The Stirring Faith Blog

Embracing the Role: 5 Bible Verses for Encouraging Dads as Spiritual Leaders

In a world where fatherhood is often portrayed as secondary or diminished, let us be women who celebrate and encourage the role of dads as spiritual leaders within their families. The impact of a father’s faith and guidance cannot be overstated. It can make a permanent imprint today and leave a legacy that reaches generations. As we reflect on the significant influence fathers have in nurturing and strengthening their families this week, let us delve into five inspiring Bible verses that offer encouragement and wisdom for dads in their role as spiritual leaders. As women, we carry more influence than we might realize. Our encouragement, especially when coming from a Biblically sound perspective, can be a great blessing. God can use us to help the dads in our lives embrace the role God has given them.

Encouraging Dads as Spiritual Leaders with Joshua 24:15

“But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.” Joshua 24:15 (NIV)

Joshua reminds us of the critical role fathers play in setting the spiritual tone within their homes. Dads have the privilege and responsibility to lead our families in pursuing a relationship with God. By prioritizing faith, demonstrating a heart devoted to the Lord, and actively participating in spiritual practices, they have the power to create an environment that encourages us and our children to embrace their own faith journeys.

It is worth encouraging the dads in your life with Joshua 24:15, that their commitment to serving the Lord can have a lasting impact on future generations. In fact, studies show that fathers who lead by simply taking their families to church significantly impact whether the next generation will continue following God in the next generation.

Encouraging Dads as Spiritual Leaders with Ephesians 6:4

“Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord.” Ephesians 6:4 (NIV)

This verse from the book of Ephesians highlights the importance of fathers in providing spiritual guidance to their children. A dad’s role goes beyond physical provision; it extends to nurturing the family’s spiritual growth. By creating a safe and loving environment, actively teaching biblical principles, and exemplifying Christ-like character, he empowers sons and daughters to develop a strong foundation in their faith. His words and actions serve as a roadmap, leading them closer to God. Offering encouragement by helping him feel valued and capable as a nurturer is a powerful gift of encouragement we can give.

Encouraging Dads as Spiritual Leaders with Proverbs 22:6

“Start children off on the way they should go, and even when they are old, they will not turn from it.” Proverbs 22:6 (NIV)

This timeless proverb speaks directly to the hearts of fathers, emphasizing the profound impact they have on their children’s spiritual journeys. God makes it ever so clear, that investment in their spiritual development will yield fruitful results in the years to come. By being intentional in imparting biblical truths, demonstrating the importance of prayer, and consistently leading by example, dads lay a solid foundation for their daughters and sons to build upon. We can encourage him, that efforts, no matter how small, will shape their lives and draw them closer to God.

Encouraging Dads as Spiritual Leaders with Colossians 3:21

“Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.” Colossians 3:21 (NIV)

In this verse, the apostle Paul reminds fathers of the significance of their words and actions in shaping their children’s lives. A dad’s influence can either uplift or discourage. By embracing his role as a spiritual leader, he has the opportunity to cultivate an atmosphere of love, acceptance, and encouragement within his family. Encourage him to let your daughters and sons know that they are valued, cherished, and supported in their spiritual journeys. By offering gentle correction, modeling forgiveness, and fostering open communication, dads carry great influence. The have the power, by God’s design, to create an environment where your family can thrive in faith. He may not feel the power of his words and actions within the home. Your words can liberate and embolden him to flourish in this arena.

Encouraging Dads as Spiritual Leaders with Proverbs 20:7

“The righteous lead blameless lives; blessed are their children after them.” Proverbs 20:7 (NIV)

This verse underscores the profound blessing that fathers bring to their families through their commitment to righteous living. A dad’s pursuit of godliness and integrity not only impacts his own relationship with God but also sets a powerful example for his children. Simply stated, a dad seeking the Lord’s will and living out his faith influences and inspires those around him. His obedience and faithfulness serve as a guiding light for his family. By example, he can instill a desire within them to walk in righteousness.

Encouraging Dads as Spiritual Leaders to Embrace the Role

Here is a special BONUS! I am including a note you can utilize that expresses the biblical charge through encouragement to the dads in your life. Feel free to download and use it as needed. I pray it helps dads far and wide to cherish their God-given responsibilities and to be faithful in their calling.

