Something I realized recently during a couple’s Valentines party is that over the few years of our marriage, my husband and I have developed a certain conviction. My husband has been committed to lead our family in a way that always reminds us that we are part of something bigger. We are not just a individual unit that is meant to exist in our own little love universe. We are a team, committed to loving and nourishing one another so that we may then go and give to the Kingdom. Our family is part of God’s bigger picture. We are not our own story, we are part of His story.
As easy as it is to get distracted with the many responsibilities of building a family and of raising children, my husband is so good at always making sure we zoom out and adjust our perspective. He is always asking if we are doing our part in promoting the gospel in all of our lives.
For our family doing our part means giving ourselves whole heartedly to the church. In addition to raising our children, what this means for me as a wife, is that I do all that I can to free my husband up to do ministry. Often, it takes the form of hospitality.
I have learned that hospitality is a huge opportunity for me to minister to my church. Hospitality is and always was important to the people of God, the bible is full of versus commanding it (1 Pet 2:9, Titus 1:8). I am convinced that it is one of the biggest ways we as a family can add to the Kingdom of God. I have learned that for my hospitality to be effective, it must be seen as a my ministry. I must see my home as a vessel that God has given to us to use and bless others. There is nothing quite like being warmly invited into a home and partaking in sweet fellowship over dinner. We have all enjoyed it, and have tasted the blessing of other’s hospitality.
Over the few years I have been a homemaker, God has been shaping me into a better hostess. To be honest, a lot of the time I am a total wreck when we are expecting people over. I am frantically trying to make sure everything is clean and the food is prepared – especially when children came into the picture. It only got crazier with trying to keep the baby from crying and tending to your guests. I get frazzled easily, often getting stressed and snapping at my husband. God has humbled me again and again in this area and continues shaping me through my weaknesses. I still have much to learn, but He is gracious in giving me lots of practice.
When you see yourself as a wife and mother who is part of God’s eternal plan, you really begin to alter your life to prioritize what He prioritizes. You search for what matters most to Him, and you begin to love those things. You seek to find how you can best be effective in His story.
When you are opening your home for people, you are proclaiming that you want to bless others with what God has given you. I strongly believe that God glorifying hospitality does not lie in the ins and outs or the how-tos of being the best hostess and having Instagram worthy appetizers and the cleanest, most Pinterest-y home. Godly hospitality, the kind that is effective, is the kind that starts with the heart.
It is one thing to occasionally open up your home for people so that all can see your wonderful sense of style and your cooking skills. It is a whole other thing to love your fellow believers and desire to serve them at every given opportunity. True hospitality is the kind that flows from a heart that loves and cares for people and their needs. It is giving your time and energy not to impress anyone, but to bless them. It is driven by a want to pour yourself out for the sake of promoting God’s Story.
When you are more concerned with how to serve people, how to best love them, how to make them feel welcomed and appreciated, you will not be so concerned about always being the perfect hostess. You will not be as embarrassed to invite a friend over even when the kids made a huge mess in the living room. You will not be so concerned with your store bought cookies and how they will make you look bad in front of your amazing baker-of-a-sister who is in need of encouragement and prayer.
If we are part of His bigger plan, if our family was created to be used for His glory, then we must work hard to be useful. We must put our heart into doing our part. We mustn’t let our weakness and failures keep us from doing all that we can because He is faithful to use even the poorest of offerings.