christian hospitality: welcoming others into your home
Christian hospitality demonstrates spiritual love and acceptance as you welcome others into your home. There are many ways to achieve this.
How you function in your home and live your particular lifestyle says a lot about the kind of person you are. Believe it or not, it's all a reflection on you--a culmination of all your good or bad habits, your emotions, feelings, aspirations, hobbies, and various beliefs you may have in life. My father used to say, "Home is where you hang your hat!" It's where you generally feel the most comfortable and relaxed, away from all the cares and troubles of the world. (Most of the time).
As a believer and follower of Christ, you will want to demonstrate to your family, as well as to others who may come into your home, a loving and welcoming atmosphere within your Christian home life. Furthermore, you will want your home to reflect your love and devotion to Jesus Christ.
christian hospitality and family values
In showing general goodwill and spiritual kindness towards others as you welcome them into your home, you will also want them to experience a warm, inviting, and accepting place of peace, happiness, and love towards them and all who may enter there.
A few ways of presenting this would be welcoming kind acts and gestures such as :
- Presenting a clean and well-organized home (or at least as organized at it can be at the moment),
- Greeting them with a smile and showing some excitement for their coming,
- Putting the dog/cat/bird/lizard or other pets you may have away from your visitors (could they possibly be allergic?) Not all visitors can tolerate animals.
- Offering to take their coat, hat, bag, case, or whatever they may have that they can lay aside while visiting you,
- Offering them something to eat, or drink during their visit,
- Turn off your phone, or lay aside any other thing which may distract you from visiting with that person,
- Become fully engaged in what they are saying; asking questions; listening intently,
- Giving them a good send-off by offering a hug, handshake, or asking them to come back again another time. This all may vary and depend upon the rules of your culture or your level of acceptance of that person.
Your family is precious to you and to the Lord, and in loving and protecting them from many of the satanic and evil influences of this world's system, you and your spouse must instill the right kinds of values within each member of your family unit. In doing so, the values you model and teach them will aid them in learning how to show true Christian hospitality towards others in the home, at school, at work, at church, and at play.
A few of these kinds of family values that can go far beyond the home front are those such as:
- having a good, positive attitude toward others
- showing a spirit of fellowship
- having a giving mind and heart for others (giving to those in need)
- having an attitude of team spirit and team effort
- demonstrating a spirit of Christian love and unity
- witnessing and sharing the gospel to everyone you meet
- demonstrating the ability to show peace to all men (women and children too)
- participating in community outreach, and so on
You may think of other ways to show God's love through Christian hospitality as you go along in your walk with Him.
biblical standards of christian hospitality
When you welcome others into your home as a way of showing Christian hospitality, there are certain biblical standards to uphold and adhere to because, since your home is Christ-centered, it would make sense then not to allow evil elements or distractions to come into your space and around your family members. So; who, and under what conditions, should you not allow visitors into your home and family unit?
- Individuals who would come in to threaten, harm, or steal from you, or any member of your family.
- Individuals who present themselves as friends of the family (ex. your child's schoolmate, the neighbor, or a co-worker), or even a relative who brings evil or sinful things or influences into your home (ex. drugs, alcohol, pornography, movies, books, tapes, cd's or Playstation games that have violence/sex scenes on them), or any other kind of things which may bring on sinful temptations to your or the members of your family.
- Individuals (strangers) whom you may have helped for a time in allowing them to room and board at your house, but then are clearly taking huge advantage of your kindness and generosity; who are not wanting (or refusing) to leave; therefore, creating havoc and distention among family members, and becoming a large burden to you and your family. And, finally, there are those
- Individuals who come to your door, expecting you to open to them, but who want to present their "gospel" to you, and you know they are from a different religion, cult, or belief system that is not at all Christian. (ex, the Jehovah's Witness, Mormons, New Agers, etc.).
In essence, Christian hospitality should never be adopted or applied to these groups of people who may want to enter into your home and space that is meant for a godly standard in the first place.
Here is what the Bible says regarding this issue in not giving place or room for these unsavory types into your home:
- Luke 11:21-22 says, "When a strong man armed keepeth his palace, his goods are in peace: But when a stronger than he shall come upon him, and overcome him, he taketh from him all his armour wherein he trusted, and divideth his spoils."
- Mark 3:27 says, "No man can enter into a strong man's house, and spoil his goods; except he will first bind the strong man; and then he will spoil his house."
- 1 Timothy 5:8 reminds us, "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel."
- Proverbs 25:26 tells us, "A righteous man falling down before the wicked is as a troubled fountain, and a corrupt spring."
- Romans 12:19 warns, "Dearly beloved, avenge not yourselves, but rather give place unto wrath: For it is written, 'Vengeance is Mine; I will repay', saith the Lord."
- Proverbs 20:22 says, "Say not thou 'I will recompense evil', but wait on the Lord, and He shall save thee."