Dear dads, as daughters and wives, we want to express our heartfelt gratitude for the role you play as spiritual leaders within our families. Your commitment to faith, your love, and your guidance shape our lives in immeasurable ways. May you find renewed inspiration to embrace your role through the Word of God, knowing that the impact of your spiritual leadership is invaluable. May you continue to walk with strength and wisdom, leading us toward a deeper relationship with God.

XOXOXO

Before you Go

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6 Powerful Prayers for Moms

powerful prayers

6 Powerful Prayers for Moms

One of the greatest gifts you can give a mom, is prayer. Can I get an AMEN?!? Whether it’s you or a woman you know, all of us in the mom category could benefit from the prayers of others. Although the Bible doesn’t label or identify any particular prayers exclusive for moms, it swells with truths designed to meet a mother’s needs. Here are six powerful prayers to prayer over the moms in your life today.

1. Power Prayers for Wisdom

I don’t know another mother alive who doesn’t feel the need for wisdom, even beyond the grown and flown years. There are many days on this journey called motherhood that exceed our abilities and know-how. If we are honest, there are times when we really don’t know the best decision to make or which approach to take. Oh, there’s a plethora of books filling Amazon pages oozing with ideas, theories, and hacks for how to rock mom life, but nothing leads a searching soul the right way like Scripture. When we don’t know which road to take, or how to handle a situation, all we need to do is ask God for wisdom. And He will give it.

If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. James 1:5

powerful prayers

Powerful Prayer for Wisdom

Dear God,

I ask that you give my mother wisdom. When she doesn’t know what decision to make, which way to turn, or the correct procedure to take, please show her. Give her insights into what she needs to know, and the discernment for navigating every sticky situation. Help her trust in You for every decision whether great or small. Grant us the ability to support and encourage her as she seeks You in all things. Amen.

2. Powerful Prayers Asking for Protection

Jesus taught that he came to bring light and to bring it abundantly, but that the enemy, Satan, came only to steal, to kill, and to destroy (John 10:10). Because this is the reality in which we live, it is right and good to ask the Lord for His protection over our moms. Not only do we seek His protection against sickness, natural disasters, accidents, and sundry other tragedies that could occur, we need the protection only He can give against evil.

But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one. 2 Thessalonians 3:3

Powerful Prayer for Protection

Dear God,

I ask for protection over my mother. Thank you for your faithfulness. Keep her safe wherever she travels, and secure as she goes about her days. You have plans for her life that are good. Establish her and guard her against the evil one. Let him not have victory over her in any significant way. Be the wall around her as she trust in you. Amen.

3. Powerful Prayers of Gratitude

Mothers are not appreciated nearly enough. Instead, they routinely get the life sucked out of them for doing thankless work. For years. Maybe a lifetime. The Bible is replete with verses calling us to be a thankful people. In fact, Paul does not lightly suggest being thankful. He commands it. For one of the most overlooked and forgotten people on the planet—mom—let us thank God for her. Even if she didn’t do such a bang-up job during your childhood, the calling remains.

give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Powerful Prayer for Gratitude

Dear God,

For the woman who spent her life for my benefit time and time again, thank you. Thank you for providing me with someone to care for me in her own particular way – by Your design. Bless her for the gift of time, nurture, and sacrifice. Help me to be ever increasingly grateful for all You have provided through my mom. Amen.

4. Powerful Prayers for Growth

The pursuit in the Christian life is not for approval, financial success, or to make a name for ourselves. It’s about becoming more like Jesus, every day of our lives. Your mom needs to continue growing in this direction until her dying breath. For this, we can pray.

But grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To him be the glory both now and to the day of eternity. Amen.
 2 Peter 3:18

Powerful Prayer for Growth

Dear God,

Tender my mother’s heart toward Your voice and Your instruction. Draw her to Yourself. Give her the resources to continue to know You better and the grace to pursue You with more vigor and tenacity. Reveal Yourself to her as she pursues You, for her good and Your glory. Amen.

