Monday, September 22, 2014

Marriage Monday: The Hospitable Wife {Link up}

Welcome back to Marriage Monday!  I'm so glad you've joined me as we focus on strengthening and promoting godly marriages, both in our nation and in our own backyards. 

Since the beginning of the year we've been looking at different characteristics of the godly wife. Last week we took a look at the good wife, and today I want to focus on the hospitable wife.

One of the passages I shared in last week's post on the good wife (or wife who does good works) was this one:

Well reported of for good works; if she have brought up children, if she have lodged strangers, if she have washed the saints' feet, if she have relieved the afflicted, if she have diligently followed every good work.  ~ 1 Timothy 5:10

I've been thinking about this verse since I shared it last Monday.  Isn't it interesting how one of the characteristics of a good wife is her willingness to lodge strangers or demonstrate hospitality?

It is also given as one of the necessary characteristics of an elder in 1 Timothy 3:2:

A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach.

If being given to hospitality is one of the qualifications for a leader in the church, it must be important to God! It also requires a husband and wife who work together as a team; because, it's usually the wife who will do the bulk of the preparations to be ready to welcome guests into the home.

I remember a time when I thought to myself, "Oh my husband will never be able to be an elder of the church, because I'm not a naturally good hostess, nor an extrovert, and I could never be given to hospitality."

Well, did you see last Tuesday's post on stretching ourselves out of our comfort zones??  This is a great example of that!  I went out of my comfort zone so many times, by inviting folks over ~ from couples to crowds ~ and learning to be a hostess, that I apparently learned to be hospitable without even realizing it!  (If you remember, I even said Yes when my husband asked me if I'd be willing to host 30 Chinese government officials for a meal!!)

I absolutely love this definition of hospitality ~ cheerfully sharing food, shelter and spiritual refreshment with whomever God brings into my life.  

Learning that perspective on hospitality was the turning point for me, because I realized that I might never have the skills to "entertain" -- but I could demonstrate hospitality by opening the doors of my home to those in need, by stretching the food on the stove and sharing a meal with friends, and by offering a listening ear or an encouraging word to anyone who was in need of one.

At some point I learned to let go of trying to have everything "perfect," which is actually rooted in pride and trying to impress others, and learned to just invite people into our lives, which are often messy!  Did you know that people actually feel more at ease when they realize that your house isn't spotless and you and your family aren't perfect in every way?  When they see a few flaws, they feel more comfortable in being real and opening their hearts to you.

I love this quote on hospitality I found!

Do you struggle with hospitality?  

Here are 8 Tips on Becoming a Hospitable Wife:

1. Pray and ask God to give you a heart for hospitality!  There are so many verses commanding us to demonstrate hospitality!  This is really not optional! (1 Peter 4:9, Romans 12:13)

2. Just do it!  It gets easier the more you do it.

3. Make it a family affair. Get the kids' help with cleaning the house and preparing the food.  Teach them to be good hosts and hostesses when your guests have children.

4. Let your guests contribute. If your guests are able to bring food and offer to do so, let them bring a salad or dessert or something to help with the meal.  Let them help with meal prep or clean up, so they feel like part of the family.

5. Focus on your guests.  The best way to get over your own awkardness is to focus on making your guests feel at home.

6.  Don't worry if you're not a gourmet cook.  People appreciate a simple, home-cooked meal.  If you can't cook, buy a frozen lasagna!  The food doesn't really matter that much.  Anyone can learn to make spaghetti or tacos . . . and both of those are great for feeding a crowd!

7.  Accept your house as it is.  Whatever you do, don't apologize for the state of your house or how old your furniture is or that it's only half-decorated or whatever. You will only draw attention to the problems and make your guests feel bad if their house or furniture is in worse shape than yours!  :)

8.  Be willing to have your house broken and spilled out for the Master's use.  If you have a lot of people in your home, things will get broken and stained. It's just a part of life.  Accept it. Offer it to the Lord as a living sacrifice.

What tips can you add to this list?

Click here to see my Pinterest board on Hospitality.

All of the posts in this series have been designed to help you build your marriage and to be a strong, confident, suitable helpmeet who is an asset to your husband. Use this list to catch up on any posts you may have missed.

