By Blair Allen, Contributing Writer
Being hospitable is more than having people over to your home. It is more than feeding someone a meal. It is definitely more than marking something off of your to-do list. Being hospitable is about tending to the needs of another person while they are in your home.
Romans 12:13 says, “Share with God’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.”
Just a few verses ahead of that Paul says that love must be sincere and we are to be devoted to one another in brotherly love.
Over the past year the Lord has been teaching me slowly (because I think he knows that is all I can handle at this point!) about hospitality. In that process Brandon and I thought about things that mean the absolute most to us when someone has us over to their home. For us that means a meal that is *safe* for our allergic child to eat. We always enjoy an invitation to dinner. I mean, we are a family of 7 so the invitations do not exactly come frequently. We do not mind bringing a meal that is safe for our allergic child so that the hostess can prepare something she is comfortable making (So long as the meal is free of his airborne allergens; peanuts and shellfish).
We have the privilege of knowing a family that has been extremely faithful to the Lord in the start of a new church. This has come with loss of benefits, pay, and even air conditioned worship. We decided that we wanted to have them over for a meal to love on them. They were hesitant to accept our invitation because several of them had several different allergies. (Did you know onions and corn are in practically every seasoning?) We carefully planned a meal that all of us could enjoy, and enjoy we did! It was such a blessing to watch this family relax and hear how they felt “loved on” because we made a special effort for them. The couple expressed their gratitude by explaining that not even their own family took their dietary needs into consideration at holidays!
When being hospitable consider the unique needs of the people you are hosting. It may not be allergies that need attention, it could be anything. It may be easiest for you to have your pastor over for lunch right after Sunday service, but that could be when he really just needs a nap. When he actually needs some refreshing company to encourage him might be on Thursday night. Perhaps the husband/father of the family you’d like to host works nights. Consider having a Saturday morning brunch! You could probably coax that new mother over for coffee and muffins if you assured her that her baby was welcome and you had a quiet spot the baby could nurse or nap as needed.
Coming up with ways to bless those around you can be so much fun to do with your spouse! Likely you will even pick up on a clue or two as to how your spouse likes to be spoiled, and that is good information to store up for another day!