My wife and I were talking the other day about hospitality. It is one of the primary values we want to pass on to our children. Over the years we have become more and more convinced that a Christian home is a hospitable home. Both our families did a great job exemplifying this virtue growing up. Our homes were a place people wanted to visit. Our friends enjoyed coming over, and not because our parents weren’t home. They were the primary ones providing the hospitality. It was lots of fun then. It’s lots of work now.
Hospitality, by its very nature, is inconvenient. It is the giving up of yourself, your comforts, your definition of normalcy for a period of time for the sake of another. Can you really lay down your life for another when it does not require significant sacrifice? A full belly is naturally more generous than an empty one. What we need in our homes is not natural, cultural hospitality. We need a kind of giving of ourselves and our homes that only comes from one who has been given the grace from above to do it. As we have been blessed we bless. As we have been loved we love.
I wish I could say our family has always done a great job modeling this for our children. The truth is we often succumb to the same excuses. The house is too messy, we are too busy, I am too tired, the children are both tired and messy. But I can also say that those times when we have done the hard things and given up what we hold dear for the sake of others, we have never regretted it. We always walk away more blessed than the ones we were seeking to bless. And God, from whom all blessings flow, is shown to be the true Master and Host in our home.