As women, I believe hospitality is a calling we must take seriously. Why is it so important anyways? Well, let’s take a look…
“Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality” (Romans 12:13). It’s pretty obvious that God expects us to practice hospitality, but what was interesting to me is the context of this command. Earlier in this chapter Paul is explaining our calling to become living sacrifices. Apparently showing hospitality is one way to do that. Previously I thought of hospitality as a way to serve, but it’s more than that. It’s a way to lay down our priorities, time table, food and home as a sacrifice to others.
I had to ask myself, how willing am I to do these things? Because I am into budgeting, I have to confess the first thing that goes through my mind when we have unexpected visitors is the extra food we’ll need to buy and if that will fit into the budget. Sad, right? I must be willing and gracious about serving others, even if that means we have to do with less for the rest of the month. When I have done this, I realize every time that the quality time we spent with our guests far outweighed any extra cost. We must be willing to sacrifice in order to serve lovingly and graciously to whomever comes in our door!
This also made me think of Proverbs 31:13: “She works with willing hands…” I think the whole topic of willingness is one worth looking into. Am I a willing worker in our home or am I begrudging what needs to be done? Am I excited about what God has called me to or enduring it? We must be willing, warm and active helpers to our husbands (and whoever else we come into contact with).
“But the end of all things is at hand; therefore be serious and watchful in your prayers. And above all things have fervent love for one another, for ‘love will cover a multitude of sins.’ Be hospitable to one another without grumbling” (1 Peter 4:7-9). It was also interesting to me that it says “above all” we are to show hospitality, which demonstrates having a fervent love for each other. God places emphasis on this and so should we! Oh and the “without grumbling” part, well let’s just say… I have work to do. Sometimes I get so wrapped up in my plan, it almost irritates me to be hospitable. Embarrassing, I know… and yet it is something I struggle with. It’s one of those scriptures I know He put in there just for me to read.
Often it is helpful for me to look at the principle behind a biblical command. I believe the principle behind God’s command to be hospitable has to do with self-sacrifice and self-control. We must be self-sacrificing of our time, energy, homes, food, etc. We must exercise self-control with regards to our thoughts and attitudes towards those who enter our homes. So, next time you have an unexpected guest at the worst time try not to think of it as an inconvenience, but rather an opportunity to lay down something of yours and grow in sacrifice. (Something we are ALL called to do.) And my guess is that with the right attitude, you’ll even enjoy the company.