The perfectly sanctified people who are totally unselfish and have their whole lives running smoothly and efficiently for the love of God and neighbor don’t need this book.
The rest of us do need this book because we are selfish with our time and resources, organizationally challenged, and so concerned about what people will think of our homes or food that we don’t risk having them over to lower their opinion of us. Moreover, the organizationally challenged nature of our experience which keeps us from cleaning up also serves as a hindrance to hospitality because it makes the whole process so much work.
Practicing Hospitality is the book for us!
The authors write: “The answer to the question, ‘What makes a person or home hospitable?’ is the purpose of Practicing Hospitality” (17). The two great strengths of this book are (1) that it is practical, and (2) that it focuses on our attitudes toward hospitality.
The practicality is thorough and thoughtful. Reasonable recipes and strategies to become more hospitable. I encourage you to check it out!
And I am so relieved to find these words in this book: “Remember there are seasons in life. There will be seasons in our lives when we will be able to spend more or less time practicing hospitality” (77). Thank you, Pat Ennis and Lisa Tatlock, for helping those of us with small children and/or newborns and everything else to deal with the guilt we feel for not being hospitable!
And they give good ideas for how to be hospitable in spite of these constraints, as well.
Best of all, throughout this book the authors encourage us to consider our attitudes toward hospitality. My legalistic heart loves to make lists of things I need to do to be righteous or meet qualifications and then take pleasure in checking off the boxes, and Practicing Hospitality’s focus on our attitude calls us back to the recognition that we are to be humbly serving and loving others (not grumbling about these lousy duties on the list we’ve made for ourselves). The authors encourage us to practice hospitality as a way to live out and share the gospel with others. Amen and amen.
Pick up a copy of Practicing Hospitality (mother’s day is just around the corner) and may we all obey God’s word (Heb 13:2) by faith in Jesus in the power of the Spirit as we show love for God and others.
In addition, for a good article on hospitality, see Jonathan Leeman’s essay here.