Hospitality means something much different than what we practice at times. Following Martha Stewart or Pinterest can create anxiety over linens, food, and impressive DIY decor. However, true hospitality has nothing to do with things, but with people. Romans 12:13 instructs us to “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” These needs could be anything. Sure, it could be food or a party thrown in someone’s honor. Or, it could be a friendly visit and a listening ear. Because of the Gospel, practicing hospitality is about making room for others, making space for others to rest and be renewed, as Christ made room for us.
I recently encountered a friend who shared that she had felt “like a single mom” lately with her husband’s long hours at work. She was not bitter, but tired. Our family was currently experiencing the same rhythm and I felt camaraderie in her confession.
So I suggested a breakfast date. I would bring muffins and she would make coffee. Nothing fancy. Relief. I warned her I’d be in yoga pants and hadn’t showered, and she greeted me at the door in her pajamas. Relief. It was laundry day and she hadn’t frantically shoveled it all out of the living room. Relief. We both needed conversation, a break from the routine, a reason to sit down and not worry about the to-do list for a couple hours. I felt at ease. I felt loved and cared for. Although we had only recently become friends, I experienced true hospitality as she made space for me in her home, her life, without needing to impress me.
We were created for this purpose – to welcome people into Christ, to show that Gospel change is less about changing the linens, and more about changing our perspective.
Liz Richards is our guest blogger this week. Liz is married to Dave, and they have two children, Kate (3) and Ezra (1 1/2). They live in Acworth, GA, where they are settling into their first home. Liz enjoys sewing, cooking, interior design, and sharing the products of these passions with others.