When Our Efforts in Hospitality Aren't Well Received
I recently received an email from a reader who was sharing her heart with me about hosting their church small group in their home. I wanted to share bits of her email with you today (with her permission) to hopefully encourage others in the messiness of opening our homes to others. Just because we make sacrifices for hospitality to happen and serving others to be the focal point of our homes, doesn’t mean it will be well received or appreciated…and how do we handle those times?
“Planning for visitors and making it happen was so much more simple before children, yet I have found deeper connection with it post motherhood - inviting women I don’t know over to let our kids play and have some breakfast, encouraging and praying for one another. Having people in my home is a great way to share the love of Christ and cultivate relationships with those that are both believers and non believers. It blesses me.
BUT. Real talk. I tend to hear lies in my head, like ‘Why would anyone want to come to your house anyway? Don’t do that. Don’t reach out to those people, it’s showing off. They don’t want to come to your house! You don’t even have stuff on your walls!’”
She goes on to explain a time when someone made a hurtful comment about the state of their play room. This deeply hurt my readers feelings and left her with a host of lies in her mind — should we have people in our home? Is it worth it? Her fears seemed to be coming to life, so what should she do now?
She shared that they had rearranged their home to use a spare room as a play room for kiddos, in order to host their small group, something that no one else in the group was able to offer, and they wanted to serve in this way. I was so encouraged to hear that they made the sacrifice to use their home for serving others.
BUT, y’all here’s the thing that so encouraged my heart the most. This woman and her husband chose to continue opening their home, even after a shaky interaction that had the potential to let fear take root. Here’s what she has to say about what God did when they kept showing up and opening their home:
“But here’s the thing. I think we are most called to have community and love for our brothers and sisters that we do not hand select. This is where it’s the hardest, but it has been the proving ground for God making his presence known regardless. In spite of complaints and worries over my home being the ideal meeting space, God provided in every way for what we needed the following week. My meal that was supposed to serve 8 people ended up serving 12 with leftovers! The children were content and well behaved. Our discussion went deep, and our prayer time was intentional. God disproved doubts where I could not, to glorify Himself. My insecurities are nothing in the light of what He can do.”
Did you catch that last part? Her insecurities are nothing in light of what God can do. Beautiful and true words, friends. Yes, her home may not have been in the “right” shape for hosting. I’m sure she would have preferred to have her play room all set up, cute, with pictures on the walls to boot. But she didn’t let those things stop her from opening her home. She didn’t even let the real and hurtful words of another stop her from opening her home in love. I wanted to share this story with you today to show another “real life” example of a woman in our community who is going for it and letting the light of Christ shine even in their lack. This is the gospel, and what God will do with our VERY LITTLE, when we just show up to offer it. He turned the small fish and few loaves of bread into enough to feed over 5,000…what could he do with your less than Pinterest-perfect home?
Ready to tear down the lies and fears holding you back from hospitality and finally open your home in confidence, trusting God will use your efforts?
The Hospitality in All Seasons Guidebook includes 50+ pages of encouragement and teaching straight from God's word so you can banish the fears and take hold of your God given calling to love others through hospitality.