5. Powerful Prayers for Provision

What an incredible God we serve. He takes notice of the needs in our lives. From the greatest to the smallest, He truly cares about you and me, and the moms in our lives. He is able to supply what we lack, and He is willing to give it. Much like wisdom, all we need to do is ask.

And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:19

Powerful Prayer for Provision

Dear Lord,

Thank you for Your care of my mother. Thank you for being a God who provides. Give her a confidence and boldness to come to You for whatever she needs. You hold all the riches. We live in Your assurance and promises. For whatever she needs, I ask that You provide as only You can. Amen.

6. Powerful Prayers for Grace

Not only is the calling to motherhood wrought challenges of all sorts, most take the failings and faltering personally. Moms tend to be harder on themselves than the rest of us. Plus, we do mess up a lot. God is familiar with the humanity of being a mom. There is grace enough. We can stop kicking ourselves for all our missteps, wrong turns, and regrets. He gives more grace.

Not only does He give more grace, but he gives it in the measure we need to be successful in whatever He has purposed for our lives. Just because we mess up doesn’t mean we’re screw-ups. Grace extended to us means that we can get back in there. Knowing that He has provided all that we need to do what He’s called us to do, we can start again. We can take that next step. God is in our corner, encouraging and equipping us to “overflow with abundance in every good thing we do,” (TPT). Because He is willing and able to do this work, we should ask for it.

And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work.  2 Corinthians 9:8

Powerful Prayer for Grace

Dear God,

I thank you for your provision of grace—grace that exceeds our understanding. Thank you for the gift of grace to cover every failing and mistake. Please enable my mother to receive this grace You so lavishly want to shower on her. In this, I ask that You be true to Your word, making every grace abound in my mom, so that she will have all she needs, at all times, to abound in the good works You have prepared for her to do. For this miraculous work, we trust You to fulfill. So be it. Amen.

XOXOXO

Before you Go

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion!

Have you received Cheri’s FREE gift to you? For a limited time, get 3 resources to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. It’s filled with practical help for living out what really matters. (Hurry because this gift is going away soon.)

DOWNLOAD NOW

For the one who feels invisible, largely passed over, and insignificant – Cheri has created a resource for you. Grab your copy of Can You See Me, Now? Good news for the lonely, left out, and less than today.

Buy the Book 

WAIT! THERE’S MORE.

If you would like to become a part of the private FB group, She Prays, we would love to have you. Click the image to join.

glimpses of she prays

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

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Hearing God’s Voice

hearing God's voice

Hearing God’s Voice

Have you ever been talking to someone on the phone who is difficult to hear? Maybe the sound is turned low on your cell phone. Perhaps you are walking outside with all that interference competing for your ears. It could be the person on the other end is not talking directly into the mic. Maybe you are too far away from the phone to hear. Or the other person may be soft-spoken making it impossible to distinguish their words. Regardless of the cause, the whole thing can be frustrating. Sometimes hearing from God feels the same way. How can we learn to hear God’s voice better?

How does God speak to His people?

If you are a believer in Christ, the Bible teaches that God does, indeed, speak in a way we can hear and obey.

My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. John 10:27

Primarily, He speaks through the Bible.

So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17

For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Hebrews 4:12

Much of what we find across the pages of the Bible can be applied to all Believers in Christ. Who doesn’t need know of God’s forgiveness, or that we should love our neighbor? Which one of us is exempt from praising God, being thankful or honest. But the writer of Hebrews is showing us that the word of God is so much more.

There is discerning power contained within, that the Holy Spirit uses through the contents to help us hearing God’s “voice” in our lives. Often, the reader will encounter answers to prayers, solutions to problems, and comfort in their difficulty.

He Speaks Through Prayer

Prayer goes hand-in-hand with reading the Bible in terms of hearing from God, and is made possible by Jesus through the Holy Spirit. It is through our prayers that we communicate we are present and ready to listen to whatever He might want to illuminate to us.

For through him (Jesus) we both (those who were near and those who were far) have access in one Spirit to the Father. Ephesians 2:18

What if I am struggling to Hear God’s Voice?

Still, there are times when we struggle. We feel as if God is silent and our prayers, only empty words. What can we do? Find consolation in the Word of God. You are not the only one who can experience a distance or silence from the Lord.

