Photo by naama
When I first got married, I knew I wanted to be hospitable. I had grown up in an environment of true hospitality. It would be impossible to know how many people walked through my parents’ door during my childhood in France. It might have been a quick visit over a cup of coffee, a meal, a bed for a night, or extended guests. My parents’ home was always open to friends, acquaintances, or complete strangers. They have had fellowship over a meal with countless souls. I loved that growing up, and I wanted to carry that on in my own home.
I had a small view of hospitality, though. I thought that if I just had someone over for dinner, I was being hospitable. It was that idea that maybe if I did what they did [i.e. have company], I would be what they were [i.e. hospitable]. My husband and I would decide who to have over, look at the calendar, and set a date. You know, on that day we would be hospitable. If we had multiple guests in a month’s time, I considered myself extremely hospitable.
It is a wonderful thing to have guests in your home and something that I hope you do. We regularly have guests in our home and I consider that both an honor and a necessity for community. My view of hospitality, however, has changed. It has expanded.
I‘m learning that hospitality is:
- Listening more than talking.
- Caring more about the person that dropped by than the mess in the house.
- Laughing with your guests. Or crying with them.
- Listening to their heart. Sharing from your heart.
- Being vulnerable. Having a safe environment for others to be vulnerable.
- Being authentic.
- Genuinely and deeply caring about people.
- Asking more questions than answering.
- Being genuinely interested in what interests others.
- Having a guest leave feeling like they have taken a deep breath of fresh air when they are in your home.
- Caring more about people than schedules.
Being hospitable is more than putting food on a table (though that is a big part). Hospitality is a disposition.
Generous. Loving. Caring. Selfless.
That is what I want my home to be. That is what I want to be.
What can you do this month to show hospitality to someone? Leave a comment. I’d love to hear!