A peek inside this post: Need tips for being a hospitable homemaker? Try these Christian Hospitality ideas. You’ll learn exactly what is Christian Hospitality, and we have some bible scriptures on hospitality to help guide you. Open your home and start practicing biblical hospitality today!
When my family moved from Illinois to Georgia last summer, one thing I vowed to focus on (once we were settled) was Christian Hospitality. I wanted to be that welcoming homemaker who handled visits—scheduled or not— with grace and warmth.
The entire first week we were in our new home, I made sure to shower every day, reasonably do my hair and makeup, and get dressed in real clothes.
Wouldn’t you know it, not a single person stopped by during the first six days.
On the seventh day, I took a note from God’s playbook and rested from my regimen. Can you guess what happened that day? I unpacked boxes, not caring how I looked, organizing our new house all day until supper time.
The doorbell rang for the first time in the middle of that meal, and I had to meet our smartly groomed, cake-carrying neighbors with my frizzy hair, while wearing an old tank top and sweatpants, with corn stuck in my teeth.
I am so good at first impressions.
I was mortified. But what trumped my embarrassment was gratitude.
Gratitude for new neighbors who took time out of their evening to bake us a cake and walk it over, offering it alongside their friendship. Gratitude for their helpful information about our new area.
Gratitude for their grace and completely non-judgmental acceptance of my frazzled appearance.
Gratitude that the cake was brought over on a real cake stand so I had an easy segue for additional conversation (and a better second impression) when it was time to return it.
I was a complete mess when our sweet neighbors dropped in on us.
But guess what? We still became friends. We still chatted on the front porch.
When their girls were spending a week with their aunt, our neighbors still stopped by one night with wine glasses in hand and sat at our new dining room table and ate chocolate with us while our boys played upstairs and came down to be nosy (disguised as getting another glass of water).
They still invited us to their church and to go on golf cart rides through the neighborhood so they could give us a grand tour.
Because hospitality is about connection, not perfection.Jenna Punke-Bendt, Just Homemaking
What is Christian Hospitality?
The gracious aftermath of that first meeting made me look really hard at what true biblical hospitality means.
When we get down to the heart of it, hospitality is about setting aside pride and vanity and honoring God by spending genuine, quality time learning about and caring for someone else while they’re in your home.
Can we think about what kind of refuge we might be able to offer our guests while they’re in the presence of our home? That for at least during their visit, they can be assured that they are heard, understood, welcomed, and loved?
15 Bible Scriptures on Hospitality to Help Us Understand Its Importance
Here are some Christian hospitality bible verses to help us have a better understanding:
1| 1 Peter 4:9
Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.
2| Luke 10:38-42
As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made.
She came to him and asked, “Don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!”
“Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed – or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.”
3| Matthew 22:39
Love your neighbor as yourself.
4| 1 Timothy 5:10
…and is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds.
5| Titus 1:8
Rather, he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined.
6| Matthew 25:34-40
34 “Then the King will say to those on his right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by my Father; take your inheritance, the kingdom prepared for you since the creation of the world. 35 For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, 36 I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’
37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you?39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’
40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’
7| Romans 12:13
Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality.
8| Genesis 24:31
“Come, you who are blessed by the Lord,” he said. “Why are you standing out here? I have prepared the house and a place for the camels.”
9| Galatians 5:13
You, my brothers and sisters, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the flesh; rather, serve one another humbly in love.
10| Hebrews 13:2
Do not forget to show hospitality to strangers, for by so doing some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.
11| 1 Timothy 3:2
Now the overseer is to be above reproach, faithful to his wife, temperate,self-controlled, respectable, hospitable, able to teach.
12| Hebrews 13:16
And do not forget to do good and to share with others, for with such sacrifices God is pleased.
13| Mark 9:41
Truly I tell you, anyone who gives you a cup of water in my name because you belong to the Messiah will certainly not lose their reward.
14| Proverbs 31:20
She opens her arms to the poor and extends her hands to the needy.
15| Galatians 6:10
Therefore, as we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, especially to those who belong to the family of believers.
3 Tips for Being a Hospitable Homemaker
With all of that in mind, and a desire for real connection as the ultimate goal, I’ve found a few things to be helpful in taking away from distractions and maintaining a heart for hospitality.
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1. Keep up with your housework.
Nobody is expecting your home to be Pinterest-Perfect, but you will feel better if your living space is not a complete pig-sty. Will you be able to turn your brain off in the presence of a friend longing for connection if there is messy chaos surrounding you?
My cleaning schedule consists of two cleaning days each week.
On Monday, I clean the entire downstairs and do all of the laundry. On Thursday, I clean the entire upstairs and do all of the laundry accumulated since Monday. Throughout the rest of the week I am able to just tidy up quickly after mealtimes and daily clutter and then I’m free to spend the day enjoying hobbies, running errands, or chatting with friends!
I know this schedule won’t work for everyone, but I encourage you to find a system that you can stick to! At the very least, keep the guest bath clean and have some storage baskets that you can quickly toss random items into when you’re in a pinch.
