Biblical Hospitality with Guest Ruth Schwenk

Toward the beginning of our book of study A Life That Says Welcome, (on page 35 to be exact) I talk about many biblical examples of hospitality. Today’s guest leads us through unpacking one of the great examples from the pages of scripture, Abraham.

Meet my awesome friend and clever mom, Ruth Schwenk!

Like you, Ruth wears many hats!  She is the wife of a pastor, who is her best friend and the love of her life.

She is a blessed homeschooling mother to her four beautiful children, and she eagerly waits meeting her five others in heaven. Ruth is a graduate of Moody Bible Institute in Chicago, IL.  She has a passion for following God, leading worship, rescuing orphans, and inspiring others to create a God-honoring family.

On August 1st, 2011, Ruth launched The Better Mom .  It is a site dedicated to moms who want to be better moms by sharing life and learning together, to the glory of God.

 
Most days, the thought of opening our house to people takes a back seat to the task of keeping our house in one piece. Hospitality? Like most moms, the thought is almost humorous!

I have always been a “people person”. Then I had 4 children and I had a house full of people all the time! I was constantly entertaining. ;) My zeal for hospitality was lost to survival.

Whether you are a mom or not, we all have so much stuff that is filling our lives that finding room for hospitality is nearly impossible.

One of the first acts of hospitality in the Bible is described in the Old Testament book of Genesis. We often think of Abraham as the father of faith, but he should also be highly regarded as the father of hospitality. Both he and his wife Sarah demonstrate for us a great picture of the hospitable family. Genesis 18:1-5 says,

The LORD appeared to Abraham near the
great trees of Mamre while he was sitting at the entrance to his tent
in the heat of the day. Abraham looked up and saw three men standing
nearby. When he saw them, he hurried from the entrance of his tent to
meet them and bowed low to the ground. He said, “If I have found favor
in your eyes, my lord, do not pass your servant by.
Let a little water be brought, and then you may all wash your feet and
rest under this tree. Let me get you something to eat, so you can be
refreshed and then go on your way—now that you have come to your
servant.”

Hospitality is not only important for me personally, but it is also important for our family. As a mom, I want my children to understand the need to sacrificially give our lives to encourage and inspire others. Like anything, this must be intentionally taught and demonstrated to have lasting impact.

Following are three things we learn from the story of Abraham’s example of hospitality. They are also great reminders of how to teach hospitality to our children.

1. Abraham WELCOMED his guests – He had eyes for those who were in need. Abraham did not wait for a need to be known. He initiated an invitation. Helping our children learn hospitality means helping them see the needs of others.

2. Abraham SERVED his guests – True hospitality always has our guests on display, not our home. We are not the center, but our guests are. Helping our children learn hospitality means teaching them that our guests are the center of our attention when we invite them in.

3. Abraham REFRESHED his guests – He was focused on refreshing, not impressing. Helping our children learn hospitality means teaching them to see that we desire to see people leave more encouraged, strengthened, and refreshed then when they came.

I encourage you today, no matter how busy you are, to sit down with your family and take a look at your calendar. Make a list of friends and families that you are going to invite in to your home, and put it on the schedule! And don’t forget…get your children involved in helping plan, prepare, and welcoming your guests in.

***************************

I have a FANTASTIC giveaway to add a little warmth to your entertaining!! This adorable Ladybug Teapot, and 2 Ladybug Mugs from Pumpkin Seed Press!

Pumpkin Seed Press publishes and carries fantastic mentoring and character training materials and products!

To enter the giveaway leave a comment below and tell me one thing you do to make your guests feel especially welcome.

 

Thank you so much for letting me share in this hospitality series with you all!

I would love for you to join me over at The Better Mom, where thousands of mom gather to learn and grow every day!

(Visited 154 times, 1 visits today)

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

  • While praying this morning,seeking direction..flipping through God’s word
    I read in Matt 25:35
    I am seeing hospitality in a new light. Praying about fostering..I read,” I was a stranger and you took me in”. Not only reaching the adults, But also children. Hospitality is
    a ministry…Love your post. blessing Teresa

  • I always ask guests if they would like a drink right away. It is often 100 or more degrees here in the summer, and it is easy to get dehydrated. I offer drinks to anyone who enters my home, whether they are a friend or someone who is being paid to be there, like a repair person or exterminator.
    One time, I had a group in my home that was conducting a study through Texas Tech University. They were going to be there for at least an hour, so I had planned to offer them something to eat or drink even before they arrived. They were so appreciative and told me that I was the only person who had offered them anything out of all the people they did the study with. That meant a lot to them and showed them that I cared about them as people.

