“Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.” Philippians 2:3-4
“The focus of entertaining is impressing others; the focus of true hospitality is serving others.” -Tim Chester, A Meal with Jesus
- It’s time to spend some quality time with our Lord learning about true hospitality and preparing our homes and hearts for guests.
- Take out your Bible and read I Peter 4:8-9 and Philippians 2:3-4. Write them in your journal and circle the words that are most meaningful to you. Picture a peaceful, warm place where people want to gather as they feel the love of Christ.
Preparing Our Home For Guests
Christmas is a time when expectations are high for entertaining, but how can we keep our expressions of hospitality less like Martha Stewart and more like Jesus? By focusing on Him and not just our house. Decorating our homes, creating wonderful meals, and wrapping beautiful packages are all lovely as long as they are kept in perspective and do not create stress for our families and guests.
The angels proclaimed “Peace on earth” at the coming of our Savior. Let’s proclaim “Peace in our homes” as we celebrate His coming.
During this special time of year, we can help our family members and guests enter into the true meaning of Christmas. We do this by honoring them and putting them ahead of ourselves as is expressed in Philippians 2:3-4.
With a little planning and managed expectations we can provide a peaceful, hospitable environment for our guests. Put on some relaxing, uplifting Christmas music before guests arrive. Greet them cheerfully at the door. Include your children in greeting. Let the kids take coats or help with the luggage. When grandparents or other family members came to visit, we let our children know they were expected to be at home with our family even though sometimes they wanted to be with their friends. We impressed that our guests were special and that we were taking care of them as a family.
When grandparents or other family members came to visit, we let our children know they were expected to be at home with our family even though sometimes they wanted to be with their friends. We impressed that our guests were special and that we were taking care of them as a family.
I’ve always said I’d like to run a bed and breakfast, but I don’t do breakfast. So I had some cereal, nut bread, or a breakfast casserole prepared ahead of time to make breakfast easier. Meals can be special but choose one dish to invest in and make the rest of the meal simple. Don’t try to make every course or side dish fancy.
The most important gift to our guests is to be with them just as Jesus was. We can honor our loved ones by being fully present, listening to their stories, affirming and encouraging them. If good conversation is happening around the table after dinner, linger there.
Resist the urge to jump up from the table and start doing the dishes. If you postpone the conversation until everything is cleaned up, the opportunity to commune with one another may have passed.
Take your cues from your guests. Include the children in the conversation and hosting. They are learning precious lessons in hospitality. Pray for the people who visit your home. Touch each chair, room, and bed where they will be and pray your guests will sense the Holy Spirit and feel the peace of God while in your home.
Love not only covers a multitude of sins but also dust, burnt casseroles, and mismatched dishes.
Questions to Ponder
- Pray for the Lord to give you the power to focus on people this Christmas season.
- How can you share the tasks of showing hospitality with your children while you pass on these important life skills?
- Pray for the qualities of a quiet and gentle spirit which is precious in the sight of God. I Peter 3:4
- Think of your kitchen as a holy place. Put on your apron as if you were putting on holiness. Ritually wash your hands and bless your hands. Pray for your work. Ask the Lord for peace and calm as you prepare.
- Prepare your guest rooms with comfort – a bottle of water and some hotel toiletries in case they forgot anything. Also, provide an extra blanket or throw. Be sure to include a few Christmas decorations and some Christmas books- especially spiritual ones or devotionals. A small flashlight is helpful for nighttime trips to the bathroom, especially for our older guests. Pray for the time your guests will spend in the room.
- Meals can be special but chose one dish to invest in and make the rest of the meal simple. Don’t try to make every course or side dish fancy.
Let the children make place cards for each dinner guest. Write out short verses about Jesus on the back of each card for guests to read aloud.
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Please share with us some ways you make your guests feel comfortable and welcome.[/box]
Mary loves cooking, travel, music and playing games with friends and family. She likes to share with others anything she has learned from the Lord and His Word.
A favorite verse is II Timothy 2:2 “The things you have heard from me in the presence of many witnesses, entrust these to faithful men who will be able to teach others also.”