The opening of your home to others.
Providing a friendly environment where people are put at ease so you can minister to them.
A meal. Planned. Or unplanned.
All this and so much more.
As a preacher's wife, I open my home on a regular basis. I have people in for a meal every week. I have a Bible Study in my home every week. I have my Bible Bowl team ( National Bible Bowl ) in my home every week. I have friends over to visit every week. I have one or two days a week my grandchildren come to my home. And there many other impromptu times that people come into my home.
Now lest you think I believe that a preacher's wife is the only one who shows hospitality, that is far from the truth. I actually learned how to be hospitable from older women in the church, long before I became the bride of the man in the pulpit. I have been shown by example what godly hospitality looks like.
As I look back over time, I see many times that I have very fond memories of, and that I was blessed that God used me and my home for His glory.
I would like to share a story of a time that my home was used to entertain His children.
My husband and I were in a ministry in the mid-west. Loving, awesome people whom we were blessed to serve. The parsonage was just across the parking lot behind the church building. It wasn't an extra large parking lot, but is wasn't an extremely small parking lot either. I would guess it would park maybe 100 cars, in four rows of about 25 each. Now that is plus or minus 5 cars per row.
Now I have 7 children. At this time, the 2 oldest were no longer living at home. One was away at college, the other had married and lived in another state with his wife. One of children is in heaven with Jesus. So that left four at home. Ages 19, 9, 7 and 5.
The setting was a typical rural setting, Safe to let kids play outside. Safe to let even my youngest three children walk across the parking lot to our home while we visited with people after the service dismissed. Safe enough to even not lock our doors to our home.
I know right now there is a momma out there who is freaking out at the thought of a 7 and 5 year old walking home alone. Really, I could see my house, and please know, I am a very serious momma. I would never put my children in danger.
Back to one particular Sunday morning.
My children had made some really good friends. It was nice since we had only been there for about 4 months. I was especially excited for my 5 yo, since he had 3 boys his age that he played with every week. On Wednesday nights, also during the weekly ladies Bible study, play dates that were scheduled, and of course Sundays.
My then 5 yo Noah, was and still is a Star Wars fan. We have at least a half dozen, if not more light sabers in our home at any given time. It was a common practice for Noah to run home right after church, get his light sabers, and for those 3 other boys to play with him in our front yard or in the now fairly empty parking lot. The adults were visiting, and boys had a blast playing. The parking lot had mostly emptied by this time, so there were always great battles between the young Jedi and the dark side.
On this particular Sunday, the other parents were ready to leave. The boys were no where in sight. I told the other mommas that I would send them back over since I was on my way back to my house.
I assumed ( you know what happens when you assume, right?) that Noah had invited them in for a drink or a cookie. That was acceptable. Learning to show hospitality early. As my husband and myself entered the house, we started calling out names. Looking for the young ones, who were NOT in the kitchen enjoying a drink and a cookie.
"Hey guys! Your mommas are ready to leave! Noah! Where are you? Come on out guys! Time to go!"
We walked to the back of our single level rancher, thinking that they were in Noah's bedroom. As we were just getting ready to walk into the bedroom on my right, which was Noah's, I caught a glimpse of something out of the bedroom on my left. That room was the master bedroom. Mine and my husband's.
I really liked this parsonage. One of the reasons was the spacious, large rooms, with large closets. Every woman loves a large closet right? We have room to store and organize many things.
AT this very moment, as three young Jedi ran past me, I realized just HOW BIG my closet was. Why? Because these guys has TOTALLY emptied it out to make a Jedi Hide-out.
Nothing left in that closet, except the top shelf they could not reach.
Every piece of clothing on a shelf.
Every piece of hanging clothing.
Every tie, belt and hat.
Everything now in the middle of my bedroom floor.
This verse came to my mind as I was standing there, looking at my pile, empty closet and watching the guys run back to their parents.
Heb 13:2 Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.
Had I just entertained "ANGELS" without knowing it?
That is still up for debate.
My home was open the very next Sunday.
My bedroom door however was locked.
And to this day, those mommas don't know what happened.
After all, it is the secret life of a preacher's wife!
Chasing After (even) Their Hearts,