I Timothy 3:2 speaks of another quality of a leader. Hospitality. It even says “…He must enjoy having guests in his home…” So you might say, “What? I have to enjoy having people over to my house? My house is not nice enough. It’s never clean. My kids and husband always have a mess going on. I can’t have people over. I don’t enjoy that at all!”
But let’s do a little thinking about this. If this is listed as a quality a leader should have, what can we do about this?
Did it say your house had to be clean and neat? No. Did it say you had to be perfect and have the most delicious meal prepared? No. Did it say you had to have the perfect children? No.
Okay. So let’s talk about the word, hospitality, first of all. Here’s the definition: “Hospitality: 1. the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers. 2.the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way.”
Are you friendly? Can you treat people nicely? Can you be generous? Surely you can.
Did it say anything about your home being perfect, looking like it came straight from Better Homes and Gardens Magazine? No. Did it say you had to have perfectly behaved children? No.
Can you invite someone over, open your front door, pour a cold glass of water for someone, and be warm and friendly? Most likely you can.
People are lonely and craving love and attention. They just want to know someone actually cares.
Now all that aside, let’s talk about your house. Those children. That husband.
The Word actually mentions everything being done properly and in order (I Cor. 14:40). Now it was not talking about our homes in this scripture, but if God thought it important enough to mention it regarding our church services, don’t you think He probably would love our homes to be orderly? I believe so.
When I first got married, I was still in college. My husband and I were busy with studying, working, trying to make a good start in life. I was so busy that I didn’t always put things away where they belonged. I thought I’d do it later. But I learned a hard lesson. If friends dropped by, it was a little embarrassing to have to clean off the sofa for them to have a place to sit.
Maybe I would be in a rush to make lunch, but would have to stop and wash a knife or pan before I could prepare lunch. Why? I had not done the dishes since our last meal. Oh, yes, I had the excuse that I had been in class all morning. Or I had worked all afternoon.
But I soon learned that “Do it Now!” was a good motto. Put that thing where it belongs now, not later. Do those dishes now, if possible. They will come clean easier than waiting until the gunk has dried and gotten hard.
I had friends whose homes always looked nice. Not that they had expensive furniture or decor, but most everything was usually in its place and clean.
It didn’t take me long to realize the difference. I began telling myself, “Do it now!” I also read books on home organization.
As children came along, I began to teach them the habits necessary have a clean, neat and orderly home. Trust me. It didn’t always look that way. We were not perfect. But at least we weren’t slobs.
What about those husbands? Ladies, here’s what you do about them: Pray! Pray! Pray! I learned that God could change my husband more in two days through my praying than I could accomplish in a year’s worth of nagging. Prayer changes things.
So regarding hospitality, what’s holding you back? Make a list of things. Then start another list of what you can do to make changes. Start with one thing. Maybe it’s just establishing the habit of “Do it Now!”, not LATER.
Don’t wait until you’re perfect to start being hospitable. You’ll never do it. Find that woman who looks lonely or that couple who looks lost. Invite them over for dessert. That’s a start. No one said you have to “put on the dog” as we say in the south.
Just be yourself. What did that definition say? Warm, friendly and generous. That’s it.
Hospitality. It’s almost a “lost art”. Try it. You may like it.
As leaders our homes should be hospitable, warm … friendly… inviting… welcoming, to our spouses and children; as well as our neighbors, friends, and those we serve. As we set the standard, let’s keep in mind that when those we serve see that we can still be welcoming into our own homes (as imperfect as they may be)… so can they.