Hospitality Is A Commandment | Part 1

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There always seems to be a reason not to show hospitality.

Our house is too small.

(I felt this many times when we were living with 8 of us in 758 sq ft!)

Our house is too messy.

(I have worn this excuse ragged.)

We’re out of groceries.

(It’s the day before my grocery run! What on earth can I make in a jiffy with minimal ingredients?)

I’m too tired.

(I have no energy to clean or cook, let alone hold a decent conversation.)

We’re too busy.

(We just need some family time.)

I’m an introvert.

(I’ll leave this one up to people whose personalities are more suited to it.)

More recently: it’s illegal.

(Can’t disobey the government!)

The Gospel Comes With A House Key by Rosaria Butterfield was a challenge for me to read. It was the first time I was confronted with the fact that hospitality is a non-conditional commandment, not just a good suggestion for those who are particularly gifted at it. 

“Distributing to the necessity of saints; given to hospitality.” Romans 12:13
“Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” 1 Peter 4:9
“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.” Leviticus 19:34 

The culmination of Rosaria’s book (first read upon its publication, three years ago), and the more recent criminalization of others into your home has changed my perspective on hospitality.

Like all of God’s commandments, hospitality is really a gift and a guardrail.    

Who wants to look at legitimate challenges together and work towards reclaiming our duty as our delight with His help?

I’m thinking of posting each challenge to hospitality separately over the next few days, and leaving the comments open for people to chime in with ways they have found helpful in overcoming these obstacles.    

For consideration: What do you think is your biggest hurdle when it comes to showing hospitality?

Consider this Part 1! 

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2 thoughts on “Hospitality Is A Commandment | Part 1”

  1. I think the two major ones you mentioned already! House is too small and the house is a mess! I used to be way better at opening my house when I had friends home with babies. Now that they are in a new season, it really rarely happens. And having a whole family over happens about once or twice a year. It’s really bad! I’d love to change!

  2. I am so grateful you’re writing on this topic! My number one hurdle is the, “my house is too small” excuse. We are a family of eight living in a small townhouse with a table big enough for only the children… and it’s an embarrassing table at that. Our friends are also large families with small children. I’m afraid they would just be too uncomfortable and annoyed at the scenario.


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