Practicing Biblical Hospitality {guest post}

{Note from Amy: Friends, today I have a treat for you! Marci from Thankful Homemaker is here to offer biblical insight into the topic of hospitality.  Read Marci’s words prayerfully and think about how you can start implementing hospitality in your home today!}

7 The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. 8 Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. 9 Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace:
1 Peter 4:7-10

What does it look like to practice biblical hospitality?

How can we as Christians fulfill the command to practice hospitality?

When we open our homes to others it is going to cost us – time, service, and sacrifice. Our lives are all busy and in the midst of a tiring homeschooling day I know the thought of having company can seem overwhelming at times. We just want have a quiet evening at home alone and sometimes just don’t feel like being around other people.

We can tend to focus on the difficulties of being hospitable. It takes time, and work to tidy the house and cook a meal, we worry too much what others will think, or we just enjoy our privacy too much. Being naturally selfish people, we tend to focus on ourselves, and if we are truly honest we like our time and space.

The verse above in 1 Peter gives us some great principles in practicing biblical hospitality. One way I have defined biblical hospitality is showing the love of Christ with a spirit of service and generosity.

There are many verses in God’s Word that command us to practice hospitality (Romans 12:13, 1 Peter 4:9, Hebrews 13:2, 3 John 8, 1 Timothy 5:10) but only through the power of the God’s Word and the work of the Holy Spirit in our lives can we practice true biblical hospitality.

What comes to my mind when I think of the book of 1 Peter is Christian suffering and in the midst of this book Peter is writing to believers of the hope to come. The encouragement to love one another with a love that the world does not know and to give a glimmer of the love that Christ has shown to each of us is encouraged in the verse above.

Implementing Hospitality

We need to be purposeful and prayerful in our planning for biblical hospitality. Make a list with your family about who you would like to have over for a meal or dessert and get some dates on the calendar. For some it may be once a week, for other families it may be once a month. That is okay but I encourage you to just do it!

A perfect home is not commanded just an open home. I love the terms visitors or friends instead of company. When I see the word company I think of entertaining. When your heart is focused on the eternal rather than the temporal it will make your time with others one of freely and joyfully being able to open up your home.

As you have time with other believers ask how you can pray for them. Direct the conversation to the spiritual asking questions like – How did you come to know the Lord? A great book with spiritual questions is 201 Great Questions by Jerry Jones or I have a post Cultivating True Christian Fellowship that has some great questions too.

Opening our homes to believers is a way to share in our lives together and encourage and build one another up in the faith. Our time together should be spent in praying for one another, and sharing what the Lord is doing in our lives. My favorite is sharing testimonies of how the Lord opened our eyes to the wonderful saving gift of His Son Jesus Christ.

In opening our homes to our neighbors and friends around us who do not know the Lord our homes should be a testimony of the love of Christ. We also need to open our mouths and share the gospel verbally.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.
Romans 10:17

The reminder in 1 Peter 4:10 that all we have received is a gift from God and it is not ours reminds us to be faithful stewards of God’s gifts. Everything we have our time, home, food is on loan from Jesus to be used for His purposes in furthering His Kingdom and for the good of others.

The Hope to Come

We need to practice hospitality with the end in mind – the reminder that the Lord is preparing a place for us in heaven where we will feast with the King, seated at His table and enjoy His presence forever.

€œLet not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe
also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms. If it were not so, would I have told you that I go to prepare a place for you? And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and will take you to myself, that where I am
you may be also.
John 14:1-3

Marci Ferrell is a lover of the Lord Jesus Christ, married to her sweetheart Doug for over 25 years, mother, mother-in-law, grandmother and caregiver.  She is here by God€™s grace and overwhelmed by His kindness in redeeming her as His daughter. Loving her husband, children and granddaughter, reading, home keeping, cooking, feeding lots of people and
making lists are some of her favorite pastimes. You can find her at Thankful Homemaker, where she shares about her walk with the Lord, her passion for biblical womanhood and living all of life for the glory of God.

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11 thoughts on “Practicing Biblical Hospitality {guest post}

  1. I love your sweet post. I used to think I had to have a perfectly clean home for people to walk into….and recently, as more have opened their doors to their imperfect homes…for true fellowship, not entertainment…the things left unclean, not put away were not the focus of my attention, but the hearts of the ones…who wanted to sit and talk and share….so, now, my home no longer has to be perfectly clean….thank you for this!

  2. Great post! Our family is working on hospitality..setting up monthly times to gather friends in the home.Of course, we also welcome the spontaneous! Thank you for posting…I had just popped in after setting up a time for friends to come berry picking! God Bless.

  3. Wonderful post! I struggle with hospitality because I just feel so overwhelmed with having to cook, clean and having my house turned upside down from double the kids! I really did need to read this!

    I want to entertain more but how do you make it work financially? It seems so expensive to cook a big meal, buy drinks (even non alcoholic), have dessert etc etc. any advice?

      • Nicole you have some great questions. It is never wrong to invite over how many people you are comfortable to manage. As a young mom I started small and as my kids were older and could be more of a help we could manage larger groups and still be able to minister together as a family. I have always let our friends help in the kitchen and we chat as we go along.

        As for the finances look for ways to cut costs by using lentils instead of meat in tacos and sloppy joes as an example. Keep it simple because no remembers the food but the time you had together. If a family offers to bring a dessert or side dish let them participate. We usually just offer water to drink – served in a pitcher with ice and sliced lemons makes it look fancy and I may make a pitcher of iced tea too. Dessert for us a lot are brownie sundaes or homemade cake and ice cream. It feeds a lot and is pretty inexpensive. Homemade cookies are always a simple and inexpensive favorite.

        Tidy and give your house a quick walk through as if you were a visitor. We notice much more than a visitor so I usually run a vacuum in the main areas, tidy the bathroom and do a quick pick up and feather dust.

        Thank you for taking the time to comment and I hope this was a little help. Let me know if you have any other thoughts

        Blessings :)

  4. We weekly open house for neighbors, friends and random strangers (mostly invited by other attendees). This fall will mark the end of the second year of doing this and I have to say that it’s definitely a case of “practice making perfect”. The more we do this the more we recognize what people value and what makes them feel welcome. I do try to have things tidy and clean, but we have four children under the age of six and not everything is going to be tidy and put away.
    We cook good food, but sometimes it is very simple (baked pasta and hot rolls).

    The things that seem to be the most welcoming are: setting a pretty table/buffet (that is one that was clearly set with the intention of being welcoming) and being present and not mentally in the kitchen. The rest of it seems to fall into place as long as those things are done….K

    • Kyndra,
      You probably already recognize how much easier it gets each time you do it. That is so good that you recognize how important it is to focus on your friends. My dinners are very simple and I have favorites that I go back to again and again.
      Blessings to you
      ~Marci

  5. Thank you for sharing this, it is a beautiful reminder of having a heart to serve others with a biblical purpose, to share Christ with them and direct our time and fellowship to Him. Many times the heart for hospitality is there, without the influence of an eternal focus, but more for “entertaining” purposes. Being able to build each other up and spend time together is a such a joy! :)