Homemaking/ Hospitality

What is Biblical Hospitality?

What is Biblical hospitality? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Is it different than throwing a party? And why does it even matter anyways? If you are asking these questions, we can easily explain what Biblical hospitality really means and why you should start doing it.

“Why do we have to clean when someone comes over?” asks my 5-year-old.

“Because it’s the kind and polite thing to do.” I respond.

“I don’t think we should have people over if we have to clean.”

“It’s not that simple. We like having people over, you enjoy your friends coming over to play with you and the Bible tells us that we have to show kindness to people like this. So go pick up your toys.” I tell him, as I scrub the pee off the toilet, for the millionth time.

While cleaning the toilet and preparing good food for the people who come into your home are nice gestures, they do not define what biblical hospitality really is at its core. Nor, are either required in order to extend hospitality.

Biblical hospitality is defined as, “the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way” and doing so because God commands us to.

Use hospitality one to another without grudging. 1 Peter 4:9

This is just one verse of many that tells us that we need to practice hospitality. But it also tells us what kind of attitude we need to have while doing so.

“First Peter 4:9 builds on the instructions to practice hospitality and reminds me that my attitude is of utmost important – I am to practice hospitality without complaining! This verse challenges me to conduct a heart search to discern what my attitude is and whether I am approaching this opportunity to minister enthusiastically (Colossians 3:23).” Practicing Hospitality, pg 23

What is Biblical hospitality? Have you ever asked yourself that question? Is it different than throwing a party? And why does it even matter anyways? If you are asking these questions, we can easily explain what Biblical hospitality really means and why you should start doing it.


You see, to my son, having to pick up the house isn’t worth it. He’d rather just go along his merry way, playing the day away. Wouldn’t we all? We can all fall into this trap of negative thinking.

We can think of numerous excuses why to not invite that family over for dinner…

-it’ll be too much work

-there’s not enough time to prepare

-we don’t have enough in common, what will we talk about??

– we don’t have enough dishes

-we don’t have nice things, they’ll judge us

-our house is too small

-I can’t cook very well

and on and on the list goes. Before we even get around to inviting a family over we have talked ourselves right out of it!

If we do extend the invitation, we have all of the negative thoughts listed above running through our head. Then the closer the night gets, we work ourselves up into an anxious mess and start complaining about the whole situation.

That right there is not obeying God’s command.

This is easy for me to do, I fret about all the little things. How the timing isn’t right, how I will need to make an extra trip to the grocery store, how my kids will go to bed late, you name it! I didn’t grow up in a home that had people over a lot and when we did it was usually a big party that we all had to pitch in and clean the entire house for. It was stressful to prepare for. Because of this, having people over does not come naturally to me. It is an area that I’ve had to purposefully work at.

Hospitality doesn’t need to be a 5-course meal, on your fancy china dishes. It doesn’t need to be 75 people over for a party. It isn’t about entertaining. And get this, your house doesn’t need to be spotless. Preaching to myself here!

Biblical hospitality isn’t about us. It isn’t about showcasing our homes and families. It isn’t about having people over to make ourselves look better, more prestigious or more giving than others. If that is our motive than we need to be doing a different kind of heart check.

Hospitality is not inviting people to our perfect homes. It is inviting them to our imperfect hearts.

Biblical hospitality is showering people with the love of Christ.

It’s about investing in the lives of others. Finding ways to pour ourselves into them.

Whether that be by having them over for dinner, bringing someone a meal, sending a thoughtful note in the mail, sending a care package to a missionary, or having a mom over for coffee while the kids play. There are many ways in which practicing hospitality can be done if we are looking.

If our attitude is in the right place, we will be looking.

So, while having a clean toilet is a perk, don’t let that stop you from inviting someone over on a whim. Show them love and they won’t even notice the dust collecting on your picture frames or the messy bathroom. And hey, if ordering a pizza is easier than do it!


Your turn! Do you practice biblical hospitality? Is it easy for you or do you find it a challenge?

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  • Reply
    May 9, 2016 at 9:10 am

    Very good post! The heart does matter and we cannot have that negative attitude, I agree.
    If you are interested, I just recently posted about Hospitality with an Already Full House….I have 12 kids, 8 still at home so we recently had company for a month. I can say our attitudes were excellent during the busy month, but it was extremely tiring!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      May 10, 2016 at 3:03 pm

      Wow! 12 kids, that definitely sounds like an article to read!