The Abiding Wife

The Respectful Wife

The Accepting Wife

The Admiring Wife

The Supportive Wife

The Humble Wife

The Grateful Wife

The Joyful Wife

The Content Wife

The Trustworthy Wife

The Kind Wife

The Sympathetic Wife

The Pure Wife

The Serene Wife

The Celebrating Wife

The Wise Wife

The Wife as a Suitable Helper

The Diligent Wife

The Sensible Wife

The Discreet Wife

The Homeworking Wife, part 1 

The Homeworking Wife, part 2

The Obedient Wife

Understanding Submission vs. Obedience

Ten Traps to Avoid as You Strive to be a Submissive Wife

The Feminine Wife 

The Gracious Wife 

The Good Wife

Your Turn to Share:

Are you given to hospitality?  Some people have the gift of hospitality, but all of us are commanded to demonstrate hospitality, even if it's not our strong suit!  How have you learned to demonstrate hospitality to others?  Please share so we might all be encouraged as we learn to be hospitable.  Please leave a comment here on my blog or over on my Facebook page, so we might all be encouraged! You may also email me at if you wish to share a private testimony or a guest post.

If you were blessed or encouraged by this post, please consider sharing it with your friends on Facebook or other social media sites.  Thank you!

Link up:

I'd love to have you link up your blog to mine!  Please link up any past or present posts related to Christian marriage.  Don't forget to link back to my blog!  Thanks!

marriage mondays

Blogs I link up with from week to week:

What Joy Is MinePhotobucket Making Your Home Sing Monday!  

Strangers and Pilgrims on Earth


a-wise-woman-builds-her-home         Messy Marriage      Mom's Morning Coffee

    Wholehearted Wednesday     A Little R & R

Proverbs 31 Link Up  

     Graced Simplicity

Hearts for Home Blog Hop   Hope In Every Season       Faith Along the Way

Please link up your blog post on marriage below by entering the url of your specific post.  Where it says "Your Name" enter the title of your blog post, not your personal name!  Thanks!  :)


Beth said...

This was a challenging area for me as well, Elizabeth and was the "stuff" of many a fight early in our marriage because we hosted our church plant's weekly Bible study in our home. I learned how to be a better hostess in time, but it's still not a strength. And I do appreciate all of your tips, but #7, since I'm a perfectionist and the house was never as nice, put-together or clean as I wanted. Thanks for hosting, my friend!

Sharon Mavis said...

Early in our marriage I read Ruth Senter's book Open Heart, Open Home and it resonated with me.

My husband is a pastor and I always enjoyed hospitality when we were in smaller churches. We were in rural areas, everyone in the church was very hospitable, we were in and out of each other's homes several times a week.

The hard part for me has been the change to being in a large church, over 2000 on Sunday morning. I kept my old hospitality ways, invited people to dinner, and maybe hardly ever saw them again which was disappointing. I began to feel like it was wasted effort. I still haven't figured that out.

I have begun to see, however, a different form of hospitality that is needed in a large church. People who come for the first time are in a sea of people they don't know. If I can pick out newcomers, they light up when I come alongside them and befriend them. Also, when there are groups at church, people wander into the class or meeting and there seems to be a need to welcome them. So maybe hospitality is bigger than I used to think of it and it is not just within my home.

Rachel said...

Hospitality has long been a passion of mine, but sometimes it's all too easy to make excuses or just not make it a priority. We just moved, which means we're the new folks in the neighborhood and that can be an excuse not to be hospitable, when you're the brand new people, but we decided to set a goal of inviting someone over to our home once a week, and that has worked very well for us, because it challenges us to think about meeting new people who we can feed and invite, and it helps us as we seek to build relationships in our new community!

busymomof10 said...

I love your attitude! We have moved a LOT over the years, and it is rare for folks to welcome the new neighbors anymore (even here in the friendly south)! Everyone is just So BUSY these days! So, the last two moves, I decided to not sit back and wait for my neighbors to welcome me, but to reach out to them! We made homemade bread and cookies and took to our neighbors and met them! This reminds me of another point I could have included in my Tips -- Take Initiative. Don't wait for others to reach out to us. We should take the initiative and reach out to them! :)

busymomof10 said...

Hospitality can certainly take different forms depending on where we live, what our church is like, and what season of life we are in. I love the way you are willing to be flexible and to look for the best ways to show a hospitable spirit in your new church! I love the way you are looking for and welcoming new individuals and families! I once knew a family who always made extra for Sunday dinner and made it a point of inviting visitors to their home for a meal after church! Wow! That's real southern hospitality! :)

Chari said...

Did you write this post for me?? lol! I do have a problem being hospitable and thank you so much for writing this! I will be sharing!

Check out my giveaway that ends today!

emilysestuary said...

I am a pretty hospitable wife.
I wasn't always. I would grumble.
And the funny thing is, we are in a season of not having close friends where we live and working in a different business climate (hubs), so I miss it now - go figure.
I think you will like my post though.
Hugs & Blessings,

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