Hospitality vs. Entertainment

Hospitality vs. Entertainment.Recently, I was talking with a couple ladies from my church about the difference between hospitality and entertaining.  I’ve always been stressed out to have people into my home and quite honestly, avoided it.  When we first got married, it would be very rare for us to have people and NOT get into an argument before hand.  I would get really discouraged because in Scripture we’re commanded to show hospitality to strangers (Heb 13:2) and I felt like I was failing in that area.  I have a hard enough being hospitable to my closest friends, let alone strangers!

A couple years ago, I felt like I finally got to a place where I could have people over and not worry about everything in my house being perfect but could focus more on having a good time with my friends and making them feel welcome.  Having people over still wasn’t my favorite thing but at least we were taking steps in the right direction – I wasn’t fighting with Dave about dumb stuff, like which room he should vacuum first.  Seriously, I used to get so upset about that kind of stuff!!

With social media, I feel like there’s almost a movement now where moms are encouraged to be “real” with their homes.  We’re seeing more and more memes and blog posts and other things talking about how if you’re real friends, you can come over no matter what our house looks like.  I would just like to say that I’m a big fan of that movement!  I especially like the one that says “I get more cleaning done with a baby wipe in the 8 minutes before someone shows up at my door than I do all week”.  Yup!  That’s me!!

In Lauren Winner’s book Mudhouse Sabbath it says, “Asking people into my life is not so different from asking them into my apartment.  Like my apartment, my interior life is never going to be wholly respectable, cleaned up and gleaming.  But this is where I live.  In the certitude of God, I ought to be able to risk issuing the occasional invitation”. (page 149).

We need to ask ourselves, “Am I looking to entertain or am I looking to show hospitality with my life?”  Am I trying to perform and make people think that I’m all healed and whole?  Or am I willing to let people inside to see the real me that is very much a work in progress.

My house is sometimes a mess. . .but I own it.  I’m ok with it.  My life is also a mess sometimes and I need to be willing to own that as well and walk through those messy times with people who love me, encourage me and support me.  After all, this is where I live!

~Jess

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