Jul 16

Hospitality Demands

2009 at 3:26 pm   |   by Nicole Whitacre Filed under Homemaking | Hospitality

“When most Christians hear about their responsibility to practice hospitality, they can think up an amazing number of creative excuses to explain why they cannot be hospitable. Yet Christians are commanded to be hospitable.” Alexander Strauch

Our budget is too tight.
Our home is too small.
We don’t have a couch.
We don’t have a dishwasher.
The painter’s plastic hanging in the middle of our living room isn’t very attractive.
I’m not good at this.
It’s been a long week and I’m tired.

I’ve used all of these excuses to apply for hospitality exemptions. But Scripture has denied all my claims. The Bible is clear about who is to show hospitality: all Christians. By God’s grace, that includes me.

All Christians—not just the rich, or the creative, or the organized, or the gourmet cooks, or the outgoing personalities or the ones with lots of free time. All Christians.

Members of the first century church understood that: “loving one another demanded being hospitable” (Dict. of NT Background, emphasis mine). So where genuine Christian love exists, there you’ll find hospitality. Or, in other words, we can’t claim to love others and refuse to show hospitality. It is, “a matter of obedience” (Alexander Strauch).

And it has particular application to us as Christian women. It is “a natural extension of [our] authority in the domestic sphere” (Dict. of the Later NT) and thus a primary qualification for the godly woman (1 Timothy 5:9).

All Christians are to practice hospitality but not all in the same way. “As each has received a gift” we are to serve one another, “as good stewards of God’s varied grace” (1 Pet. 4:7-10).

My hospitality may not be as frequent as my friend Taye’s. My house may not be as clean as Alyssa’s. My food won’t be as delicious as Bonnie’s or my presentation as creative as Lesley’s. But God has given me grace. I must use that gift of grace to serve and love and show hospitality.

“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.” 1 Peter 4:7-10