster defines hospitality as,
"The friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers."
See, no mention of elaborate 5-course meals, fine china, or fancy dresses!

I have heard many people say that hospitality "just isn’t my gift." I’ve heard excuses ranging from "I'm not a good cook," "my house is not very nice," "it is just not my season," or "it would feel weird to invite people into my home."  This post is NOT to condemn you if you don’t practice this but to encourage you that it is important to practice hospitality, not just to bless others but because you will be blessed in return. Let’s start with a few verses from the Bible on this topic:
"Be hospitable to one another without grumbling." - 1 Peter 4:9
In Romans 12 under the heading “behaving as a Christian,” it explains some characteristics of Christians:
“Let love be without hypocrisy. Abhor what is evil. Cling to what is good.  Be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another;  not lagging in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord;  rejoicing in hope, patient in tribulation, continuing steadfastly in prayer; distributing to the needs of the saints, given to hospitality." - Romans 12:9-13  (emphasis mine)
The last passage I would like to share is in 1 Timothy 5.  It explains that if a widow's family is not available to take care of her, the church should, but it lists requirements that the widow must have in order to qualify. (and thus probably good guidelines for us as well)

  • 60 years old
  • Wife of one man
  • Well reported for good works
  • Brought up children
  • Lodged strangers
  • Washed the saints’ feet
  • Relieved the afflicted
  • Diligently followed every good work

Whew, that is quite a list.   It can feel overwhelming just to read that list, but let’s remember the heart of those qualities.  Jesus wants us to just love others, whatever that means for each person we encounter.  Most will not require their feet to be washed (thankfully), but how much would it mean to that elderly person down the street to just come over for dinner and hear the laughter of children in your home?  How about the single mom who would love to visit and have adult conversations while her children play with new friends?  Or the new couple who just moved from out of state who don’t know anything about the community - to have someone they can ask about garbage service or where to go for car repair or which veterinarian is good for their dog, Spanky?

I could give dozens of examples of people who would be incredibly blessed by coming into YOUR kitchen, feeling the love of your family, having a listening ear, and leave feeling connected and important. I know you have people in mind right now as you’re reading!! 

Now the practical part.  HOW to do this?

First, just invite them.  Does your family have anything on the calendar Friday?  Great.   Let’s invite those neighbors across that street that we have waved at a million times and don’t know anything about them.  Are they busy?   How about another neighbor?  Older person from church? 

It’s good to ask if they have any food restrictions... and go from there.  Usually Italian food or chicken is a safe first meal.  Spaghetti or lasagna, garlic bread and a salad?  Of course an easy dessert.  You can even just buy ice cream - who doesn’t love THAT?    Or some baked chicken and easy side dishes.    If you really aren’t good at cooking, how about inviting them over for pizza and picking up pizza just before meal time?  No stress!

To be helpful, I will include the recipe that I almost always serve for first time guests.  It’s very easy, and we’ve never had anyone not love it.

And that's it!  You can serve with a salad and bread if you want to.

So your challenge for the week:   Think of one neighbor or anyone else that comes to mind that would be blessed by your hospitality.  (remember: friendly and generous reception - not perfect food or spotless house.)   Invite them this weekend….and prepare to be blessed yourself!!!!

About the Author:

Misti is a tie-dye wearing, bright paint loving, homeschool mom to 9 sweet savages.  She spends her day changing the world by doing laundry, cooking incessantly, teaching students from Master's degree to preschool, helping younger, overwhelmed moms, and doing more cooking.  Living on a farm and raising an army of children is no easy job, but she loves every minute of it.  Misti is thankful to be happily married to her husband of 23 years as they live the adventure of following an awesome God.


  1. Thank you, Hosanna's mom! :) I've been wondering about hospitality recently as I've been house-sitting for a few months, and have thus had my "own" home to invite people into. I haven't followed through much, if I'm honest, but it has been on my mind. I know I have been incredibly blessed by the hospitality of others. What about if/when I stop house-sitting and go back to live with my parents? Do you have any thoughts on how I can be a hospitable daughter in the home where I'm not the main host? Thank you for writing this.

  2. Hi Jordy! First I would talk to your mom about your desire to be more hospitable and see if you do a big chunk of the work if she would be okay if you invite (insert neighbor or acquaintance here) for lunch or dinner. If she is willing to work with you great. Not everyone is comfortable with it though. You could start with maybe inviting an older lady or single/young mom for a tea party/coffee party. Have tea/coffee and some finger sandwiches, veggies and cookies and just talk/visit ask them lots of questions. Nothing fancy just simple food. Another option is to get a tea set and a picnic basket and bring a tea party to someone else. Nursing home? Elderly lady? An unsaved peer? Bring tea bags/sugar/cream and some easy foods to share... OR you could even just invite someone out to a coffee shop/fast food restaurant and pay for it and get to know them. Hospitality doesn't always have to be at your house. Hope some of those ideas help. The idea is to invite someone so they know you thought of them, and spend time hearing their story and truly listening and get to know them and building relationship. Where/how this is done can be dozens of different ways....whatever works best for your family. =)

    1. That was a very comprehensive reply filled with plenty of ideas. Thank you! My biggest take away is that it's about inviting, listening and building reltionship, and that could happen in a variety of ways (in other words, get creative!) People are coming to mind!

  3. Thank you so much for this post, Hosanna's mom! This is something I really really would love to do more of, but as Jordy said it can be hard to know how to do it with not being the main host. Your response to her is very helpful! I had one question for might be a little jumbled. :) Do you ever feel with inviting so many people into your home you feel a sense of needing to continually be their friend or there for them in the future? I don't know...I think maybe some people feel overwhelmed with inviting many different people over because they feel that they need to from then on "be their friend"? And they already have so many people they're reaching out to that they don't feel they can "take another on"? Have you ever struggled with that? I appreciate your wisdom a lot!

    1. Hi Hannah. Thanks for asking the question. =) I actually haven't found it burdensome to build relationships with so many people. It seems after we have them over, the next time I see them, things are more relaxed and friendly cause I "know" them more and we've better bonded. Maybe cause I'm a busy mom and these friends we have over are also busy adults, it's not like they have a lot of time to be "needy" if you will. I probably do get more emails/messages through the computer asking questions to follow up on a discussion from the dinner whether a recipe or curriculum or a book or a medical question we discussed but it's not long, time consuming emails, so I don't mind at all. =) If these people we are trying to build relationships with enter a hard time in their lives, I WANT them to reach out to me so I can encourage them to turn to God or give them godly advice that they might not get elsewhere. And sometimes that can be time consuming...but that is the whole point. To allow people into your life so you can be a blessing to them and let them see Jesus. Christianity is not always convenient, unfortunately,....but we are called to be a "living sacrifice" and lay our lives down for His purposes. I once heard someone say, "Christianity (and parenting..haha) would be so easy if we never had to deal with HUMANS. (grin) But we have been called to do just that. (Disclaimer....I know there are some people who are "takers" and just drain the life out of you....sometimes we do need to make boundaries and create margin with them...fortunately, I don't currently have any "drainers" in my life...just friends with questions who need encouragement) =)

    2. Thank you very much for those thoughts! That makes sense and I love what you said about Christianity not always being convenient. Super important to remember! I'll be thinking about this in the coming weeks. Thank you for your wisdom!

  4. Thank you for this post Hosanna's mom! Though hospitality hasn't really been my gift (more of my sister's area) it's important. Thanks for the reminder!


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