Come quickly, LORD, and answer me, for my depression deepens. Don’t turn away from me, or I will die. Psalm 143:7 NLT

David, too, experienced the struggle. But he did not remain in it. What do we do to hear better?

Seek forgiveness.

If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness. 1 John 1:9

The source of our frustration may rest in our choices. You and I need to make sure there is nothing standing between us and the Lord in terms of sin. The promise remains. When we confess, we will be forgiven.

Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my concerns. See if there is any offensive way in me; lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm 139:23-24

Look to the Lord.

Look to the Lord and his strength; seek his face always. Remember the wonders he has done, his miracles, and the judgments he pronounced, Psalm 105:4-5

If we want to grow to hear God better, we should look for ways to place ourselves before Him and His Word. Maybe that is setting aside some extra time in the day, or changing up what we normally listen to for what feeds our soul. Maybe we could read good spiritual books and be sure to attend church and our small group. Increasing our exposure increases our opportunities for God to speak into our lives.

Read the Bible.

For sure, we should read and study the Bible regularly. Read it expectantly, as it truly is: the primary mechanism God uses to speak to His children (Romans 10:17).

Pray.

As we read the Bible, we should also pray. You and I are invited to the throne of grace without inhibition, but filled with confident expectation.

Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews 4:16 KJV

And we are confident that he hears us whenever we ask for anything that pleases him. 1 John 5:14

When we feel distant or like God is not listening, our tendency is to pull back. We often do everything BUT pray.

Don’t shrink back, my friend.

Experience, godly counsel, and the Word have taught me, this is exactly the wrong move. These are the times when it is most essential to press in. E.M. Bounds, a hero in terms of prevailing prayer, reminds us of this very thing.

 “’Be careful for nothing, but in everything, by supplication and prayer, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God.’ That is the Divine cure for all fear, anxiety, and undue concern of soul, all of which are closely akin to doubt and unbelief.” E.M. Bounds

In other words, don’t quit.

Pray when you doubt.

Pray when you are afraid, anxious, or feel like it’s a waste of time.

Just keep praying about everything.

Ask expecting a response, with a thankful spirit. And in time, God can move us out of fear and doubt to trusting and believing prayer.

Journal.

Do you ever find that when you read the Bible or pray, your mind wanders? Maybe your eyes glaze over and you discover you’ve been reading the same sentence or saying the say words for the last few minutes?

Me, too.

Girl, I need HELP to focus!

Journaling has been a tremendous resource of help to me in this area. Using a prayer journal is an excellent way to remain focused and for keeping a record of how we are praying. I am a raving fan of journaling. The benefits exceed the extra time we feel it will require. (Think of all that time you will save NOT daydreaming and getting off track.)

If you haven’t tried journaling your prayers, now is a good time. I’m so passionate about journaling, I began designing and producing journals for The Stirring Faith Company to offer as resources from which anyone can benefit. Some are guided, others are totally blank. Each one gives you and me the opportunity to keep a record of how we are praying, to stay on target, and to record the answers we are awaiting from God. It also gives me the sense that He WILL answer me. And when He does, I write it down!

Listen for God’s voice.

Bible reading, praying, and journal all work together to help us listen better. Reading Scripture points us to Truth, giving us the Words of God rather than simply our own thoughts. Praying opens our communication with God and allows the Holy Spirit the opportunity to minister to us and on our behalf. Journaling our prayers and particular verses that stand out helps us articulate our hearts and minds, and anticipate a recognizable response from God.

All these elements help provide a structure. It gives us time to hear. Our minds don’t wander as much. Our seeking is not quite so helter-skelter. It reduces doubt and fear. You and I won’t wonder if God will respond because we have evidences of His working in black and white. All our energy and efforts will be attuned to what God wants to say to us. In short, we will hear God’s voice better.

Allow me to pray over you, asking God to enable you to hear Him better.

