Oh yes, it’s that time of year again and I am soooo beyond excited for the upcoming holidays. At my house we have many traditions that I like to hold dear to my heart and it’s what makes me so cheery right around this time of year. Another reason why I love the holiday season is because of all the warm friendship that is felt between friends and family members. Home is at the center of everyone’s heart during Christmas time.
We have so many people coming in and out of our houses during the holidays. Family, friends, sometimes strangers, and I think that it’s so important to shine the light of cheer, peace, love and God’s blessing on them as they come in and out of our homes. How we do that is through the gift of hospitality.
Hospitality is such a beautiful word! Let’s read Noah Webster’s definition of it.
Hospitality: The act or practice of one who is hospitable; reception and entertainment of strangers or guests without reward, or with kind and generous liberality.
Since it derives from the word “hospitable” let’s go deeper and define that too.
Hospitable: Receiving or treating guests or strangers warmly and generously: a hospitable family.
Characterized by or betokening warmth and generosity toward guests or strangers: a hospitable smile. Favorably receptive or open.
I just love that second description! “Betokening warmth and generosity”, hmmm it just sounds so heartwarming and beautiful!
I love having people come to our house; I just love that simple and old fashioned idea of having visitors and entertaining them, blessing them, and warming their hearts! I am always asking if we can have people over for this or that event-sometimes I have to make up an occasion just to ask people over.
Hospitality in Your Heart
Some people think to themselves, “ugh, my house is always so messy,” “I don’t want people over-I am a home-body and that means I like to hide from visits and visitors”, “my kids can’t take visitors! They are too busy and hyper” “I would never be able to sit down and enjoy their company, my life is too busy”, ect.
While these are all valid excuses they still stand as excuses. You don’t have to have a beautiful house to have people over and impact their spirits with cheer and joyfulness. You don’t have to have perfect kids with a perfect schedule to invite someone over for a visit. You don’t have to be outgoing either!
All you need is a beautiful heart, because what is in your heart comes out on your face, in your homemaking, in your decorating, in your welcoming, and in your hostess attitude. =) I sometimes have those days when I am so selfish! I am dressed in my yoga pants my hair is sloppy and I am not up to pleasing anyone…I just want to get through the day. Then a change of plans! Someone wants to stop by… (God forbid!) When the company arrives (always too early in these cases I might add) I am not in a very cheery hostess mood. I don’t show hospitality to my full potential nor do I really enjoy the visitors company. Instead I am overwhelmed, slightly angry, and ready for them to leave within the first 10 minutes. –I know, I’m a monster! But it is what it is! Some days we are like this!
You know what you need to do though don’t you? You know what I am going to say too don’t you?
Well I’ll say it anyway. We need to die to self and pray asking God to give us a heart and an attitude to truly bless this visitor with His house, His food, and His occupants smiling face (because your house is His, your food is His, and You are his)! Then we change our pants, touch up our face and hair and open the door with a radiant complexion inside and out.
Ladies, our houses are not ours even if we own the title. Our houses are temporary. Our houses are the Lord’s and we are commanded to use them for his glory. Showing hospitality is a good place to start!
“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. As each one has received a gift, minister it to one another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God. 1Peter 4:8-10
“Let brotherly love continue. 2 Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by so doing some have unwittingly entertained angels.” Hebrews 13:1-2
When read in context the verse Romans 12:13 says “When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.”
So this holiday season be ready to welcome and serve ANYONE who you come in contact with-in your home or even at the store! Throw a Christmas party! Serve food, drinks, deserts, and focus on your guests needs. (Don’t forget to decorate!) 😉
I could have written to you about “how” to show hospitality but like everything else, hospitality comes from within. It starts in your heart. So before you show hospitality, pray for a hospitable heart-the kind that only Jesus can give. Pray for each of your guests individually and ask that they be blessed and “betokened with warmth and generosity”!
“Hospitality… seeks to minister. It says, ‘This home is not mine. It is truly a gift from my Master. I am His servant and I use it as He desires.’ Hospitality does not try to impress, but to serve.”
― Karen Burton Mains