Honestly, I didn’t think hospitality was a thing. Or I didn’t think it was a big deal.
But as I’ve gotten older and looked back over my life, I can see how my family (especially my mom) always implemented it into our lives. It was almost every month that we were hosting people, whether it was a small dinner or larger planned gathering. And I’m not sure if it was living in the south, growing up in a Korean home, or the fact that my parents were hospitable people that contributed to the fact that we always had someone in our house.
And it was pretty typical. It didn’t matter if they were swinging by to drop something off or if it was a planned event. My mother did not let them leave without a meal and conversation. Even now, I see how my parents were encouraging me to use the gift of hospitality. Every year, I was allowed to host a HUGE (and I mean HUGE) Christmas party/sleepover. I would invite all of my closest friends, which would be anywhere between 10-15 girls, and majority of them would spend the night.
My mom would cook clam chowder and chili (it was a tradition). We would go Christmas caroling. We’d sit. We’d laugh, and all of our stuff would be spread out over the floor. Some years we decorated Christmas ornaments and other years we watched movies. And always the next morning, my mother would cook a HUGE breakfast. Some of my childhood friends still bring it up to this day!
And too bad I didn’t have a Christmas party invitation like these to use!
It wasn’t until I got older when I had to implement hospitality in my own life that I realized I wasn’t doing it well. I never really invited people over, and I didn’t really want to. Sometimes, I would much rather enjoy quality time alone than entertain someone else. Not to mention the extra cost of buying groceries for food/snacks and cleaning after someone leaves. Or maybe that’s just me?
Hospitality as a Biblical Concept
But when Basic Invite reached out to me almost a month ago about sponsoring a post, I’ve been thinking about the word hospitality ever since. Let’s look at the definition and talk about its Biblical meaning.
Hospitality: the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.
Being hospitable represents a life following God’s example. It offers the opportunity to share intimacy, fellowship, and most importantly, God’s love. It’s not about the meal. It’s a moment to share the gospel.
We live in a world that promotes the idea that we all have to be perfect. Many of us pretend like everything is okay, like we have it all together, although there are deep things that we’re desperate to talk about, but probably too scared to say. It’s probably why we avoid dinners or coffee dates and instead try to find activities that don’t involve a lot of talking, like watching a movie or hanging out in larger group settings.
But hospitality, in and of itself, is a biblical concept. It does not apply only to the holiday invites party, and it does not always mean you have to have someone at your house, although that is the most common way we see it done. In several verses in the Bible, we are told to,
Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:9
Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality. Romans 12:13
Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Hebrews 13:2
Learning Hospitality for Myself
Before moving to Charlotte, NC in 2018, I was living with a roommate. We were best friends in college and we decided to live together after we graduated. I don’t necessarily know what happened in the span of us living together but somehow, we got distant and there was an unspoken tension that never got discussed.
Fast forward a couple months and I was scheduled to move out a month before our lease ended. I was already living in Charlotte when our apartment complex sent us our security deposit check. The problem was that both my roommate and I had to be physically present in order to deposit the check. Thankfully, my roommate drove from Raleigh to Charlotte, and I thought that was the end of it.
While on the phone with my mom that same day, she mentioned that I should invite my roommate over for dinner. I instantly got annoyed. Why was I supposed to invite her for dinner and for what? But my mom took the time to explain that it was an opportunity for me to show hospitality as this was my new city, and my roommate was visiting for the weekend. And being that my roommate was in her own season of transition, my mom reminded me that it was an opportunity to evangelize and share the love of Christ.
Hospitality as a Heart Posture
Since then, I’ve learned that hospitality is a heart posture. It says, “I’m willing to love you and serve you like Christ loves and serves me.”
That’s why we see scriptures where Jesus takes the time to sit with multiple people, both in small and big settings. We see him sit and talk with Nicodemus about how to be born again (John 3). We see him sit with the woman at the well and tell her about the Living Water (John 4). We read how He feeds the 5,000 (John 6) and washes the disciples’ feet (John 13).
All of these moments involved a conversation, and all of them involved hospitality.
Hospitality is rooted in the fact that we have been called to serve. Jesus may not have had a home, but He knew how to serve people. We don’t have to have churches, online ministries, classes, or Bible studies in order to evangelize. We can be the Church right at our dinner tables.
The Hospitality Challenge
So now, I challenge you to practice hospitality! And what better time to start than during the holiday season. I challenge you to think about someone you know or a couple of people you know and invite them in. (They can be strangers, people who don’t know Christ or people who need His love.)
Here are a couple of ways you can start in case you have no idea. You can start by:
- Hosting a Friendsgiving
- Making Christmas cards online to send
- Inviting someone to your home for dinner
- Planning a Christmas party (like I did growing up)
- Hosting a dinner party at a restaurant
- Inviting someone out to dinner and paying for their meal
- Inviting someone out to coffee and paying for their coffee
And if you’re a stationary girl like me, you can create beautiful cards like the ones you see pictured here!
This post is sponsored by Basic Invite, one of the few websites that allow customers to customize stationary for every major life moment including weddings, showers, birth announcements, first birthdays, and graduations. They have over 180 different color options and over 40 different color envelopes with instant previews online. You can even order a printed sample of your actual invitation so you can see how it will print and feel before you ever place your final order.
This holiday season, they are offering recipient address printing at no cost on all Christmas cards with over 500 Christmas card and holiday card designs! Not to mention their beautiful foil holiday cards are available in gold, silver, and rose gold. Get 30% off your next order with the coupon code: holi30 and check them out at their following links: Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Twitter
Now Let’s Discuss!
What are your thoughts? How have you practiced hospitality lately and in what ways do you plan to?
Hanha Hobson is an author, speaker, and the founder of Transparency Ministries. From published devotionals to empowerment workshops, she will stop at nothing to see women encounter God and she is passionate about teaching and equipping them to live a life of freedom. When she is not encouraging others or writing her heart out, she enjoys watching Grey’s Anatomy, eating Chickfila, and connecting with friends on Instagram. Come say hi!