Making hospitality a normal part of our home-life, gave me so many opportunities to train my children in how to treat others- adults or children- how to serve, how to engage in conversation, how to listen, how to make others feel comfortable in new situations, how to honor those to whom honor is due. It also allowed us to put godly people before their eyes and ears who could testify to God’s goodness and working in their lives. Allow your children to be a part of the process, the preparation, the conversation.
Here are some ways that having hospitality in your home will benefit your entire family:
– Hospitality in Your Home Allows You To Be Intentional About Relationships: As our family continued to grow, we started reaping the blessings of extending ourselves to others and so did our children. Though we had a house full of young children, we invited a lot of other families over for supper and events. (Will share some practical tips about the logistics in the next posting)
One of the advantages of homeschooling is that you can build a customized social circle for your children – both like-minded friends and also people you want to expose them to or have them minister to. You can choose the families you want to influence your kids and that your kids can influence as well. In school you don’t have any control over the peers your kids are exposed to, but in the context of the home you can and should be intentional about it.
Psalm 102:6 says, “Mine eyes shall be upon the faithful of the land, that they may dwell with me, he that walketh in a perfect way, he shall serve me.” Another version talks about inviting the godly of the land into our home. This verse really struck me. I realized, “Wow! I need to expose my kids to the godly of the land.” So, we began inviting visiting missionaries to our home or people who were investing in other’s lives, so that our kids would have the benefit of both serving them and hearing their testimonies.
– Hospitality in Your Home Allows You Opportunities To Train Your Children to Serve Others: I began training my kids to serve others when they came to our house. When they were real little, I would prepare the food, but have my kids help serve the company. As they grew in age, I would involve them in preparing the meal as well as serving. We had it pretty down pat by the time our kids were teen-agers. They would prepare the meal, serve the guests, clear the table, do the dishes, etc. and then come and be a part of the conversation as well.
-Hospitality in Your Home Teaches Your Kids How to Interact with Adults and Other Children: We taught our kids to think of questions they could ask company to show interest in them and also to spark conversation about how the company ministered to others through the years. When we invited other families over I would often ask the dad of the family what his job was, what training he needed to prepare, if he liked his job, what he would do differently, etc. so my kids would be exposed to different vocations.
– Hospitality in Your Home Teaches Your Kids to Appreciate Others: We expanded our reach by inviting elderly folks to our home. We found it meant so much to older folks to have younger kids show an interest in their lives and be involved in serving them. It was an incredibly practical way to teach our kids to honor and appreciate others and the work God had done in their lives. Boy, that’s when our education really began. What a treasure we found in the lives of older folks. With the goal of teaching my kids to serve and honor them, we found we were incredibly blessed by the dimension they added to our lives!
-Hospitality in Your Home allows You to Build Relationships With Your Kid’s Friends When our older kids reached high school/college years we invited over lots of kids their ages. We had special “adopteds” that felt comfortable in our home at any time, and we still have special relationships with them to this day. Instead of our kids having to go elsewhere to build relationships, we were able to befriend those who were their friends, and we’ve all been blessed by doing so. I just recently watched an old DVD yesterday from when some of them were up at our house, opening the refrigerator and helping themselves- fun memories! We’ve maintained those relationships with quite a few of them even as they grew older, got married and began raising families of their own. Funny- some of our younger kids grew up with these friends of their brothers being kind of like brothers to them, too.
Next Time: 6 Fears About Hospitality