I want to preface this article by saying that I am writing it as much for myself as anyone else who may need some encouragement to practice Biblical hospitality. Have you ever been in a situation where you feel that God is trying to get your attention? That is what I am feeling about this whole topic. I started out by thinking of writing an article on the subject of Biblical hospitality. Then on Sunday, our pastor talked mainly about hospitality in his sermon. And another reminder has come through training our dog. He is pretty skittish when meeting other people. We have been talking with a trainer about ways to help him with this. We had to admit to her (and to ourselves) that we don't have company over very often. That's three different instances where the topic of hospitality has come up, so I think we need to listen!
The idea of Biblical hospitality may be a little different than other thoughts of hospitality. When I just think of the word "hospitality," I think of a hostess putting on a great meal in a spic and span clean house. It brings visions of people sitting around talking, eating and laughing.
When I think of the hospitality in a Biblical sense, it seems that it is much more of an attitude than an action. It is welcoming others that may need us into our homes and our lives. I don't think it even has to take place in our home. We may meet someone who needs to talk for coffee, or bring a meal over to someone who isn't feeling well . But it certainly can be inviting others to our house to share a meal, have some dessert, play a game, or just to talk.
I think it goes well beyond the idea of "entertaining" and is more of a "reaching out." And I think it doesn't just include our friends, but those who may not have anywhere else to go.
In these kinds of situations, our houses don't have to be completely in order. The food doesn't have to be "company quality." We just have to extend a warm welcome and have the basics - maybe some tea or coffee to offer or a nice home cooked meal.
Biblical Hospitality Takes An Effort
I think part of the resistance to practicing hospitality is the idea of all the work involved, and I have to admit, I tend to fall in this camp. I think of the time it takes to clean the house and make a meal that others will like. That can stop me in my tracks. So, how can we be more ready to be hospitable on a moment's notice?
Keep an Orderly Home
We can spend a few minutes each day picking up so that things don't get out of hand. Go through your mail when it comes so that you don't end up with a pile on the table. If you have kids, teach them to pick up their things so that it doesn't all fall on you.
Keep Some Basics on Hand
It might help to keep a cake mix on hand or a pie crust mix and some pie filling. That way, if you find you would like to invite someone over, you have the makings for a good dessert you can offer them. You may be at church on Sunday, and meet someone who is looking for some companionship. If you think of going home and spending three hours cooking and cleaning before you can invite them over, you'll never do it. But if your house is in "ok" shape and you can whip up a dessert to offer them, you can invite them over mid-afternoon for some pie and coffee.
Being prepared makes practicing hospitality much more doable. Remember that it doesn't have to be perfect - just a friendly smile and a listening ear can be all they need.
About the Author: While aprons are not a must for being hospitable, they can make entertaining a lot of fun! See our beautiful selection at http://www.apronsforwomenonline.com This article was written by Laurie Neumann.