A Prayer for Hearing God’s Voicehearing God's voice

Dear God,

Thank you for making a way to be in relationship with You possible. Draw my friend to yourself. Forgive and cleanse her from any sinfulness she may be carrying. Then woo her to read Your word. Open her eyes to who You are through the pages. Speak to her through Your Word. I pray that she will trust You enough to pray. Embolden her to come with all of her needs. Uninhibited. Believing You are able. Confident in Your willingness to do what only You can do. Use whatever means to help her focus the time and space to keep an account of Your work in her life. Show her the path that leads to better hearing while increasing her desire and ability to take it. In Your heavenly name, Amen.

XOXOXO

Before you Go

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion!

Have you received Cheri’s FREE gift to you? For a limited time, get 3 resources to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. It’s filled with practical help for living out what really matters. (Hurry because this gift is going away soon.)

DOWNLOAD NOW

For the one who feels invisible, largely passed over, and insignificant – Cheri has created a resource for you. Grab your copy of Can You See Me, Now? Good news for the lonely, left out, and less than today.

Buy the Book 

WAIT! THERE’S MORE.

If you would like to become a part of the private FB group, She Prays, we would love to have you. Click the image to join.

glimpses of she prays

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

wayward child

Pray for Focus

Pray for Focus

Welcome to a new year. I pray your season of celebration has been a good one. By now, I suspect you have moved past the Christmas decor and empty fudge tins to concentrating on what the next twelve months might bring. How does one prepare for what we hope will be better than the past? Pray. Pray for God to lead you and me toward who He wants us to become and what He has planned for us to do. In essence, we pray for focus.

It’s not just a good idea, it’s a perceptive pursuit. Solomon, the man known to us as the wisest in human history, made this suggestion:

Let your eyes look straight ahead; fix your gaze directly before you. Proverbs 4:25

What does Solomon mean by calling us to look straight ahead?

According to biblical scholars, Solomon is referring to that which is straight in front of us, the right things, possessing a simplicity of aim, or singleness of motive. In other words, the king writes of the importance of setting God and His ways directly before us as our solitary focus. Fixing your gaze directly before you directs us to make seeking Him, knowing Him, and following Him our sole aim and primary ambition.

In everyday life, meeting this goal begins with prayer.

Maybe you feel like this is never going to work for you. Suppose you have tried but your thoughts run wild before the clock has moved forward ten minutes. How can you and I work toward placing God before us and looking straight ahead to right things? We start by praying for the focus we need.

Pray for what to focus upon. Often that is found in Scripture.

Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth. Colossians 3:2

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. Romans 12:2

Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in the seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the Lord, and on his law he meditates day and night. He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. Psalm 1:1-5

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things. Philippians 4:8

I encourage you to pray these elements over your own life. Spurgeon once wrote, No one meanders into the kingdom of God. Neither does a person make God her aim without being intentional.

Once what you are to focus upon becomes more clear, pray for the ability to stay the course, with your eyes, heart, and mind gazing straight ahead. Friend, allow me to pray for focus in your life today.

A Prayer for Focus

Lord Jesus,pray for focus

I pray for my friend to make You her sole aim this year. I thank You for Your word which makes the right way to take clear. Today, I ask that You give my friend insights into Who You are and what You want her to be about. Help her to make time. Make Yourself clear. Give her insights she could not know whithout spending time with You, Also, make her aware of that which tugs at her thoughts and desires to move her off course. Give her Your strength and Your courage to keep steady her gaze on You. Make her aware of Your presence and activity in her very life. Help her know You love her and desire to be the delight of her life. 

In the Name of Jesus,

 Amen

 

XOXOXO

Before you Go

Don’t forget to check out the latest FREE reading plan available from YouVersion!

Have you received Cheri’s FREE gift to you? For a limited time, get 3 resources to help you experience more of God in your everyday life. It’s filled with practical helps for living out what really matters. (Hurry because this gift is going away soon.)

DOWNLOAD NOW

For the one who feels invisible, largely passed over, and insignificant – Cheri has created a resource for you. Grab your copy of Can You See Me, Now? Good news for the lonely, left out, and less than today.

Buy the Book 

WAIT! THERE’S MORE.

