In the hustle and bustle of modern life, it can be challenging to find time for Christian hospitality, especially when you have a young child or children to care for. However, the Bible emphasizes the importance of hospitality, and there are ways to incorporate it into your life, even when you feel like it’s too much with your schedule and kids. Let’s chat today about ways to practice Christian hospitality while balancing the demands of homemaking and motherhood.
The Biblical Call to Hospitality
As Christians, we need to look at all areas of life through the lens of the Bible. So what does it actually say about hospitality? The Bible places great importance on hospitality.
In Romans 12:13, Paul writes that we are to “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Then, in 1 Peter 4:9, Peter tells us to “Be hospitable to one another without complaint.” And, lastly, we have the very words of Jesus encouraging us to clothe and feed others as if we were clothing and feeding Him in Matthew 25:35.
A Biblical Example
Further, Hebrews 13:2 says, “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for by this some have entertained angels without knowing it.” While this verse is in the New Testament, I am convinced that it is referring to something that happened in the Old Testament. Genesis chapter 18 contains the account of Abraham hosting three people for a meal. And talk about spontaneous! Abraham just sees them at a certain tree and then has a whole meal prepared for them and eats with them. John Calvin says in his commentary that this suggests that Abraham was always ready to host people and be hospitable toward them by providing food. This was his way of living life, he was always ready. And you also see God rewarding such hospitality by blessing Abraham and listening to his many requests regarding Sodom’s destruction and sparing those who were righteous.
As you can see, the Bible tells us to practice hospitality as Christians. We are supposed to be hosting people and serving others in this way.
So, how can you make it a part of your life, even when you’re busy with children?
Simple Acts of Kindness
Well, showing hospitality doesn’t always mean elaborate dinners or hosting large gatherings. When those things can’t be done, the smallest acts of kindness can be a form of hospitality. Offer a listening ear to a friend in need or chat with someone who is new to your church.
If you can invite someone over to your home, don’t worry about making a gourmet meal.
A simple meal will provide just as much fellowship. You could even order takeout! The fellowship together is really what will count and your home is just the place for that to happen.
Involve Your Children
Whenever you can, involve your children in acts of hospitality. It is a great way to teach them about kindness and compassion and help them grow in their own hospitable attitudes. Have them participate in making the meal or dessert, they could also set the table ahead of time, and serve the food when the guests are there.
You can also train your kids to be good hosts by encouraging them to let the guests choose what toys to play with or which games to play. Have some baby toys ready for guests with little ones and get your kids to initiate play.
As your children grow, the opportunities for hosting will expand. But take time while they are little to teach them these skills so that they can grow into loving, hospitable Christians too.
Be Open to Spontaneity
While planning is helpful, don’t be afraid to embrace spontaneity either. If a friend or neighbor drops by unexpectedly, welcome them in, even if your house isn’t perfectly clean or you didn’t have time to prepare. Most people will not care or even notice what your house looks like. But they would notice if you didn’t invite them in when you had a chance to.
Keeping a few essentials on hand is a good idea for guests who drop in. All you have to do is flip the kettle on for some tea and pull out a sleeve of biscuits (or cookies) from your cupboard and you’re good to go. I personally love to have the main ingredients for a last-minute meal, should I need one. I always keep some ground beef in the freezer and cans of tomatoes and beans in the pantry so that I can whip up a quick chili for any last-minute occasion.
Prioritize Your Schedule
When it’s not spontaneous, prioritize your schedule so that you can plan for hosting people in your home. Balancing a busy life with hospitality requires some prioritization. Maybe your schedule is simply too full and you need to say no to certain commitments to make room for hospitality. Maybe you need to find creative ways to include other people in your own family plans for each week so that you can host people more. Learn to be flexible and make those changes so that you can practice more hospitality as the Bible says we should.
Prioritizing hospitality also means that you should keep a regular schedule in your own home. You can host guests much more easily when you keep a regular routine of cleaning and chores. With your house somewhat tidy all the time, you will feel much more confident to invite people over.
Community and Fellowship
There are really no negatives when it comes to showing hospitality to others. Not only are you blessing them by hosting them in your home, they will most likely bless you by being with you. And, as you deepen relationships through hospitality you are building a tighter knit community with the people around you. Your times of fellowship together around the dinner table will encourage and convict each other, helping you grow in Christ together. What a gift!
God wants us to be together, Psalm 133 says, “Oh, how good and pleasant it is when the family of God dwells together in unity!” Being hospitable to others in your church community is a good and pleasant thing.
And, if you have the opportunity, show hospitality also to those who are not yet in your church community or who do not yet know Christ. God may just use your time with them around the table for their good and His glory.
Incorporating Christian hospitality into your busy family life is not only possible but also highly encouraged by the Bible. By embracing small acts of kindness, involving your children, being open to spontaneity, prioritizing your schedule, and participating in a Christian community, you can demonstrate God’s love and kindness to those around you. As you do so, remember that you are obeying God and sharing His love with the world, one meal at a time.
If you’d like some specific tips for hosting guests well, click here. Be sure to sign up for my weekly Sunday Lunch Meal plan in the box below!