I keep finding myself thinking back to a post from Justin Taylor last week called “Hospitality and Generosity in the Luther Home.” Read this excerpt and imagine what it must have been like:
The house was filled with the sound of children. The Luthers had six children in their first nine years of marriage—three sons, and three three daughters (one of whom died at a few months of age, another at the age of 13). And then a few years into their marriage, the Luthers took into their home the six children of Luther’s sister. They also raised Katherine’s nephew. Martin often told them stories, taught them songs and games, played melodies on his lute, and instructed them in the faith.
University students often ate and boarded there, and Luther’s letters make reference to a steady stream of guests either coming or going.
There was a waiting list for those who wanted to room and board with the Luthers—no doubt because of the stimulating theological education and conversation, but also because for many years the Luther didn’t charge anyone for room and board.
As Martin lectured and wrote and debated and preached and traveled, Katie drove the wagon, took care of the field, bought cattle and put them out to pasture, brewed beer, prepared food for the graduation banquets, rented horses, sold linen, served as Martin’s publishing agent, and often nursed him back to health during his frequent illnesses. (You simply must read the whole article!)
Martin and Katherina’s intentional, joy-filled, self-denial for the sake of the kingdom is provoking to say the least. Their happy, hectic home life—so full of service to others—is an example I fall so far short of, but want to imitate. Their lives push me to ask myself what legacy I am leaving for my children: Is it one of hospitality and generosity that reflects the heart of our Savior? May God give us grace to make our homes more like this.