If you have been a Christian for an extended length of time, you have probably heard the story of Mary and Martha (Luke 10:38-42). To remind you, Mary sat listening to Jesus while Martha had busied herself with chores and preparations, and Jesus said that Mary made the better choice. I had heard this story many times, and it has a tendency to be taught at the expense of good hospitality. This was not what Jesus was saying! Jesus was Martha’s guest, yet Martha was not paying the slightest bit of attention to him, while he was still in her home! Also, as we know, Jesus’ teaching brings abundant life and has eternal value—far more value than nice housekeeping. So, is hospitality Biblical? Read the following verses and see for yourself:
“Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” Romans 12:13
“Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2
“Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.” 1 Peter 4:9
The trend in Christianity and in the majority of America tends to be “let’s go out to eat” or “I’ll meet you at that park or mall.” Inviting someone over for a home-cooked meal is becoming a lost art. But as you see above, hospitality is a Biblical trait!
This last year my husband Matthew and I lived in Washington D.C. There we found a church and met many long-lasting friends. Although only having been there one year, the homes we were invited to dine and fellowship in created such a comfortable environment. Neither my husband nor I would have been so naturally given to sharing our lives so openly as we did, but the tremendous hospitality cultivated an environment where true friendships were created. It was a testimony to their Christianity to be able to show love so thoroughly through hospitality, of all things!
At this point, you are probably wondering, “What in the world does this have to do with marriage”? Well, something else that I gleaned from our time in DC was how blessed these couples appeared to be when they were serving those around them. When you and your spouse find a common cause or a conduit of serving together, you experience a unity and joy incomparable with other earthly acts. Serving together is part of walking in God’s will in marriage. I encourage you. Go against the trend. Invite other couples and families into your home. Dinner, games, and laughter with others can do wonders for your marriage. Extend hospitality. God knows what He is talking about. You will bless others and be blessed in the process.