  • We greet everyone at their car…and then always try to have their favorite drinks on hand. I am not naturally good at hospitality, but I amlearning.

  • I show them around! My house is small, so it only takes a second and it immediately sets people at ease to know where the bathroom is :-)

  • I try to always keep some decaf coffee on hand for my evening guests in case they would like coffee after dinner. I just want to make them feel at home so I keep it just in case!!

  • I give guests a heads up, before they come over that we take our shoes off at the front door, so they are sure to wear clean and hole free socks when they come over. I also ask if they have any allergies or strong dislikes and I usually run the menu by them ahead of time.

  • I try to always let them know how glad I am to have them in my home. I help them in and try to make them comfortable. I usually do worry about any mess in my house…like crumbs on the kitchen floor…but I love all of the emphasis here of focusing on our guests and what they need and not what is wrong with our house.

  • I don’t do anything extraordinary to make guests feel especially welcomed as soon as they arrive, and I tend to worry and fret about not having enough variety, place settings, space, blah blah blah. However, I am laid back about messes. I have 2 little ones and have grown to accept and expect messes. So when we have guests (which normally include other little ones), I don’t make a big deal about messes or spills. I take care of them quickly and move on. It lets the little visitors stay happy and their parents relax and feel especially welcomed.

  • I always have either a meal cooked or a freshly baked snack, because if you have been traveling a while nothing is better than to have good food and warm coffee already waiting for you. Then the main thing is to remain FLEXIBLE so that if they want to go out and eat, we do that, if they want to stay in and eat the meal I made (like soup that can keep until another time) we do that. If they want to chat and visit first or go and take a nap to rest from their journey, our family remains flexible to their needs and what makes a pleasant time for them.

  • I have a time where a girlfriend from church made our family feel very welcome (in our own home). I had just left the hospital and Tasha came over with dinner. Not just any dinner, enough for our family of seven, included chicken nuggets & mac n cheese for the little ones and paper plates for a super easy clean up. The gesture was the most magical from our dear friend. I appreciate our church family SO much, they are much more than just Sunday morning friends.

  • On Monday’s we have “Family Night” all my adult children and there guy friends or friends come over and I have a dinner for them. I work a eight hour day outside of the home so it is a challenge, but I try to have a theme and decorate my table according to that theme. And prepare foods I know that my children or there friends love. If it someones birthday that week, they get to choose what we have, and of course we have their favorite kind of dessert. I use my crockpot alot. The paperplates table clothes etc. all go with the theme. But when I have compnay over which very rare, I serve it on my china that my grandmother left me. And we use the goblets. Even if it’s Stoffer Lasgana.

  • My guests are more often than not, my family and they are usually over at holidays. It seems it is mostly food that I am able to bless them with. Today I received a card with Forget-Me-Not seeds tucked inside from someone at my church. I can remember my gram having tea in the percolator and always one of her homemade treats after the meal.

  • I make almond brownies or another specialty of mine depending on the occasion and I freely hand out the recipes when asked.

  • There are many things that I try to do to make my guests feel welcomed but I always make sure the first thing I do is hug them and say either, “did you have a safe drive” or “How has your day been so far” and then I offer something to drink. I feel that asking them this shows that you care about them from the second they get there! :)

  • Always meet them at the door when they arrive and walk them out when they leave. Of course I am a “hugger” so they are greeted with a welcome hug and a goodbye hug too!!

  • I like to find out what foods they love so I can make them while they are over. I also like to walk them out the door and thank them for coming.

  • I buy many of their favorite foods, snacks, soft drinks and juices (without going overboard) when I have weekend guests. For a vegetarian, I either make a small meatless entree for dinner for that person or have frozen entrees (such as shrimp alfredo) on hand in case I run out of time. Weather permitting, I take them to a nearby attraction such as the bird sanctuary or a community festival, etc. to have something fun to do to enhance our time together.