If you would like to become a part of the private FB group, She Prays, we would love to have you. Click the image to join.

glimpses of she prays

 

You can meet Cheri on the She Yearns blog for more truth-saturated, Gospel-centered encouragement like this:

taking prayers digital

5 Strategies for Practicing Biblical Hospitality

biblical hospitality cover

5 Strategies for Practicing Biblical Hospitality

Sometimes lessons that need to be learned must be experienced before they take root. When Chad and I were newlyweds, we relocated to a different city for work purposes. In no time we found our place in a local church that offered a weekly class with other newly married couples. In the midst of making new friends, serving, and learning more about the Bible, we also experienced what it looked like to practice Biblical hospitality. Essentially, it was a phenomenon caught rather than taught. Although we were only there for two or three years, the fruit from that era has lingered for decades.

A Real Live Example of Biblical Hospitality

Chuck and Kathy were old enough to be our parents. They were empty nesters who were spending their lives pouring into twenty-somethings. They did not teach that class filled with newlyweds, but they were the heart and soul of establishing a welcoming environment for anyone who showed up. From our first appearance on the premises, these two helped us feel as if we already belonged. In fact, I believe they invited us to their home for pizza within the first two weeks. This act, we learned was nothing special. It was simply the way they lived life. You were never an inconvenience, your need was never too great, and their doors were always unlocked.

At the time I couldn’t put my finger on why they were so different or what caused them to stick out in my head as examples of how to meaningfully engage with others. I just recognized the impact these ordinary lay leaders were having on those who happened in their sphere of influence. Today, I know we were simply experiencing a living example of Biblical hospitality.

What is Biblical Hospitality?

Hospitality can be defined as “the act or service of welcoming, receiving, hosting, or entertaining guests.” We often think of hosting a dinner or gathering, making sure everyone enjoys themselves and has everything they need. But Biblical hospitality is more than working a room and providing awesome hors d’oeuvres.

Hospitality in the Old Testament

The concept of hospitality is introduced in the Old Testament. We find Abraham welcoming three men on a journey, spending the day with them, and providing a place to rest and food to eat (Genesis 18:2-5). As the men (or angels) move into Sodom and Gomorra, Lot meets them in the public square inviting them to his home for the same (Genesis 19:1-3). it was issued as an explicit command.

By the time Moses liberates the Israelites from Egypt and God directed them into the wilderness, hospitality is more than optional. It’s made part of the law.

“When an alien lives with you in your land, do not mistreat him. The alien living with you must be treated as one of your native-born. Love him as yourself, for you were aliens in Egypt” Leviticus 19:33-34.

Hospitality in the New Testament

In the New Testament, we find the word, hospitality, used four different times. In Greek, the word literally means ‘love of strangers.” It first shows up in Paul’s letter to the Romans where he encourages believers to “contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality,” (Romans 12:13). Biblical hospitality at its essence, is sharing who we are and what we have, not with those close to us, but also with those outside our circle. In fact, Paul calls the reader to look for opportunities to do so.

Such hospitable behavior is viewed by the early church leadership as virtuous—something to excel in and practice for a lifetime. To Timothy, Paul mentions hospitality as one of the requirements of widows who would receive assistance from the church (1 Timothy 5:10).

The Hard Work of Biblical Hospitality

But that kind of giving and serving is not easy. It’s not cheap, either, nor does it necessarily come naturally. The writer of Hebrews (Hebrews 13:2) taps into this reality when he encourages believers to be hospitable because of the possibilities at stake. You just never know. By practicing hospitality, you may encounter an angel, harkening back to the experience of Abraham (Genesis 18). In other words, any expense or effort is worth it.

Peter also understands the demanding nature of biblical hospitality as he encourages those believers to whom he writes.

Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. 1 Peter 4:9

Why might grumbling come with the responsibility of biblical hospitality? Because it’s not on our agenda. It often is needed at times when we have other things to do, other financial responsibilities, and we frankly just want to do something else. For many, expending themselves in hospitality is like asking your teenage son to take out the trash or clean the litter box. We just don’t want to do it.

Those who have gone before us, showing the importance, commending the actions, and calling us to persevere understand that the heart of the matter is that showing hospitality to others is really an extension of the Gospel.

Hospitality as The Gospel

Why all the fuss about something we deem as a skill some possess and some do not?

