Once upon a time, I sat down to read “The Hidden Art of Homemaking” by Edith Schaeffer – not my favorite. I normally wolfed down the books given for school projects, but this one…I did read it, but it was the “read” that meant the words simply marched past my eyes in a monotonous rhythm. There was no comprehension, no take away message. To be honest, I reasoned something like this: “Jenny, I am not creative (which is still true), besides, when am I going to professionally set a dining room table (I still haven’t) and who cares what my pillow case looks like (I still wonder sometimes)?”
So, in short, hospitality was not on my radar. I was completely unaware of its prowess. However, over the last while, I’ve been mulling over hospitality, so that begged the question: what is hospitality?
Well, hospitality is an art. An art, because it requires careful planning, a critical eye, and a keen sensitivity to the atmosphere of the room. It is the ability to create beauty; which is (thank goodness), largely natural to us girls and is a wonderful tool if we only take the time to cultivate that tendency. However, it is also more than artistic flair. You, the hostess, are there to make your company feel like a million bucks. True, genuine hospitality comes from a desire to put others before yourself. Does that phrase ring a bell…? That thought put me on the road to this blog post. 😉
3 Reasons a Why Girl Should to Practice Hospitality:
1) Biblical examples and exhortations:
It was surprising to me to see how much the Bible really does have to say about hospitality. To me, it was more of a “minor” talent. However, Romans 12:13 and 1 Peter 4:9 describe hospitality as a spiritual gift – something that believers are supposed to be doing. That gave my head a shake. Then, of course, there were women in the Bible, for example, Lydia (Acts 16:40), Peter’s mother-in-law (Matthew 8:15) or even The Woman of Proverbs 31 (verse 20) – these women exude hospitality! For extra punch, read 1 Timothy 5:10! If that isn’t enough, Matthew 24:35 clearly portrays hospitality as a sign of our Christian faith and Hebrews 13:2 gently warns us that it has greater repercussions than we may have originally thought. Wow!
2) Showcases Christ-like Character
Hospitality is a wonderful way to grow a Christ-like character. In hospitality, you practice a servants mindset. How can you make this time the very best for your guests? Also, it opens the door (literally) to an opportunity in which you can share the gospel. We are to be known for our love (John 13:35), so hone in on generosity, sensitivity, joy in every circumstance (really, we will come across those nightmarish situations!). Of anything, hospitality is the best way to turn your focus from yourself and practice an others-focused attitude. There is no better cure for boredom! 🙂
3) Exercise Practical Skills:
Finally, hospitality is an excellent way to improve a few practical life skills. For me, the first two that come to mind are time management and conversation skills. No doubt about it, those two skills are crucial in being a successful hostess. Nobody wants to be the flustered hostess that runs about trying to manage a poorly organized evening – much less the guest of such a woman! Conversation skills are equally important. The ability to start a conversation and keep it going while including everyone in the room is tough. It’ll take practice. A good hostess is also an excellent listener and she makes a conscious effort to remember individual things about her guests. Honestly, this part of hospitality is the one that I feel the rough edges painfully!
So, girls, those were my thoughts on hospitality. Now, hospitality will look a little different for everyone, for example, I don’t have my own house to host evenings and all. However, do what you can with what you have – there may or may not be more on that later! 😉