Simple Hospitality // Preparing your heart for hospitality

Last week in our Simple Hospitality series we explored what the bible says about hospitality and discovered that at its root hospitality is all about loving others and loving God (read it here).

This week I want to get a bit more personal.

We are fed so many lies in life, from the media, from the internet and from TV or films and we can let ourselves get fearful about leading the lives that God has set out for us. As we prepare our minds and hearts to be more open to loving others through hospitality here are some things that we need to remind ourselves of again and again until they become our truth:

Hospitality and entertaining are different things
Often, when hospitality is mentioned what people should really say is ‘entertaining’.  The internet is full of a thousand ideas to ‘impress your guests’ but true hospitality goes beyond the need to show how good you are and instead of focusses on how you can be helping others. Entertaining can so often be a source of pride but as Karen Mains puts it “hospitality does not try to impress but to serve”.

As you put together your plan for hosting, check your motives. Do they stem from pride or from love?
I personally find this incredibly hard. Homemaking is my joy and I love to make things pretty and work on the details. It’s just who I am and it’s how I show love – through practical help – so I would never want to cut out all those extra ‘entertainments’, but does it ever verge on pride? Well, when I’m losing my head stressing about an un-hoovered carpet then yes it does and I need to keep a check on that.

Is your house your idol?
Have you ever been put off providing hospitality because you are worried about the state of your house? If so you should probably consider whether you home has become an idol to you.
An idol is anything that takes your focus away from serving God in the things he wants you to do and if you refuse to let people into your home (and your life) until everything is perfect then you will be waiting a long time. None of us are perfect and you will only encourage people if you show them the ‘real you’ – not some fake super tidy version that they cannot live up to!

You are enough
As of next week our Simple Hospitality series is going to move on to some more practical tips to make hosting guests just a little easier, but I want to take this as our ‘big idea’ for the rest of the series: you are enough. 

God has made you for a specific purpose. He has made you. There are things that need work in all of us, but he created your personality, your appearance and your loves and joys just the way he wanted them. You are enough for the work he will call you to do.

Some of the stuff we cover in this series might be helpful for you and some of it won’t be applicable. Some of you will be super tidy and some of you will be happy to live in a clutter. Some of you will naturally have an open house and some of you will need to pluck up all your bravery to let people into your lives. That is okay. As long as you’re listening to God and looking for ways that you can serve other people then you are enough.  Have confidence in yourself.

See the other posts in the Simple Hospitality series here.

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1 comment:

  1. Really loving this series, thank you! I love my home but really struggle to open it to people. I never feel quite on top of the housework and we are really messy. Life with work and a toddler is busy but I would love to be more hospitable so looking forward to learning more about opening my home and my heart to others! :-)