- Psalms 82:4 says, "Deliver the poor and needy: rid them out of the hand of the wicked."
- Proverbs 24:1-10; 15-20 says, "Be not thou envious against evil men, neither desire to be with them. For their heart studieth destruction, and their lips talk of mischief. Through wisdom is an house builded; and by understanding it is established: And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches. A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength. For by wise council thou shall make thy war: and in multitude of counselors there is safety. Wisdom is too high for a fool: he openeth not his mouth in the gate. He that deviseth to do evil shall be called a mischievous person. The thought of foolishness is sin: and a scorner is an abomination to men. If thou faint in the day of adversity, thy strength is small. Lay not wait, O wicked man, against the dwelling of the righteous; spoil not his resting place: for a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Rejoice not when thy enemy falleth, and let not thine heart be glad when he stumbleth: lest the Lord see it and it displease Him, and He turn away His wrath from him. Fret not thyself because of evil men, neither be thou envious at the wicked: For there shall be no reward to the evil man: the candle of the wicked shall be put out."
- 2 John 1:9-11 reminds us, "Whosoever transgresseth, and abideth not in the doctrine of Christ, hath not God. He that abideth in the doctrine of Christ, he hath both the Father and the Son. If there come any unto you, and bring not this doctrine, receive him not into your house; neither bid him God speed: for he that biddeth him God speed is partaker of his evil deeds." This particular passage truly embodies what Christian hospitality is not!
- Mark 13:22 also warns, "For false Christs and false prophets shall rise, and shall shew signs and wonders, to seduce, if it were possible, even the elect."
- 1 John 4:1-6 further warns, "Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist; whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now is already in the world. Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you, than he that is in the world. They are of the world: therefore speak they of the world, and the world heareth them. We are of God: he that knoweth God heareth us; he that is not of God heareth not us. Hereby know we the spirit of truth, and the spirit of error." This passage of scripture is evident that there is a spirit of error out there in the world, and we must guard our hearts and homes when offering Christian hospitality for others to come in.
Who then, may enter into your home? As you consider welcoming others by way of demonstrating true Christian hospitality, various people may enter who will bring along with them peace, harmony, positive, educational, and uplifting elements of which to grace and bless you and the rest of your family members.
A few suggestions of those types of people who may enter into your home are:
- Those individuals who come in to do maintenance work, housekeeper, cook, (those who are in your employment),
- Those individuals who claim to be your friends, or your children's friends, who are also Christian or seeking spiritual guidance and help of some kind,
- Those who are Christian individuals from your church or other fellow believers coming for fellowship, worship, and for the general building up of on another in spiritual union.
- Those individuals of whom you have offered money, meal, or you want to be a Christian witness to, who have not heard the gospel and have need; or those whom you want to disciple (new Christians). This also is an example of demonstrating Christian hospitality to others.
Truly, you must use spiritual discernment when greeting others in your home by way of Christian hospitality. Ask the Lord to guide you in this matter.
Here are a few passages of Scripture that will lead you into a good decision while practicing good Christian hospitality:
- Hebrews 13:1-3, tells us, "Let brotherly love continue. Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares. Remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them; and them which suffer adversity, as being yourselves also in the body.
- Leviticus 19:34 instructs us from the Old Testament days, "But the stranger that dwelleth with you shall be unto you as one born among you, and thou shalt love him as thyself; for ye were strangers in the land of Egypt: I am the Lord your God."
- Romans 12:13 says, "Distributing to the necessity of the saints; given to hospitality."
- 1 Peter 4:9-10 says, "Use hospitality one to another without grudging. As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God."
- Luke 14:12-14 says, "Then said He also to him that bade Him, 'When thou makest a dinner or a supper, call not thy friends, nor thy brethren, nor thy kinsmen, nor thy rich neighbors; lest they also bid thee again, and a recompense be made thee. But when thou makest a feast, call the poor, the maimed, the lame, the blind: and thou shalt be blessed; for they cannot recompense thee: for thou shalt be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.'" Here we see Christian hospitality also means giving to others while not expecting anything in return, or that they may not return the favor back.
- Ephesians 6:7-8 tells us, "With good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men: Knowing that whatsoever good thing any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free." When you offer Christian hospitality to someone else, you do so with a good attitude and not begrudgingly. And finally,
- Galatians 6:10 reminds us, "As we therefore have opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith."
In conclusion, we are reminded through scripture to greet others with genuine love and Christian hospitality, whether in our homes, or abroad; however, while in our homes we are responsible for what come in and what goes out, as well as avoiding all outside evil influences at all costs.
When you want to make your home an inviting and welcoming place of peace, serenity, charity, and worship for your family; remember to show these same elements to all who will enter your home, so that they too will leave with good feelings of friendship, love, and fellowship evermore.
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