When I read the title of this blog, I thought, “Wow, that’s me!”
Let me explain a little. I am not one who is overly fond of cooking or baking. That gene slipped past me, and I did not run after it at all.
So my home is one where people come and relax. I don’t have perfect couches (some are a bit lumpy), I don’t have proper dining room chairs – we are still trying to get the “perfect” ones for our table – and our spare bedroom is filled with hand-me-downs, and nothing matches.
Then I go and read 1 Peter 4: 8 – 10, which starts with: “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins.” (NIV) Well, I think, that should surely refer to my guests – love me deeply, and you won’t be concerned about the state of my lounge cushions, incorrect dining room chairs and mismatched furniture in the spare room. And surely, if I truly love you, I will do my best to make your stay comfortable – if not 5-star quality.
Oh boy, then look at verse 9: “Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling.” Okay, a moment of honesty amongst us please. If not grumbling, how many of you are sincerely over the moon when people (especially if they are strangers) come to stay or come for a meal? My stress levels used to hit the highest levels, until one day, I realised that I could ask the Lord to give me this gift. Verse 10 says, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.”
What a great moment that was for me. I could ask God to help me with my hospitality so that I could ensure that despite all the outward challenges of having people over – whether just for a meal, or staying over – they would know that they are loved and appreciated.
This completely changed how I offered hospitality. I know that other folks have beautiful homes full of creative spaces, colour co-ordinated lounge sets, perfect dining room chairs and great meals, but between God and me, we get to offer what is my unique gift. I realised that if folks felt loved, appreciated, had full stomachs with my down-to-earth cooking, and our conversations were littered with laughter and shared stories, my imperfect hospitality would be more than enough because I partnered with God.
Let us not get caught up with how the world presents hospitality but let us get caught up with loving each other so much, that having folks in our homes is a blessing to both them and us.
Imperfect hospitality with God is simply the best kind of hospitality you can provide.
Women of Reverence welcomes guest blogger Nadine Judge.
She is married to Francis Judge and together they lead Venture Church in Fairlands, Johannesburg. They have 3 children, 2 of whom are married and one more who is currently in high school. Nadine and Francis also have one granddaughter who blesses them both abundantly.
When she isn't inspiring leaders and assisting Francis in leading a church, Nadine is often
found where coffee, books and internet converge.