Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Romans 12:13
Years ago, when husband and I were newly married, we were invited to a couple’s home after church. It ended up being one of the most memorable evenings we’ve ever had. Our friends graciously asked us to join their family for dinner. We sat around the table and shared chicken noodle soup and peanut butter sandwiches. They had not planned a meal or cleaned their house for guests, but they had prepared their hearts to be faithful to the call of biblical hospitality. Even now, their hospitality is a model for us to be faithful to our calling in Christ.
Romans 12:13 characterizes hospitality as one of the marks of a true Christian. Today we put little emphasis on this characteristic, but it is one of the most tangible ways to show our love to others. When we practice hospitality through a loving, giving, and sacrificial spirit, it results in opportunities for relationships, discipleship, and evangelism. At the same time, we exemplify God’s covenant relationship with us.
Hospitality doesn’t have to be complicated. It can be as simple as ordering pizza, going out for coffee, or roasting marshmallows over a fire in the backyard. Hospitality could look like inviting the new visitor at church to sit with you during the worship service or spending time getting to know the visiting missionary during the mission conference. Whether a college student, young couple, single mom, or empty nester, all people want to be loved and included.
So, what hinders us from practicing hospitality? 1 Peter 4:9 says we should “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” Here are just a few ways we may grumble or make excuses:
- I don’t have the money.
- My house isn’t clean, or it’s too small.
- I’m too busy with my kids.
- I’m too tired and don’t have time.
- I’m an introvert, and I may not have anything to say.
- We don’t have anything in common.
We need to be mindful of how we complain, to renew our minds with what God’s word says about hospitality, and to pray for God to turn our hearts to be more people-focused and less self-focused. Can you imagine what a difference it would make in our church, community, and world if we were faithful to our calling of biblical hospitality?
Here are 6 practical tips to help with hospitality:
- Be Real – Let’s face it. The social media facades that we all have presented to us as always prepared and perfect is a joke. That’s not real life for anyone. We all have our challenges, and life is not perfect. I know that if we are willing to share what we have, even when we aren’t ready to, will make us much happier and blessed in the long run.
- Make it Simple – Consider inviting guest for a simple cup of coffee or dessert or hang out in your back yard with a glass of iced tea or lemonade.
- Relationships – Concentrate on getting to know your guest better and not solely on entertaining them. If you’re an introvert like me plan questions that will help you get to know them and keep the conversation going.
- Coupons – There are times in life when money may just be an issue. Coupons have got me out of a bind many times. Especially through the holidays, I will stock up on foods that are simple and easy. Coupons have allowed me to get many items for next to nothing or even free. You can read some helpful tips about how to use coupons here:
10 Ways To Start Saving With Coupons
5 Places to Find Great Coupon
- Cleaning Schedule – In our home we have an on-again off-again cleaning schedule. We are never consistent and life is constantly changing. However, if we spread the cleaning over the week, the house will stay significantly cleaner. Don’t do it all yourself. Kids need responsibility too. It’s much easier that trying to do it all in one day.
- Freezer meals – Make meals ahead of time and freeze them. Then you have done all the work ahead of time.