Because these early New Testament writers recognized that the Good News is best shared by word and deed, in relationship. At the core, real transformation is seen and heard in the everyday stuff of regular life. It’s how you interact with the person next door. Inviting them into your life—for something as simple as coffee can communicate more than small talk. We demonstratge the Good News when you and I handle difficult situations with joy instead of despair or extend a helping hand and expect nothing in return. It might even occur when you show up with a meal or gift card. Relationship and a sense of community is the starting point.

“Hospitality is the ground zero of the Christian life.” Rosaria Butterfield

Living a Life that Pursues Hospitality

Indeed, the Christian life calls us to live beyond ourselves. Maybe you don’t see yourself as the hospitable type. Paper plates and take-out pizza more your flare? No problem. Nowhere in the Bible does it specify how we demonstrate hospitality, just that we do it.

In a post-Covid world, most of us need to be reminded of how the simple act of showing hospitality can change a life. Not that we drag people into our circle to try to convert them, but to demonstrate what it looks like to be a believing mom, wife, or sister who is willing to share what she has as if she had known them for ages.

You and I also need encouragement. If you lack the How-To for Biblical hospitality, I have given you five strategies you can use, no matter your background or experience. You don’t need to be a Pinterest Queen or an excellent cook. Just take the next step. It might just be right across the street.

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5 Strategies for Practicing Biblical Hospitality

Begin with “hello.” Remember the famous line from the movie, “You had me at ‘hello’”? (Jerry McGuire) That’s what we are aiming toward in extending hospitality to others. The examples I shared from my newlywed days have withstood decades of various moves and constant church-going. What I learned those years ago turned out to be spot on. Extending hospitality begins before offering any invitation. It starts with contact. Introduce yourself and take note of the person’s name.

If you struggle with names, come up with a system for remembering. I have people often repeat their name before we end the conversation (because I often have already moved on), and then I jot it down in my Notes section on my phone, along with some fact about them, such as profession, number of kids, or where they are from. You and I should work on being attentive. Doing so communicates more of Jesus in you than you might be aware. Currently, many in our midst feel as if they are unseen and unknown. Taking a moment to focus all of our attention on the person before us will fuel more than the conversation. It may be the very thing the person needs.

 

Start small. If you have little experience with carrying conversations with people you don’t know well – or the whole idea freaks you out, don’t go there yet. And when you do go forward, go with a plan. Come up with three or four general questions that require more than a yes/no response. Make your inquiry generic so that you can remember your go-to questions and use them whenever necessary. It will calm your nerves and give you the direction you need.

One thing I observed in my time with Chuck and Kathy was how much time they spent asking questions, allowing the person to talk about what was near and dear to them. The conversation focused on the other person. Biblical hospitality begins long before a person steps into your home, but with your first contact.

 

Develop a friendship instead of attempting to save their souls. Do you have a suspicion the person doesn’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior? No problem. Be open and available to build a friendship with them. But it’s not our job to make them accept the Gospel. That role belongs to the Holy Spirit. Our responsibility is to show up, to speak the truth, and to extend compassion and love to them.

 

Add hospitality to your schedule. Although our desire should be to become hospitable people, we may find we don’t have room for it. Showing hospitality to others who might not be like us likely won’t come naturally. We need to pray, asking God to reveal what can go so that there is bandwidth for living out the Gospel where we are. It won’t just happen. You and I need to pivot toward being intentional about showering hospitality to others, making choices, even sacrificing what we want for what they need, and serving for the sake of Christ.

 

Just do it. Forget having the ideal conversation starters. Don’t worry about the aesthetics. Forget vacuuming. Feed them frozen pizza if you must. Your meeting together doesn’t need to be Pinterest-worthy. Just do it because hospitality is a kingdom-focused work God uses us to complete. Do it, because showing hospitality changes you and me.

 

When we practice hospitality, we experience the refreshing joy of becoming conduits of God’s hospitality rather than being self-decaying cul-de-sacs. The joy of receiving God’s hospitality decays and dies if it doesn’t flourish in our own hospitality to others. Saturate

This week, what is one thing you can do to show Biblical hospitality within your sphere of influence? I plan on inviting a few neighbors over for coffee. I’m putting it on the calendar. What about you?

I can’t wait to hear about it.

For His glory,

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