The Two-Way Street of Hospitality
My two little boys have become excellent gifters.
It is not uncommon to find hand-drawn images on my dwindling stash of printer paper. I’m even finding hearts drawn on our fogged up bathroom mirror or crayon drawings on my walls.
There have been numerous occasions when my five-year-old will announce, “Mommy, I have to give you something.” Then he will walk over to me and give me a hug.
His three-year-old little brother has started picking up on this spirit of giving and will also announce that he has a gift for me, too.
These are special gifts. Sure, I might not like my clean mirror or walls to be drawn on, but they are gifts. They’re gifts from two little boys who only desire to give of their own hearts to delight mine.
And you know what? In the midst of their giving, I’m learning to receive well.
Receiving their gifts is not responding in anger when I notice their latest drawing on their bedroom door. These are better teachable moments for after I have received their heartfelt gift of love with gratitude.
Receiving their gifts means not rolling my eyes as I look at the 6th hand-drawn image that looks exactly like the 5th hand-drawn image and the 4th one too. This is a time to make eye-contact with my boy and let him know that I appreciate his effort and love receiving his gifts.
Hospitality is so much more than opening our homes, it’s opening our hearts to receive.
So many times we think that by opening our homes that we are automatically on the giving end of the relationship, but I don’t think this is always the case. Sometimes, we may find ourselves on the receiving end of hospitality, even when we are the one hosting guests.
Recently, I was struck by the story of Lydia’s conversion in Acts 16:11-15.
She worshipped God, but still, God had opened her heart to receive the message spoken by Paul. As a result, she became saved, was baptized, and she invited Paul and Silas to stay at her house with her family.
She invited Paul and Silas into her home. While they benefitted from having a place to stay and rest, she benefitted from their friendship, their teaching, and their presence. Even though she had opened her home, she had positioned herself to receive. She didn’t miss out on the blessing God had in store for her.
The other thing I notice is that in Acts 16:40, after Paul and Silas had been released from prison, they had returned to her home to visit. The benefits of hospitality flowed as their friendship continued to flourish. Her home became a place where they could stop by, even after being beaten and imprisoned. I believe the relationship between Paul and Silas and Lydia served as an encouragement to one another.
What can we learn about hospitality from Lydia?
We learn that there is an incredible blessing in opening our hearts to receive. In opening our hearts to receive, we position ourselves to receive encouragement from the Lord. Lydia’s open heart brought about salvation, friendship, and encouragement.
What blessings might our open hearts be positioned to receive?
Doesn't this look delicious?
Madison from Ways of the Weavers shared this delicious recipe with me and I thought I would pass it along to you!
Now you don't have to be wondering what to make for dinner tomorrow! Give this recipe a try!