Monday, November 1, 2010

"Selective Hospitality"

Dear Mothers,

After studying the book of Luke, I came across some very familiar verses.

“If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even sinners love those who love them. And if you do good to those who do good to you, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even “sinners” lend to sinners, expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the most High, because he is kind and ungrateful to the wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful.”- Luke 6:32-36.

So why did this passage become so meaningful all of a sudden? I had been lamenting the fact that our best “couple” friends had moved away. I would start to feel sorry for myself thinking no one else would be brave enough to invite a family of eight over for dinner.

The Lord challenged my thinking in the area of hospitality. I had become good at inviting friends over, sharing a meal and having sweet fellowship with like-minded Believers. But the hospitality was always reciprocated. I knew we would be invited to our friends’ house the next time we got together. Now there is nothing wrong with this, but I realized that I had been practicing “comfortable hospitality” exclusively. This is not God’s Will for our lives. . Yes, it is nice to be invited to into other people’s homes, but it was very freeing to release my expectations of being invited to other people’s homes. I found that I have been very content to have people in my home where I can relax because I am set up for a crowd. It is way easier on me!

Then God hit me with Luke 14:12, which says, “Then Jesus said, ‘When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous.’”

We are literally to invite the poor and downtrodden into our homes. Since being convicted of this we have had an opportunity to invite one such couple into our home, along with some others that could in no way reciprocate.

Think back on the previous year. Have you fallen into the same trap I had. First, are you practicing hospitality as the Lord commanded? Second, are you only inviting people into your home that you have things in common with? Are they in the same financial position you are in? Can they “pay” you back?

I am really looking forward to teaching this concept to my children. It is so important that our children get the idea that it is “better to give than to receive”.
May the Lord bless you as you pray and ask God if you are showing favoritism in your hospitality. Now I challenge you to truly do something about it!

From One Mom to Another,

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Wanting What I Have said...

LOVE this post! (And your table is beautiful! VERY welcoming!) You always point me to Jesus! Thank you for the encouragement!

Tracy said...

Thank you Stacie, this really hits home with me.
I think your dining room looks lovely too.

Anonymous said...

Thank you! What a sweet reminder of the type of hospitatlity that we are to have.

Camille said...

I have been thinking about this the last few days many, many large families get neglected in the invitation to dinner department. How beautiful your attitude is to it all...invite THEM in! :) Such an encouragement...and your children WILL notice that you are extending is a godly example you are setting for them and you will never be sorry you did it. I agree with you often we are exclusive in our "entertaining"...we ought to extend hospitality to those who are often neglected. Thank you for the encouragement today.

In Him,

kathy said...

Hi Stacie, just wondering if you invite people over only when your husband is home? And does he share the same views as you? Just thinking how to make my home welcoming to others (besides close friends) when I am restricted because of Jay. Just interested to see what your view is on this :)
I love your big long table!

Catherine said...

Your table and decorations are you REALLY have any children??? ;}

Can you hear the applause, because you have convicted us all, Stacie, to do what the LORD tells us! We are only two, and rarely are we invited over for a meal...funny, you thought it was because you are a big family. Maybe it is, but I think it is more that people don't know how to do this anymore, and we need to teach them!

Stephanie said...

Thank you for this fantastic challenge, Stacie! I often get discouraged by the wrong things when it comes to hospitatlity but your post was a great reminder of where to put my focus! Thanks and have a blessed day!

Stacie, A Firefighter's Wife said...

Kathy, I actually do not wait for my husband to practice hospitality. I would wait forever. He really likes his down time. So we have come up with a compromise. I am allowed to invite people over once a month.

IN THE MEANTIME...Since he works 24 hour shifts, I continue to practice hospitality. I am very spontanous and love to have people over for a simple meal. Grandparents, Aunts and uncles, friends that I'm trying to encourage.

It is such a blessing! Glad I'm not the only one who is challenged by this.

Anonymous said...

What a great post, Stacie! Your table is beautiful!:) Hospitality is the gift God gave us and I love to have people into my home. I too, struggled with having people over who didn't reciprocate, mainly because I don't really feel like I know someone until I have had a chance to sit in their home and get a full on feel for who they are. The Lord convicted me on this though, several years ago and we ended up buying a house with a 550 square foot living room, large kitchen and large dining room so we could host church meetings, Mom's Nights Out, Ladies Retreats, families, exchange students etc. We do most of the entertaining and rarely get invited into other peoples' homes, but we are, as you said; set up for it here & we LOVE It! God has truly blessed us with beautiful freindships through this ministry that He put on our hearts to do. We have a real passion for it and we know it was given by Him. Thank you for sharing. I love your heart and your honesty! (((hugs))))

Jasmine said...

I love your heart, Stacie. It's so true - we invite those who have invited us or we have some special connection - but what about the poor, afflicted, and downcast?

This post hits home for me. It's been on my heart for sometime now. We recently visited a nursing home for the elderly - and what a blessing to be able to sit and love on those who seem to have been forgotten.

Thank you so much.


smoore2213 said...

Growing up as the oldest of 8 kids, it always bothered me on Sundays when everyone else was invited over to someone's house for lunch, and we never were.
I remember TWICE in 25 years of living at home that we were invited over someplace. And we were not badly behaved children, there were just a lot of us.
And we didn't often have people in--my dad worked long hours and really preferred his downtime without worrying about people over.

I had always thought that when I grew up I would invite large families over just so their kids didn't feel left out. :-) We actually purchased our house with a large kitchen, dining room and very large living room with that in mind--but now with a little baby and a husband who works whacky shifts it is sometimes all I can do just to keep the house somewhat clean and get food around for us.

Cedars of Lebanon Farm said...

I stumbled across your blog and was THRILLED to find there is another person out there with a "large" family, married to a firefighter, a christian, and a homeschooler!! THANK you! I am looking forward to reading your back posts, in my "spare time".

Anonymous said...

Whoa! You seriously think outside of the box and I LOVE it! Thank you for this post! Now I'm going to go pick up my scriptures and read more! Yeah!

...they call me mommy... said...

I recently read that verse myself and was meditating on this!! Thank you for this post!!

WYATT said...

i want to see another BLOG ABOUT all of your ADVENTURES like when you went to MT hood you found a cave i saw and cemetery and we went there to this summer then the library love you stacie love WYATT

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