What lives might be changed, what young person may you mentor, if you endeavored to leave a Godly legacy of Christian hospitality?
The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers. Above all, keep loving one another earnestly, since love covers a multitude of sins. Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace: whoever speaks, as one who speaks oracles of God; whoever serves, as one who serves by the strength that God supplies—in order that in everything God may be glorified through Jesus Christ. To him belong glory and dominion forever and ever. Amen.
1 Peter 4:7-11
It’s been over twenty years ago, but I can remember it well; the big pot of soup simmering on the stove, smiling faces, warm welcomes, dining table clear and wide open for any that would come and share.
This was usual fare at their home, this family from our church, who graciously offered hospitality to young adults – and we eagerly accepted. My husband and I, only dating at the time, eagerly anticipated our time together at their home. We knew we are always welcome, even unannounced (which was often), and that there would always be room for us. It was a good place for us to be, a stable family for us to be with, and a fantastic opportunity for accountability in our own budding relationship.
Their home wasn’t lavish, there wasn’t any museum quality furniture in sight, but it was drenched in love and fellowship. And the young people of the church – as well as their unchurched friends – could always be found there.
I’m not sure they knew that they were mentoring us, but they were.
“Have you listened to this?” He would ask, handing over a copy of a cassette tape sermon about the follies of Hollywood and television. “Have you been behaving yourselves?” He would ask, after seeing us alone together for a moment. “Did you watch this?” He would ask, with a Focus on the Family video in his hand.
When they talked of paying off their mortgage and owning their home, we began to dream. Maybe one day we could do it? They planted a seed, and years later, the Lord helped us fulfill that dream and we paid off our home, too.
Why am I sharing this today? Because I wonder what lives you may change, what young person you may mentor, if you endeavored to leave a legacy of Christian hospitality.
You don’t need much. A small home will do, if there’s love in it. Meals needn’t be elaborate or expensive. Bread and jam set out for snacking? That would be wonderful. A big pot of soup? Well, you know that I have fond memories of that. Coffee or tea? Perfect.
Pray for your guests before they arrive and after they leave, as they come and go:
- May your home be a place of rest, encouragement, growth, inspiration – Christ in their life.
- May they see glimpses of Him through your family, your home, your home life.
- May their families find healing if they have been hurting and a balm for their hearts if they are grieving.
- May they leave somehow better for having been there at all.
Precious friend, will you be one who leaves a Godly legacy of Christian hospitality?
The ideal Christian home is a far-reaching benediction… Its doors stand ever open with a welcome to every one who comes seeking shelter from the storm, or sympathy in sorrow, or help in trial. It is a hospice where the weary or the chilled or the fainting are sure always of refreshment, of warmth, of kindly friendship, of gentle ministry, of mercy. It is a place where one who is in trouble may go confident ever of sympathy and comfort. It is a place where the young people love to go, because they know they are welcome and because they find inspiration and help there.
from JR Miller, The Family
This is a wonderful post!
I loved reading about the couple you used to spend time with. We do this. We love having young people over (my husband is a youth pastor). During the school year we generally “adopt” one college kid to come over every Monday for supper. They are very rarely alone though! They come, play with our kids, eat our food, fill us in on their lives…we really enjoy it!
We have had past kids come back as they are preparing for marriage and tell us what their time in our home meant to them. It seems so small, so everyday at the time. you don’t realize how much it forms their ideas of what home and family can be.
Bitterroot Mama says
Beautiful reminder that we don’t need much to offer hospitality to others – it’s mostly about the condition of our hearts. I have such a passion for this, but don’t do it enough. Thanks for your encouragement.
Love this. Thank you.
Mindy @ The Purposed Heart says
Very inspiring! I have been convicted in this area lately and love the inspiration that you have shared. Thank you!
I LOVED this! Every Sunday after church, I fix a nice meal and my whole family comes over and any singles or anyone who needs a good, home cooked meal and fellowship are invited. It is a very special time.
At first, I envisioned the table you described. Then, I thought of the handful that influenced me in those formative years. A wonderful tribute and reminder! Thank you.
This was a good read! There is so much ministry that can be done when you start with hospitality!
Thanks for sharing! This is so impactful and a ministry that needs more attention!
Thank you for sharing this! This reminds me of my mom and dads home, I rarely remember time at home without company or someone popping in for a meal or to spend the night. We usually had the youth over on sundays playing games and just having a good time. ? good times. I hope to create this environment for my children!
Thanks for sharing this testimony.