Culture At Large

Hospitality vs. Entertaining

Jerod Clark

This morning, my friend Dave told me to check out a blog post his friend Melanie wrote about hospitality.  So in an effort to be hospitable to my cube mate, I obliged.  And what I found was something very simple, but at the same time rather thought provoking.  She wrote:

The hospitality we offer to friends is not about making an impression, but about making them feel loved. So often when I prepare for people to be in my home, I spend all of my time cleaning the house, preparing a perfect meal and making everything and everyone appear just right. But do I take a moment to pray for our guests? Do I ask God to reveal to me any needs they might have so that our family might have the opportunity to minister to them? Not usually.

Today the kids and I were ministered to in the home of a friend from church. It was clear that she wasn't trying to impress us, but she and her kids simply invited us to share their day with them. It was peaceful, loving and enjoyable.

Having hosted a friend for lunch this weekend, this made me think a little bit.  I worried about the food.  Especially the pork.  I wasn't sure if it was done or not.  My wife said yes it's fine.  I wasn't so sure.  In fact I specifically prayed before the meal that we not be poisoned.  I digress.  But with all of the preparation of the food, I'm not sure if there was a preparation of my heart.  My wife and I regularly thank God for our house and ask that it can be a place where people grow closer to Him.  But before this meal, we didn't take time to pray for our guest's needs.

Fortunately, my wife and I are close enough to this friend that we naturally talk about what's going on in our lives.  So I have a good sense of how we can pray for our friend.  But doesn't is make sense to let God guide us in how we should be reaching out to our guests?  How are you doing when it comes to hospitality versus entertaining?

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