Hospitality Must Begin at Home. After a long day at work, it is nice to come home to a cheery voice and the laughter behind a beautiful smile, whether it be husband or wife one to the other. Then there are the children to consider. They too have had a busy day and need the attention of a loving family. If the dwellings we inhabit are not filled with the gentle considerations, the cherishing, the openness that earmark hospitality, it will be most difficult to extend the same gift to others.
For some, hospitality is as natural as breathing, but for those who have reservations about such a practice, it must be acquired through positive experiences. Hospitality must be nurtured in order to become part of one’s nature to invite others into the home or to exemplify that caring hospitality to those you meet each day.
In her book, Open Heart, Open Home, Karen Mains tells us that, for Christians, hospitality is a marvelous gift of the Holy Spirit given so that we may minister to this dying society. If our ministry is hospitality, it is to impart to each who crosses our threshold something of the presence of Christ. Thus, there must be an agony of growth, a learning, a tutoring at the hand of the Holy Spirit.
True hospitality is devoid of pride. It has nothing to do with trying to impress people, but everything to do with making them feel welcome and wanted, just as our family members feel that warmth at home. There may be times of comfortable clutter which can happen to the most meticulous housekeeper. The dining room table has collected books and mail; toys and newspapers are scattered on the floor, and clothes for the laundry room did not make it to their destination. How would that awkward moment be handled when someone unexpectedly rings the doorbell?
True hospitality is revealed in that moment by welcoming the person with warmth and sincerity. The unsightly room does not require an apology which is only going to serve to make the visitor unnecessarily uncomfortable and possibly unwelcome. Accept the opportunity to extend loving acceptance to your guests, regardless of how you think your house looks.
Essential to hospitality is the open heart that results in an open home. These two elements, an open heart and an open home, are potential in every Christian. Each of us has a heart that the Spirit is seeking to move with the same things that move the heart of God. Wherever you may be, there is always the potential to show hospitality, as our Lord would have us to do.