2. Care for yourself every morning.
Did you know when you get up and get dressed, it sends a signal to you and others in your house that you are prepared for your day and what may come?
I used to find myself still in pajamas at noon and was too embarrassed to open the door if somebody came knocking. (I think this is common for many homemakers.)
For the past several months, I’ve gotten into the habit of showering and getting dressed first thing in the morning (before I even come downstairs for coffee!). My energy and productivity levels have increased significantly!
If you don’t already do this, try it out for a week and get back to me. Game Changer for sure.
3. Keep a Stash for Surprise Guests.
Store some things away so that you have them on hand.
I filled a Rubbermaid container with some non-perishables like crackers, nuts, dried fruit, good chocolate, and a bottle of wine, and keep it stored at the top of the pantry for when guests stop by unannounced.
Charcuterie is my Love Language (ha!) so I almost always have salami, nice cheese, deli mustard, and green olives in my fridge. When somebody drops by, I pull out my charcuterie board and can quickly load that sucker with a delicious spread from my pantry stash and refrigerated items.
**HINT: Even if they say they aren’t hungry or “you don’t have to go to all that trouble” (which you’ll find out it’s pretty much NO trouble at all), they’ll end up eating off of it most of the time. It’s an easy way to make guests feel welcome, even if they weren’t invited.
It doesn’t have to be charcuterie, but keeping a couple meals or cookie dough in the freezer for unforeseen circumstances is always a good idea. Even a box of pasta and jarred sauce that’s for emergency-use only is smart.
This tip comes in handy for fun, spontaneous visits, or also in times of real crisis.
A few years ago, my uncle was hospitalized suddenly. My cousin drove from states away with her three young kids in tow so she could be close to her stepdad in his final days. I was able to care for her kids and welcome them in my home during that sorrowful week.
I had several meals in my freezer that made it possible for me to go from feeding my family of six to feeding nine without any issue whatsoever. I was grateful that when my cousin arrived after 15 hours of driving alone with three children, I could tell her to just bring them to me and not to worry about anything but just being next to her mom as they mourned and made arrangements over several days.
My list above doesn’t always happen, and that’s okay. When somebody stops by the house, they’re hoping to see me or someone in my family, not to check whether or not those breakfast crumbs are still on the counter. And sometimes, you’re fulfilling a very real need, and it doesn’t matter what your home looks like. Just that it’s open.
Out of the Box Christian Hospitality Ideas
Here are some ideas to help you seek out ways to open your home and be hospitable. Don’t overthink it!
1| Let your kids invite a couple friends over.
Bonus if they ask someone who doesn’t have a lot of friends of their own. Get to know who they’re hanging out with. Kids need connection so badly, especially middle and high schoolers. You might be providing a loving home (even if just for a couple of hours) to someone who really needs it.
2| Host a board game or card night for some family friends.
It’s so fun to play old favorites and try new ones! Most recently, one of these nights turned into a spontaneous karaoke party at our house!
3| Have a fire outside.
Roast hot dogs or cook s’mores. Something about sitting around a fire is just so good for the soul.
4| Plan a fun party for some girlfriends.
I love doing a Galentine’s Day Party for my gal pals every year! We all look forward to an evening with yummy food, pretty place settings, sangria, and lots of laughs.
5| Make a big batch of something and invite team parents and their kids over after a sports game.
Running from activity to activity can be draining! How grateful would teammates and their parents be if you said, “We’ve got plenty for supper, come on by,”? A big batch of chili or walking tacos would be easy to throw together, but would make a world of difference!
6| Have a morning bible study with coffee and pastries.
Let hot coffee, connection, and God’s words work their “magic”.
7| Take turns hosting lunch after church.
At our old church, a bunch of us would take turns hosting lunch in our homes once a month. There were maybe 7 or 8 families and we’d all bring something to support the meal. It was so fun to gather together and break bread.
There was a rule that everyone had to leave by 2:00 to allow Sunday rest and nap times, which was such brilliant thinking ahead.
Nobody was worried about their house being uber clean and tidy. We just enjoyed being together and watching our kids play!
8| Text a friend to bring her kids over for grilled cheese.
It doesn’t always have to be well thought out or planned in advance.
9| Be open to spontaneity.
One of my favorite examples of hospitality that focuses on connection rather than perfection is the time I picked my kids up from a playdate. My friend had dinner in the oven, and we got to talking.
She said, “We’re having such good conversation, I don’t want you to leave. Want to order a pizza and stay for awhile?”
“What about your dinner in the oven?,” I asked.
She responded, “Eh, I’ll wrap that up and save it for tomorrow!”
She didn’t even give it another thought, she was just glad our kids were playing well together and she could have some adult conversation! I strive to be more open to the real connection that happens when we set our plans aside.
What Ways Are You Practicing Biblical Hospitality?
I’d love to know what you think about this topic. Drop a comment about your own hospitality experiences and any tips you’ve learned along the way!
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A Quick Devotion on Selflessness for Homemakers Learn how to be less selfish from Jesus’ example.
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