“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 nearly fifteen 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 Michael Medved tape 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 for 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 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 mama, will you be one who leaves a legacy of 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