Showing Hospitality to Our Spouse

To Our Spouse

Welcome to this lovely Friday Morning! Every Friday morning, we are continuing a conversation about hospitality and homemaking. I believe that hospitality is more than beautiful home decor, fancy table settings, and delicious foods. I believe that homemaking is more than cleaning schedules and making various foods from scratch. My hope and prayer are that, together, we discover that hospitality and homemaking are true ministries and practical ways to love our neighbors. 

On this lovely morning, I am so thrilled to welcome today's guest writer in our hospitality and homemaking series. Meet Vanessa from Christfollower85!

Last week I wrote about hospitality outside our homes. Being hospitable to those we meet in our daily lives and not just waiting for an opportunity to invite them in for a home cooked meal. 

This week I’m going to talk about being hospitable in our homes to one person. To your spouse. The one you are married to. The one you made a vow to, in front of God and witnesses. 

It’s time to ask hard questions. Are you being hospitable to your spouse? Are you giving of your (best) time, attention and affection to your spouse? Are you serving and being sacrificial in meeting his/her needs? Does your spouse love being with you so much that he/she doesn’t want to leave the room you are in and doesn’t want you to leave either?

Luke 10:25-35 wherein Jesus talks about the parable of the Good Samaritan, can be a starting point for us, in learning how to be hospitable to our spouses. First a Pharisee starts off with asking what the greatest commandment was, to which Jesus replied “Love God and love your neighbor”. Wanting to justify himself, the Pharisee asked who his neighbor was. Jesus goes on to tell this parable. A man, beaten and robbed and left for dead, is lying on the road. A Priest and a Levite pass him by without offering help. A Samaritan stops, cleans his wounds, puts him on his donkey and takes him to an inn. He then pays the innkeeper to take care of the man until he heals and also promises to come back and repay the innkeeper for any extra expenses. 

What do we learn about the Samaritan from this? He put the injured man’s needs above his own. He uses his own resources (his donkey) for the man’s benefit. He paid out of his pocket (his hard-earned money) for the man’s rehabilitation. He promised to come back again and pay extra if needed. This Samaritan gave of his time, his money and of his attention. And he did so without resentment. 

Some of the other meanings for hospitality/ being hospitable are warmth, consideration, courtesy, close heartedness, affection, grace, love, intimacy, tenderness, open heart, attention, ardor. This is by no means an exhaustive list! Depending on where you look you can find up to 329 synonyms for hospitality (I found these in a thesaurus, you can read the list here, 😊). 

So what does being hospitable look like in your marriage? How can you give of your time and affection and attention without being resentful? And why is that important?

The Bible talks a great deal about marriage. About honouring the marriage bed to keep it pure (Hebrews 13:4). That each one’s body belongs to his/her spouse and not to themselves (1 Corinthians 7:4). To come together often not to give the devil a foothold and to only be apart for prayer (1 Corinthians 7:5). It also says a great deal about couples being one, one in body and one in spirit (Mark 10:8). It tells us that we are part of a 3-strand cord (God, the husband and the wife) that is stronger when the members are united (Ecclesiates 4:12).  

Being part of a marriage means being giving, being affectionate, being sacrificial, having a servant’s heart and doing so with love. These descriptions can also be used when you’re thinking of a guest coming home but some how we forget that our spouse is our neighbor as well.

Sometimes we forget that they need us to be present, to see them, to serve with love. Sometimes we don’t want to, because we are either Hungry, Angry, Lonely or Tired ( HALT) or Bored, Lonely, Angry , Stressed or Tired (BLAST). {Just remember the one acronym that works for you}. When we are one of these things, all courtesy and warmth and grace and ardor and tenderness and love seem to fall off. All we have has been given. All we are has been sucked dry. And it seems like if one more demand is placed on us, we’ll snap. 

This is a valid place to be. These are legitimate feelings. but can I just say, even in these trying times, we need to make an extra effort to be hospitable to our spouses (Yes they need to as well, but we aren’t talking about things beyond your control. You are the only person you can control or change and that’s what we are talking about).

We get stronger in our marriages. We become more intimate. The 2-cord strand gets more impermeable to outside influences. The marriage becomes a force to be reckoned with. The children grow up tougher and kinder, able to adapt and to stand strong. The marriage is central to the health of the nation. And this starts with me. With you. We chose to be kind and giving even when we don’t feel like it. We chose to be tender and gracious when we want to do something different. We chose to be loving and filled with ardor when things are going right. 

And all of these are being hospitable. To the one person in your family you are yoked to. To the one you are called to cherish and love and honour.

So again I ask what does hospitality in your marriage look like? It depends on your season of marriage. If you’re newly married. If you’re married with young children. If you’ve been married for awhile and have teenagers. If you’re an empty nester. If yours is a blended family. If you have foster or adopted children. If you’re grieving children not here anymore. If you’re a family with special needs child/ren.  Believe you me, it looks different for everyone, but there are probably some basic things that each couple can try and then implement what works for them. 

I have young children, 6 and 5 years old, and in the last few years, we have started locking our bedroom door! That has worked wonders for our marriage 😊 If they wake up early and usually they do, there’s a storm of knocking on our door plus Mama! Mama! Mama wake up! We do wake up early, but we don’t get of the room until we are ready to. 

Some other things that can be helpful are 

1.Putting the kids early to bed, so you and your spouse can have time to yourself, to watch TV, to unwind together, to just have time for uninterrupted conversations.

2. Staying in the same room! If you unwind with electronic devices, sit close together and put a time limit on. If that’s not you, go for a walk (this would probably work if you have older children, or you do so with the young ones before dinner/bedtime), or do chores together (tip: do different chores in the same room, you’re likely to drive each other insane if you try to do the same thing!)

3. Have conversations with each other in front of and around your kids, and when they interrupt, tell them Mom and Dad are speaking and they need to wait. 

4. Go on dates. We have barely gone on 3 dates in 8 years of marriage. This hasn’t worked for us, in this season of our lives, but maybe for some of you it might. 

5. Make love! Initiate, respond enthusiastically, try different places and different positions, wear lingerie or revealing clothes for your spouse. Go ahead and be filled with passion 😊. 

6. Read the Bible. Pray. Go to church and small groups. My husband and I tried reading and praying together in the mornings, that didn’t work. Again for this season. We wake up and read our Bibles separately (sometimes in the same room, sometimes not). He prays before going to work while I get the kids ready for school. I sit down and pray/ finish my Bible reading after he’s left. We pray together as a family in the evenings with the kids. Give yourself grace. What works for someone else may not be something you can do. You’ll be surprised how much closer you’ll feel to your spouse when you do pray together though. 

What do you think? Is practicing hospitality to your spouse top of your list? How can you change that? 

Blessings to you friend, and may your marriage be filled with laughter and joy and peace and love. 


Vanessa Samuel is a wife and a mother. Her family have lived in 3 different states for her husband’s work. She’s constantly putting down roots and pulling them up again. Her one Rock through it all has been Her Saviour, Her God and Her LORD. She loves writing and her desire through her blog is to help people discover the beauty and the wonder found in Scripture, and so to turn their eyes upon The Author. You can read more at or follow her on twitter @vanessasamuel85 .