In my last post on hospitality, I shared how many wives unknowingly discourage their husbands from practicing hospitality and how I was convicting about this as well.
We came to the conclusion that Scripture encourages us all, both men and women, to be hospitable, but I really wanted us wives to examine how and if we are encouraging that in our husbands or not?
Many of you may have been thinking, “If we are all called to be hospitable, what about those who are introverts?”
You may even be thinking, “What if I am married to an introvert?”
If you are thinking to yourself, YES! That’s my husband! Don’t fret, I understand and have been married to such a man for 18 years!
First of all, you need to have grace for all people, and the reality is that God didn’t make all people wired the same way. Amen?
Some people are ENERGIZED by being with people, others are DRAINED!
If your husband gets drained by hospitality than you need to honor him and help him to be able to be successful at it when you do have people over.
Here are 5 things you can do to HELP YOUR HUSBAND BE SUCCESSFUL AT HOSPITALITY!
- Try to plan ahead and give him plenty of notice. Make sure it is in his schedule. In our family, Thursdays are our hospitality night, so my husband can pretty much always count on Thursday having someone sharing a meal with our family. Also, I try not to have too many days in the row planned with guests. Maybe 1-2 per week and I know that I have to try to have those two days spread out a bit.
- Evaluate your expectations of your husband and adjust accordingly. This is SUPER important. If you are an extrovert and love having people over and then find yourself consistently let down by your husband it is time for you to re-evaluate your expectations of him. Communicate and be open and honest. While he may not feel like having people over all the time, it is a biblical calling to practice hospitality. And it is one God gave to all people, not just extroverts.
- Give your husband some time before people come over to just be alone. If he is helping you prep, try to ask for help with chores where he can have some quiet time to get his mind right before having people over. I personally would c wives to challenge to encourage their husbands to set aside 20 minutes of time alone before walking in the door to get their heads right, pray, and think.
- Make sure you are nourishing your personal relationship with your husband. He is NOT going to want to hang out with other people if you guys are not jiving and thriving both in your communication and intimately.
- Lastly, and certainly NOT least, it is our attitudes throughout the preparation process that makes it or breaks it for everyone. If mom’s attitude stinks, then no one is happy! This can be the biggest discouragement to something that may already be painfully out of your husband’s comfort zone. If you are stressed preparing and making it no fun at all, I guarantee he will not want to continue practicing hospitality.
For example, I do not expect a whole lot from my husband. I generally do the bulk of the work, along with my kids. Of course, he would help if I asked, and he does when I do. But I have found he is more ON if he can have some alone time before people come over.
The main thing I can do to help him be as sharp, alert, and ready for fellowship as possible, is by letting him have alone time to recharge.
What if you are in the trenches with little kiddos?
I get it! I have been there momma. And listen, you need to have grace with yourself and not overdue it.
There was a time when I had 5 children under the age of seven. I was exhausted, burnt out, tired, and felt like in some ways I was drowning. The thought of regularly inviting others into our home for hospitality was overwhelming, to say the least. It just wasn’t an option for this season in my life! I was pouring myself out to my kids, caring for my home, and my husband, and that was all my capacity could handle at the time. And it’s ok!
What is NOT ok, is sinning by having a bad attitude towards others all because I want to have people over!
It is important to remember TWO foundational things here:
- We cannot view hospitality legalistically! Yes, you should desire to obey the Bible and practice hospitality, but not out of a works-based mentality.
The motivation should come from the heart– a heart of wanting to serve others and winning hearts over to Christ. We shouldn’t be all about the WORK of hospitality and making preparation miserable for our family in the process.
Remember, All our righteous deeds are like filthy rags… (Isaiah 64:6)
- Hospitality is not entertaining, it is serving. It doesn’t matter if your house is perfect, the purpose is fellowship, connecting with others, and cultivating an atmosphere where people feel safe, cared for, and loved. It is in these settings where people open up about their trials, struggles, and joys. This is where the Great Commission and discipling can thrive–in the home.