As a single woman, do you expect to be included on the guest lists of others, or do you proactively choose to extend hospitality?
Hospitality helps keep you from becoming self-absorbed and overly preoccupied with your job or your own social needs.
Romans 12:13 says believers are to practice hospitality—literally, they are to "pursue the love of strangers" (Heb. 13:2)—not simply to offer hospitality to their friends. If you want to demonstrate obedience to your heavenly Father, you will choose to practice biblical hospitality now, rather than waiting for more "ideal circumstances," such as marriage.
Perhaps these strategies will help you jump-start your application of Romans 12:13 and Hebrews 13:2.
Collect and experiment with simple, inexpensive recipes for desserts and meals (it is risky to try a new recipe on guests).
Maintain emergency supplies to be able to accommodate "impromptu hospitality." These supplies might include:
- Baked potatoes and toppings for a dinner
- Supplies for Fajitas
- Cheese and crackers
- Coffee, tea, and other healthy beverages
- Homemade baked items frozen (wrap them tightly in small quantities and label; keep no longer than three months). They will thaw while you are preparing the beverages.
Don’t wait until you have the perfect home or an ample budget to begin practicing biblical hospitality.
Make a list of people who would be encouraged by your offer of hospitality, and purpose to invite your first guests soon!
Start simple. Spontaneously inviting someone home after Sunday evening church is a great beginning.
Invest in a crock pot and use it. A crock pot meal is a wonderful way to have lunch ready when you return home from church on Sunday.
Reduce stress by preparing as much of a meal as possible in advance. Set the table early. This leaves time for you to prepare yourself spiritually and physically to minister to your guests (Phil. 4:6–9).
Maintain your sense of humor and be creative if something does not turn out exactly as you planned. Keep your mind set on whom you are really serving, and your perspective will remain God-honoring (Col. 3:23).
Greet your guests with a genuine smile, and communicate to them that you are blessed to have them in your home. Consider the concept that they have honored you by accepting your invitation. Greet them outside if you can, and walk them to their car when it is time for them to leave.
Pray that our loving heavenly Father will give you joy in demonstrating hospitality to others (Neh. 8:10; Phil. 4:4).
Remember that memories require time and energy to create.
Purpose to nurture a heart for biblical hospitality that sincerely communicates "come back soon." Will you consider extending biblical hospitality soon? Who knows, you might be entertaining an angel incognito (Heb. 13:2).
By Pat Ennis