* This article was first seen on A Wife Like Me *
Hospitality seems to be a dying art. As our schedules get busier, we focus less on loving others well. We don’t intend this. In fact, we often long for deeper friendships, even in our busy seasons. However, sometimes focusing on the needs of our family seems all we can handle.
I’m not a natural at hospitality. It’s something I’ve had to work on over the years. My cooking skills are very average, it’s hard cleaning with three young kids, and it can be difficult to coordinate schedules with others. Thankfully, my very average hospitality skills have taught me that friends aren’t looking for royal treatment when they come over. They are looking for community. Even those of us with limited hospitality skills can offer community.
But really, why does hospitality matter?
“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:”
1 Peter 4:8-10 ESV
For me, being a ‘good steward of God’s varied grace’ means allowing others into our lives and homes, even though it doesn’t look perfect (our life or my hospitality skills).
I’ve also found the following three things to be true as to why hospitality is so important.
- Offering hospitality is good for our children. It’s good for our children to see us open our homes to others and they see us doing it without the house being ‘perfect’. It’s also great for them to hear adults talking about their faith to one another. One night, a family we were just getting to know came over. After dinner, they put hands on me and prayed for some health issues I’ve been dealing with. There’s no greater way to teach our children about being a Christian than to show them how to give and receive love from others.
- Hospitality is good for our marriages. Healthy friends are great for your marriage. As adults, it’s hard to find time to nurture healthy friendships. By taking time to invest in friendships with other couples, it also adds an investment to the health of your marriage. Other couples can help bring guidance and wisdom through tough life events, give insight from what they’ve learned in their marriage, and be cheerleaders for you and your family. Healthy couple friends want you and your marriage to succeed and thrive. When we have friends into our homes, we invite them into our lives. Bonds are created, and vulnerability with each other is often established.
- Hospitality is good for your home environment.Our home is cleanest when friends are about to come over. The entire family knows when we are having friends over for dinner, and we all have certain “jobs.” My husband makes coffee and picks up random items that might be lying around. Our kids clean their rooms, help set out plates, and sometimes make a small dessert. And I make dinner and clean up afterwards. By turning it into a family event, everyone feels included which makes it more exciting for the arrival of our guests.