Thursday, March 5, 2015

The Purpose of Hospitality

I have been thinking about the purpose of hospitality lately. It can be so easy to get so caught up in the logistics of hospitality that we forget about the reason that we do it.  When I remember to keep that purpose as the focus then things go so much smoother!

  So the purpose of hospitality is not showing off your house - even though lately I have seemed to do plenty of that as we have had a lot of company and most all of them want to have a tour (which I don't mind at all) since they know that we have been building our home. But even in the midst of giving house tours (which is NOT the purpose of company) I can still work on the real purpose of hospitality and truly all of life.

  That purpose is to Glorify God.

So how can we glorify God in hospitality?

FIRST: I have found it really helps to pray and ask Him for His help and His leading and direction as you have people over to your home. This is something I need to do more often. When I do remember to turn things over to Him it just gives me such a peace.

  • We can invite over a young mother and her children and encourage her through godly conversation.
  • We can find ways to share God's word with our guests. Possibly inviting them specifically for a Bible study or possibly just looking for opportunities in the conversation to share how God has been speaking to you lately.
  • We can have a family over that has been feeling cooped up over the course of the winter and the kids would really like some interaction with others. This can be an opportunity for your children to be God's hands and feet as well.
  • We can pray with or for our guests. Right then or say you will (and remember to do it) when they mention a need.
  • We can develop friendships with others who are not Christians through hospitality which may cause them to be open to the gospel someday.
  • We can invite over groups of Christians to encourage the strengthening and unity of the Body of Christ.
  • We can invite over Christians and those that are not at the same time to allow more connections to form for allowing more opportunities for the gospel to be spread.
  • We can get-together for a time of music in which we worship our Creator.
  • We can practice hospitality and when together do some act of service (maybe making quilts to donate) that can then bless others.
  • What other ways can you think off?
  Many times when we have people over we have no idea just how God will use that specific time of hospitality. Perhaps a connection will be formed, perhaps God led us to have a specific person over because He knew that they needed encouragement to stay faithful in their walk with Him or maybe we were the ones that needed the encouragement. 

   All I know is that God wants us to be hospitable. When we give our lives to Him and allow Him to use them the way that is best - then God will be glorified.

   May God bless you as you show hospitality to others!


Jennifer said...

Abbi, those are such great ideas. I've enjoyed seeing the progress of your home. Thanks for the encouragement on hospitality.

Amelia said...

This is so sweet. I've always tried to remember that hospitality is sharing what I have. I will admit I have a hard time with it all because I am a creative messy type it's hard for me to get things kosher on certain days. : ) My favorite thing to do is just inviting people over for a pot of pasta, salad, bread..perhaps even beans and rice...with bread; the girls usually make a desert and we talk and laugh at the table...

What do you do about the folks who leave really, really late? : / It's so hard for us at times...We like to be in bed at 11 or we are exhausted it seems after preparing the house etc. Does anyone have any ideas on this? : )

Such a nice post Abbi, it's timely for me, I was so blessed to talk to an old friend here in the country the other day. One of my fondest memories of her was her sweet hospitality in inviting our family to her home for a sweet simple dinner to share when our girls were tiny. I still think of her as a tried and true Christian, so many in the little town she is from are very closed to us 'outsiders' ; ) but she was open arms with us.

You have a great evening now! : ) ~amelia

Abbi said...

Thank you Jen!

Amelia - thanks for sharing your thoughts too. A visit to your house sounds like a lot of fun. I don't think I have any great ideas for late staying guests - other than just being honest about your need to get to bed. When the kids were little I would sometimes start preparing them for bed and that often gives people a clue but for those of us who don't have little ones that doesn't work.

Does anybody else have a suggestion?

Jennifer said...

I loved the question about what to do about late staying guests. That has been a problem at my house on occasion. I've found it works out to politely say if it's a work for school night, well, my husband needs to be up really early for work and oh my, it is getting quite late. If it's a Saturday night, I'll remind everyone that, well, we all need to be getting to bed because we have church early in the morning. Everyone is always very understanding.

Abbi said...

Jennifer, thanks so much for sharing what has worked for you in that situation!


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