Want to open your home to others? You’ll love the inspiration and help found in these five best hospitality books for Christians.
When I was living on my own as a single 23-year-old, I wanted to invite people to my apartment, but what could I really offer them? I could think of plenty of excuses:
- Some of my friends were too young and would rather spend time at college.
- Or they were too old and refined for dinner at my modest apartment.
- My married friends would want to only spend time with their spouses.
- Or my friends who were parents were too busy caring for their children to get out of the house for a meal.
Once I read Luci Swindoll’s book, You Bring the Confetti, God Brings the Joy, my eyes were opened. With all of my free time (and as a single, I had plenty!), I could bless friends in different life stages through my hospitality.
By inviting others to my home, as modest as it might have been, I began investing in people and pampering them with thoughtful meals and conversation.
After reading that book, my life was changed – simply because I put my fears aside and focused on what people really needed: relationships. The investment in relationships was made through a tidy but modest home and simple home-cooked meals.
But what if you’re nervous?
Hospitality may sound like an intimidating prospect: invite people into your home? Feed them a meal and visit for a few hours?
Yet hospitality isn’t the same as entertaining. If you think of entertaining in your home, you’re apt to plan a show and focus on all you can offer. Hospitality focuses on your guest, though, and his or her greatest need: relationships.
Hospitality doesn’t have to be scary, especially when you remember that people just want to spend time with you. And everyone loves knowing someone else is interested in getting to know them.
It’s biblical to invite people to your home?!
Even if you decide you want to invite someone else into your home, you may wonder why it should be a priority. This winter I’ve been reading through five books that explain why hospitality is a crucial and necessary part of the Christian life.
Instead of focusing on superficial details like how you could decorate your home and what you should serve, these books get right to the heart of the matter: the Bible commands Christians to open their homes. And when we obey as followers of Christ, lives can be transformed – lives of both believers and nonbelievers, host and guest.
These five books will help you realize the need to start inviting people into your home and spur you into thoughtful, meaningful gatherings:
The Simplest Way to Change the World by Dustin Willis and Brandon Clements
Written by two pastors, The Simplest Way to Change the World is an easy, quick read that shares plenty of stories of how the authors’ hospitality has changed lives and entire neighborhoods. Detailing society’s hunger for being seen, heard, and known, the book shares how the biblical command to welcome others to your home can transform lives. It also includes simple, creative hosting ideas.
The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield
Rosaria Butterfield and her family live out hospitality every single day – and she’s written an amazingly interesting account of what this daily hospitality looks like. She also candidly shares the very real and powerful way hospitality transformed her own life, as well as the guests who enter her home. This is a captivating book filled with well-written, thoughtful narrative and examples.
Just Open the Door by Jen Schmidt
Blogger and author Jen Schmidt weaves a friendly and practical account of what hospitality has looked like in her own life. As a girl noticing her parents’ commitment to hospitality, she grew to a wife and mom with her own life of plenty of impromptu, imperfect, but memorable get-togethers that have blessed lots of people coming to her home. Her book is as inviting as her hospitality – full of charm, helpful ideas, and honesty.
Simple Secrets to a Beautiful Home by Emilie Barnes
The late Emilie Barnes wrote dozens of books helping Christian homemakers figure out how to care for their homes, manage their busy schedules, and create havens. Simple Secrets to a Beautiful Home digs in much deeper than simple home décor ideas. Barnes shares plenty of practical advice, but also includes spiritual elements that challenge and encourage believers. While this book focuses on how to create a place you and your family will love, it also includes lots of helpful hospitality insight.
Making Room by Christine D. Pohl
When you’re reading Making Room, forget about cutesy hospitality ideas! This book is perfect for deep thinkers, as it uncovers exactly why believers should make hospitality a priority. It also details hospitality throughout the history of the Christian church and digs deep into hospitality as a biblical command and tradition. This book is full of interesting accounts that require more pondering and consideration than many other hospitality books.
As you begin to see hospitality as a biblical role and life-changing gift, it will be easier to start inviting others to your home. When you do that, the Lord will surprise you with the people who gather around your table and the way He’ll bless you through your hospitality.
What is your favorite book about hospitality?
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All images courtesy of Deposit Photos.
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