Updated on May 8, 2013
We first started having people in our home just a couple of weeks after we were married. In the 16 years since then we have had many wonderful people in our home, from missionaries to older couples, from young families to newlyweds and singles.
There have been times when we have invited guests into our home every other week or so and there have been times when we have had company 3 or 4 times in one week. There have also been seasons where we had the same couple in our home every week for a meal over a period of time, for counseling or mentoring.
All of those times have been a great blessing to our family.
Why Be Hospitable?
Having people into our homes and around our dinner tables is a key way that we can show hospitality in our culture today. But, why should we be hospitable? Most importantly, we should be hospitable because God instructs us to be in Scripture. In Romans 12:13 and 1 Peter 4:9, Paul and Peter exhort us to practice hospitality. There is something about sharing a meal together in our homes that produces a more intimate fellowship and an easy environment for getting to know others. It is a way we can show our love and care for those around us.
Opening our homes to others provides an opportunity for the one anothers of scripture to be lived out. Scripture calls us to love one another (Romans 12:10a), to encourage one another (Hebrews 10:25b) and to bear one another’s burdens (Galatians 6:2), to name a few – and, being hospitable is in itself a one another; “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” (1Peter 4:9).
In addition, when we are hospitable, our children learn the importance of reaching out to people and how to serve others. Including our kids in the process, from deciding on who to invite, to getting the house ready and serving the meal will be a great benefit to them as they grow older. Not only does it teach them how to serve, it helps them learn to interact with people of all ages and all walks of life.
Being hospitable is one of the few ways I found as a mom of little ones that I can easily serve in our local church. When my older children were little it was hard for me to go clean the church or volunteer on a work day or help out at an event because I had my children to care for. But having people in my home for a meal and fellowship was a way I could serve.
Also, back then, it wasn’t easy for me to fellowship much at church while trying to keep an eye on the kids so having company over provided opportunity for extended fellowship.
Reaching out to others, inviting them over, is a true blessing not only to you, but also to those you welcome into your home. And ultimately, being hospitable is a means by which God will be glorified as we respond in obedience to His Word by extending ourselves to others, as Christ has extended His love and kindness and generosity to us.
Join us tomorrow for part 2 in this series on hospitality.
What are your thoughts on hospitality? Do you have people in your home on a regular basis?