If Mary had you as her dinner guest, I wonder what the experience would be like?
I bet she would allow messes to happen and be okay with a chaotic kitchen so that rather than cleaning up messes she could focus on spending time at the table caring intentionally for the people she is hosting.
As the woman who sat at the Lord’s feet and listened to what he said rather than helping clean or do the chores, Mary understood the relational aspect of hosting much more than Martha seemed to.
I hope to be like this, to host as Mary would.
I want to be fully attentive to my guests’ hearts and really hear what they have to say because we never truly know what someone could be struggling with. Whether it be shame, loneliness, fear, you name it. We all struggle with something. Most of us are pretty good at hiding, but I believe intentional hospitality is one of the best tools to break down walls and encourage authenticity.
So how do we do this? How do we welcome people in?
Not just people who are like us, but people who may be different than us too. A friend reminded me of what Paul said below and I think he was really on to something. He said we should do our best to become all things to all people.
I have become all things to all people, so that I may by every possible means save some. Now I do all this because of the gospel, so that I may share in the blessings.1 Corinthians 9:22-23
I think we can live this out in very practical ways. As a host, we can think about our guests ahead of time and plan ways to make them feel at home. For some that may mean providing a clean space for them, for others it may mean not picking up at all.
It could mean making yourself available at the drop of a hat for your spontaneous friend, as well as planning a week or two in advance for your friend who needs more structure.
By making decisions like this based on what will put our guests at ease rather than what is best for us, we put their needs first and create an opportunity for real authentic community in our homes.
It brings me so much joy when people feel at home in my home and feel like they can open up, relax, and be refreshed. A friend told me once that she thinks my spiritual gift is to have people nap at my house. Who knows, maybe it is! Ha!
An authentic community of women
My dream is to cultivate a community of women who come together to love others well. A community that pursues the Lord, each other, and always welcomes others in, making them feel at home.
What about you? Do you have specific goals or dreams for your own hospitality ministry? Let us know in the comments below!