  • Reply
    Sarah @ Pretty Simple Ideas
    May 9, 2016 at 10:51 am

    I am learning to practice Biblical hospitality, now that I’m married and my husband have a place to serve, too. I find the cooking and the cleaning, easy, but I find the time spent chatting (I’m an introvert!) a challenge and am exhausted after. Asking God for grace and energy to serve well. 🙂

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      May 10, 2016 at 3:04 pm

      My husband is an introvert at heart as well. I like to have games ready to play in case things start to go south. Maybe that’ll help you too. 🙂

  • Reply
    Hannah @Sunshine and Spoons
    May 9, 2016 at 11:25 am

    Love this! We need to get away from the idea that hospitality only means inviting people over to our homes.

  • Reply
    Angela Howard
    May 9, 2016 at 2:00 pm

    Great encouragement to set aside the ideal and serve others with love! Visiting from #uscoffee&jesus

  • Reply
    May 9, 2016 at 5:25 pm

    Hospitality is definitely a struggle when it involves having a bunch of people at my house. In all honesty, I don’t like it that much. I love being kind and doing nice things for people, but I love a nice, quiet home! I’m thankful for the friends in my life who love having people over!!

  • Reply
    May 9, 2016 at 7:16 pm

    Good insight!

  • Reply
    Sue Donaldson
    May 11, 2016 at 11:38 am

    A woman after my own heart (and I wrote a book on it – check it out for more encouragement and recipes and tips – !) It’s all about the guest! Great post. On Holley’s w/ you today.

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      May 15, 2016 at 3:07 pm

      I can’t wait to check out your book! Thanks for the tip!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      May 15, 2016 at 3:35 pm

      Checked out your book and added it to my Amazon wishlist! It looks great!

  • Reply
    May 11, 2016 at 1:19 pm

    “Biblical hospitality is about showering people with the love of Christ.” What a great reminder! Thanks so much for this article and thanks for visiting Waiting on…Wednesday!

  • Reply
    Karen Del Tatto
    May 11, 2016 at 1:32 pm

    Wow! This blog post really hit me where I’m at! I’ve always said hospitality isn’t one of my gifts. It just doesn’t come easy to me. And I confess, the only time my house does get a thorough cleaning is before guests are coming over. And you guessed it, I am complaining the whole time. The biblical definition of hospitality caused me to stop and reflect.

    I too come up with all the excuses why not to invite people over, most especially new people, but how many blessings am I missing out on, let alone how many blessings am I withholding from someone else.

    Thank you so much for sharing this very edifying post. I needed to read it!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      May 15, 2016 at 3:09 pm

      I’m with you Karen, it doesn’t come easily to me as well. It is a learning curve and growing experience. I know the more we practice it the better we will become at it. We gotta keep the wheels greased so to speak. This will be a Friday series for the next few weeks so I hope you’ll come back and get some other practical ways to extend hospitality that I’ve found to be helpful.

  • Reply
    Holly Brown
    May 12, 2016 at 10:45 pm

    Beautiful post, and such a good reminder. I was once told, “Even if all you have to offer is Totino’s Pizza and Cola, showing hospitality, being in community for the Gospel to flourished and shared and truly loving on others is where reward is.” I totally agree. For us, we love having guests over and make a habit of it, but I have totally let go of the need to clean everything. I’ll pick up but most of the time guests might see toothpaste in the sink from the night before and I’m OK with that. We are genuine people and I’ve found others like genuine-ness and feeling like they can sit down on the couch/chair more than they like a spotless house where everything’s clean and put away. We live here, we invite you in! I’ll be featuring this post for our next round of Grace & Truth ink-up tomorrow. Thanks so much for sharing it with us!

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      May 15, 2016 at 3:16 pm

      Loving that quote! That is so true! People crave the interaction and friendship more than they crave a peek at our spotless homes. Great quote and thanks for the feature. It sure blessed me this week!

  • Reply
    May 13, 2016 at 5:04 am

    Such a great reminder of an important skill we need to teach our kids… even if it feels a little out of our comfort zone 🙂

  • Reply
    Sarah Donegan
    May 14, 2016 at 5:51 pm

    I get so stressed out when someone is coming over, but I am trying to do better. And invite anyways 🙂

    • Reply
      Anastasia Safee
      May 15, 2016 at 3:17 pm

      Same here! I think if we make it habit of doing it at least once a month that eventually it will feel more natural and less stressful. Eventually. We can do this!

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