The Sweet Secret to Hospitality

If you are visiting me today because you read the Encouragement for Today devotion, welcome! If you haven’t read the devotion and want to here it is

I’ve always had a hard time being perfect like other people—I guess it just wasn’t my calling.  So, when I visited the missionary mentioned in the devotion today I was more than pleased to meet someone who didn’t have a perfect kitchen but had the sweetest gift of hospitality–and  brought many to Christ in it.

I’ll never forget this one time years ago. . . I worked so hard to be perfect for a women’s planning committee that was coming to my house for the first time. The day came; the house was immaculate, the food I prepared gourmet, the atmosphere serene, our five daughters wore matching dresses with aprons and their hair all curled in ringlets.

The ladies arrived and the luncheon went perfect. Not one detail failed me. As I cleaned up the table the ladies finalized plans for their next meeting and it was concluded.

All 5 daughters were perfect angels and my hosting etiquette flawless!

A month passed, and one early morning there was a knock at the kitchen door. I wasn’t dressed to open the door, but they could see me standing there—you can’t just run at this point. It was the ladies planning committee! I had been so busy at the last meeting that I missed the plans for our next meeting—at MY house!

I graciously welcomed them in. I stood there  without make up on or my hair brushed. They walked through the kitchen; the sink was stacked with dishes and the trash full and rolling over into the floor. About that time my three youngest children ran through the kitchen in a parade like fashion. They only had their underwear on and had drawn with ink pens all over their bodies. They were strutting their new art work for our guests.

About that time I gathered my humility off the floor, gracefully led our beloved children to the bathroom to clean up and asked the company to make themselves comfortable.

The committee actually had a wonderful visit  that  day, even though everything wasn’t PERFECT! We laughed, cried, prayed for one another, we ate together and praised God together. It was actually the perfect visit.

Entertaining isn’t about our house, our decorating, our cooking or how perfect our children are. Hospitality is when you open your home to all those who come, invited and uninvited and minister the love of Christ no matter what your circumstances are. The Lord fills our home with His presence and ministry becomes the sweetest fragrance when we surrender our human abilities for His supernatural ones.

Our kids are all grown now. This past weekend they were home and they brought guests with them.  We all sat around the table, prayed and talked. One guest later said to our daughter, “I’ve never been to a home like yours, sharing Christ and fellowshipping with one another, it was the sweetest!”

Um the sweet secret to hospitality is found in the scripture I gave in the Encouragement for Today devotion,I Peter 4:7-11. Have fervent love for one another.. . Be hospitable to one another. . .if anyone ministers, let him (her)do it with the ability which God supplies; that in all things God may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom belong the glory and the doominion forevery and ever, Amen.

I promised you 3 recipes in the devotion today.

The missionary made us wonderful pancakes, here is the recipe:

At her luncheon she made coddled eggs for the guests.  I’ve added coddled eggs to a wonderful brunch salad

And for dinner she made Orange Chicken

Thank you Stella! I love you!


  • Donna said:

    How refreshing! I identified with this completely. We have two children left in the home from a total of 9. I have refrained so many times from inviting company into our home because it paled in comparision to what I thought it should look like. I used many excuses, however, this devotion has encouraged me to lay those excuses aside. We have many teenagers in and out of this house and I will make sure to LOVE having them in my humble home! Our grown kids love to come home and it is really busy and crowded when they do, and I should be grateful that they want to even if it is all that and more! God bless you!

    • Hi Donna,

      Wow 2 left out of 9. I admire you! There would be no way to have your house ship shape with a family that size or your would be devoting your entire life to the house! I think you and I might have a lot in common:). Blessings! sharon

      • Donna said:

        Yes, I agree we may have a lot in common. Out of our 9 children, 7 are girls. We have a large garden and love to incorporate the produce into our meals the whole year. I really enjoy reading your recipes and will be trying some of those very soon.. Keep it coming!

        • If you're ever in VA give me a holler, we could talk for hours I'm sure! Love, Sharon

  • Heather said:

    I feel like this was written for me today. For months I have fretted over the perfect paint color for my kitchen, finally conlcuding that a whole new kitchen was in order. This brought me back to reality and made me realize that that's not what it's about! Thank you!

    • You are welcome Heather! Blessings to you and your home!

  • Joy said:

    My sweet friend...I read your devo about your precious missionary friend, but can I say, quite honestly, it is exactly how I see you. As I've visited your blog often over the past year and read about your family and the way you reach out to others...goodness...even giving up your home...if that doesn't speak of hospitality, I don't know what would define that word. You not only welcome friends into your home, but you extend an invitation into your heart, sharing the love of the Lord. I feel so welcomed already. Thank you.

    My mom used to always quote this verse from Proverbs 15:17, "Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a stalled ox and hatred therewith." She would lovingly share it the nights she was maybe only serving hot-dogs to friends who came, instead of a big roast beef dinner. But yes...there was love...always love. My parents were...and still are at almost 87 years of age...very hospitable. I remember so many meals as a child with visiting missionaries, neighbours, friends, families my dad would bring home from work unannounced...our home was always a place where God's love was extended to all and the tea kettle plugged in at a moment's notice, at any hour of the day or night. I pray my home carries the tradition, not necessarily of tidiness (although my mom's house is still spotless most of the time), but of tenderness to others, sharing God's love freely, regardless of my home's at-that-moment appearance, remembering that man looks at the outside, but God looks at the heart. Hospitality involves more than just an open door.

    Romans 12:13 says, we are to "Practice hospitality". That means the actual application of an activity repeatedly and regularly in order to improve or maintain one's proficiency. Hmmm...wondering who I can call to join me for a dinner of yummy orange chicken tonight.

    You are a blessing,

  • Cheri Bunch said:

    I enjoyed your devotion and your post today, Sharon. You successfully lifted my heart to a higher place. Thank you so much for sharing!

  • Crystal said:

    I so enjoyed your devotion today! Even though I'm just a teen, your advice gave me great wisdom for the future! Blessings!

    • Oh Crystal I am thrilled that it has given you wisdom for your future. Blessings!

  • Deanna Rouse said:

    I needed this, TODAY! Housekeeping is not my strength.....but we're starting ladies' Bible study at my house on Tuesday! Today I went to visit my sister and tomorrow I may have the opportunity to meet an internet friend in person. I've been stressing about being able to finish preparing and clean the house. Thank you for reminding me of what's most important!

  • Molly said:

    I hadn't had my devotions yet today because I've been so busy cleaning my house! I flopped down in front of the computer thinking I should be doing some more work, but I guess God needed to give me a reminder about what's important. My house was in desperate need of some cleaning and I was just waiting for the kids to get back into school this week to tackle my huge project. My friend needed me the last couple of days and things came up with my kids so I wasn't getting my list finished as quickly as I wanted to (and, of course, anxiety was setting in). I feel like I was doing what God wanted even though those little "interruptions" weren't on my list of things to do. After reading this devotional I know it will be ok if I finish things up tomorrow. And then, I think I'll have to get up my courage and see if I can be more out going with my neighbors. I thought I'd start with baking them some bread in my clean kitchen and then see where things go from there. I have been feeling God nudging me to be more intentional about getting to know my neighbors and this devotional also encouraged me to act on that. I'm glad I stopped my cleaning to hear what God was trying to tell me. Thank you for the encouragement and inspiration!
    Molly :)