“The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It’s about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.” ~Shauna Niequist
Have you ever walked into someone’s home and literally felt hugged by warmth and love—a place so cozy and wonderful you never wanted to leave? I have, and THAT is the very thing I dream of creating in our home. I want people to walk through our front door and exhale every stress and worry as if it is literally melting right off their shoulders. I want them to gather around our table feeling so safe and loved they forget they are guests and just feel at home.
This type of genuine, soul-filling hospitality doesn’t just happen by chance—it must be cultivated. Deep roots of God’s love and grace must be planted in our homes and cared for daily in order for us to even be up to the task. Shauna Niequist says, “The heart of hospitality is about creating space for someone to feel seen and heard and loved. It’s about declaring your table a safe zone, a place of warmth and nourishment.” Yes to the yes. That’s it.
Our hospitality is a love letter to our Father, and when we gather around the table, it is a sacred and holy moment. He is our daily bread, the true source of all our warmth and nourishment. All He asks of us in return is that when we break bread together, we do it “with glad and sincere hearts” (Acts 4:26).
So how do we cultivate an atmosphere for our hearts and our hospitality to flourish when the house is a mess, the to-do list is never ending, and we feel like we have nothing left to give?
It gives us the perspective that no matter what our circumstances are, they can always be used to glorify Him. Genuine gratitude gives us room to not be perfect because God is perfect, and reminds us how He can even use our messes to further His message.
Remember, hospitality is a heart issue, not a time issue. We are called to create, and cultivate, hospitality with glad and sincere hearts—no more, no less. Hospitality isn’t filling our homes to the brim each night with people; it’s filling our hearts and homes so full of God’s love that when He is ready for us to open our doors, all that love pours out and envelops each person who enters.
Each time we welcome someone into our homes, we are given another opportunity to practice loving like Jesus. True hospitality takes work, but let it be a labor of love and not obligation—those gathered around your table will know the difference. Let’s challenge ourselves to truly see, hear, and love on our people so beautifully that our tables are not only safe places but sacred enough for God to join us.
Lord, I want to thank you for always being a safe place to truly be seen, heard, and loved. Please help us cultivate pure hearts and homes, so when you come to visit we welcome you with open arms and genuine love. Remind us that hospitality is simply love in action, and each person we welcome is another chance to love you more. And when we get overwhelmed with the world, lead our hearts back to a place of gratitude so we can remember who we really are and what we have been called to do. Amen.
Scripture for Reflection
“They broke bread in their homes and ate together with glad and sincere hearts.” (Acts 2:46 NIV)
Reach for More
This week, let’s spend some quality time cultivating a glad and sincere heart for hospitality. First, walk through your home, make a list of everything you are grateful for, and post it somewhere you can read it every day. Second, take time to love on the people you share your space with: spouse, children, roommate, neighbor, even yourself. Make one of your loved ones’ favorite meals. Spend a little extra time doing something they love. When they speak, listen—really listen. And finally, take a moment to sit at your table and thank God for the people who surround you.
Dear friends, you can do this. Be courageous, and remember that one small act of love is so much greater than none at all.
Please, come back and leave a comment telling us about how God spoke to you this week, or share your progress on social media using the hashtag #tgtreachformore. We would love to hear from you.
Sarah Lundgren has a passion for all things sparkly, loves God with her whole heart, and is known to love Starbucks chai lattes a whole lot, too. Sarah is currently snuggled in the heart of Grand Rapids, Michigan with her sweet hubby, J, and her full-time job is making pretty things all day long for her Etsy business, so sarah designs, but she also loves writing devotional content here at The Glorious Table.
Photograph by, Ben Kerckx.