Learning from Our Elders
One of the most valuable skills we can learn from our elders is hospitality. I’ve never forgotten how important and cherished my elders made me, and others, feel when they came for a visit.
A wise person once said, “People might forget your conversations but they will never forget how you made them feel. Make sure they felt loved.”
Our elders embodied an art that is quickly fading in our fast paced, technology-driven culture. There are some things that should remain old fashioned. I believe hospitality is one of them.
Ways to Practice Godly Hospitality
- Pray for Your Guests. This may seem simple, but it should not be overlooked. The Bible tells us that out of the overflow of the heart the mouth speaks. It is a good thing to be sure that our heart is pure towards our guests and their visit or else they could feel more like intruders. If we have angst or stress it is sure to reveal itself through our talk and actions. Don’t allow that to prevent you from sharing your love and hospitality with your guests.
- Learn More About Your Guests. Do they like Chicken Parmesan? Do they have food allergies? Do they have a preference for entertainment? Learning more about them will allow you to have things they enjoy readily available during their stay. Before a visit, my grandmother would call me 2-3 times just to ask me silly questions. Well, I thought they were silly at the time but it turns out that she was asking these questions so she could prepare for my arrival. It’s a great concept when you think about it: just ask.
- Personalize Something. Instead of digital “likes”, emailing, or leaving a post on someone’s social media wall, leave your guests a note of welcome or a gift basket of pampering bath products complete with a card. Other ways to show them love is to make simple name cards to assign seating at the table. It is something inexpensive and simple, but shows that they were thought of well in advance.
- Prepare for Their Arrival. The majority of the time, the guest room in your home is just that. However, when a guest is coming for a visit, do your best to make it “their” room. Make them as comfortable as possible. By having all of the preparation done before your guest arrives you will offer them the feeling of security, the warmth of love, and you give yourself the gift of time to enjoy their company. No one wants to be the hostess running around looking for pillowcases and extra place settings while the guest sits somberly on the sofa. Without a doubt, no one would want to be that guest either.
Remember, the most important part of hospitality is the quality time you spend with your guest. It reminds me of a familiar story in the bible. Martha was struggling to prepare and care for her guests while Mary sat at the feet of Jesus. Neither of them were guilty of wrongdoing, but one chose what was “better.”
There are so many people around you who need love, friendship, support, and a relaxing time. Begin nurturing relationships by cultivating the art of hospitality (Romans 12:13). Then open your heart and home to others.
Dear Lord, I want to always love my neighbor as myself and be the good samaritan to those who visit my home. Help me to know what is priority for their visit and what is not. Help me to be more like you in this area. Amen.
A Woman After God’s Own Heart by Elizabeth George will help you embrace God's plans for you, and you will find real purpose in a life of prayer and practicing God's priorities as you become A Woman After God's Own Heart®.
Ask yourself, “Who can I open my arms and my heart and my home to?” Then, talk to your family and pray together about making plans to open your home.
The most important part of hospitality is the quality time you spend with your guest.