The attitude of the apostle Paul is one that all women who desire to cultivate the heart of a hostess must embrace.As we study the scriptural passages that challenge us to practice hospitality most of us can reflect on a time when we tried to extended friendship to others and were met with rejection.
If you are like me, Satan can use that rejection as a roadblock to prevent me from obeying my heavenly Father on future occasions. Paul teaches us that he moved toward his heavenly Father’s will for his life—that of Christlikeness. He refused to dwell on the past or to drink of the cup of self-pity but, rather, died climbing. If we are to cultivate the heart of a hostess we must refuse to rely on past virtuous deeds and achievements or to dwell on sins and failures. As well, we must lay aside past grudges and rejection experiences. Instead we will embrace Paul’s example and continue the ascent to the top of the “hostessing mountain.” That ascent begins with developing proper climbing strategies. We will begin with the word HOSTESS from last week’s blog, expand our Biblical foundation, and then add some practical tips to that we are “doers of the word and not simply hearers” (James 1:22-25).
H—HOME—the place where we practice hospitality
Titus 2:3-5 reminds us that women are directed to maintain a godly home—it’s a mandate, not a suggestion! The noble woman of Proverbs 31:27 looked well to the ways of her household (a reminder about Proverbs 31:10-31—it is a passage that provides principles on how a godly woman prioritizes her life!) while Matthew 5:14-16 encourages us that our homes are to be like “a city set on at hill,” so that others are provided with a visual example of how to practice hospitality.
Practical Tip—walk out your front door, close it, then reopen it. Form a “first impression” of what your family sees when they return home. If is not a “prepared place” what modifications will you make so that it is? How can you make this a family project rather than totally your responsibility?
O—OPEN—the attitude of our hearts in offering hospitality to others
Matthew 5:43-48 encourages us to demonstrate love to our neighbors—both to those who love us and those who hate us. Luke 14:12-14 instructs that we are to invite the most needy, those who probably will never repay them—the poor, the blind, etc., and James 2:1-10 admonishes that if we choose to continually show favoritism to certain people, we are sinning! In light of these verses how open is your home?
Practical Tip—purpose to hostess one social occasion a month that challenges you to leave your “entertaining comfort zone.”
S—SUBMISSIVE—responding to God’s instruction with a joyful spirit
Titus 1:5-8 clearly teaches that church leaders are to teach hospitality by personal example and Hebrews 13:2 is a reminder that one never knows the far-reaching results of extending hospitality. Did you know that 1 Peter 4:9 is a description of the kind of heart attitude that is to accompany our extension of hospitality?
Practical Tip—evaluate your attitude in relation to extending hospitality to those you would consider “strangers.” As a family, meditate on these scriptures and develop a plan for including “strangers” on your guest lists.
T—TEACH and TEACHABLE—to impart knowledge and skill; capable of being instructed
Ruth 3:18 is a beautiful example of a younger woman receiving instruction from an older woman. Do you have both younger and older women in your life?
Practical Tip—identify a godly woman and ask her to allow you to spend several hours with her. Demonstrate an availability to be an “older woman” in a “younger woman’s life.”
E—ENCOURAGEMENT—the conversation of the hostess is to inspire her guests
Galatians 6:10 is a reminder that our love for fellow Christians is the primary test of our love for God while Romans 12:15 instructs us that we are to be glad in the blessings, honor, and welfare of others—no matter what one’s own situation. Additionally we are to be sensitive or compassionate to the hardships and sorrows of others. Proverbs 31:26 states that the godly woman speaks wisely and James 1:26 focuses on the reality that our conversations reveal the purity of our heart.
Practical Tip—before you speak ask yourself five questions:
- Is it kind?
- Is it true?
- Is it necessary?
- Is it gossip (sharing private information with individuals who are neither part of the problem or the solution)?
- Am I completely listening to the other individual rather than beginning to formulate my response as soon as they finish speaking?
S—STRESS-FREE—an absence of physical, mental, or emotional strain or tension
Matthew 6:25-34 reminds us that our heavenly Father has everything under control—we simply must acknowledge the truth while 1 Peter 5:6-7 states that He invites us to transfer our stress to Him!
Practical Tip—purpose to delight in the Lord and mediate on His Word—it’s a great antidote to anxiety (Psalm 1:2) and then develop strategies that will make entertaining a delight rather than drudgery!
S—SPONTANEOUS—acting without effort or premeditation
Nehemiah 8:10 teaches that God blesses obedience. Purpose to allow our Lord to cultivate the Heart of a Hostess in you. The joy you experience from being obedient to His Word will provide you with the motivation to keep going when you have no strength of your own. 1 Peter 3:15 is a stimulus to remember that the godly woman will understand what she believes, why she is a Christian, and be able to clearly tell others about her faith.
Practical Tip—write out your testimony and review it until you can communicate it to someone else without notes. Mark your Bible with the path of salvation—Romans 3:10, 3:23, 5:8, 5:12, 6:23, 10:9, 10:10, and Romans 10:13.
How to Cultivate the Heart of a Hostess
- Collect and file simple, inexpensive recipes for desserts and meals.
- Make a list of people who would be encouraged by your offer of hospitality—purpose to invite your first guests soon!
- Start simple—spontaneously inviting someone home after Sunday evening church is a great beginning.
- Pray that our loving Heavenly Father will give you joy in demonstrating hospitality to others.
- Remember that memories require time and energy to create.
If you would like a sample chapter of The Christian Homemaker’s Handbook simply click on “Contact Pat” and request your copy.
Blessings on your week as you focus on making your house a home!