Custom made invitations were elegantly addressed and mailed weeks ago. The menu, made of scrumptious gourmet food, was carefully selected and cooked to perfection to complement the chosen theme for the evening. The house looked impeccable, spotless, and beautifully embellished by tasteful ornamental details. The hostess' outfit was lovely. Her hair styled. Her accessories matched the colors in her dress. Every element had been considered and well thought out. The perfect set up for a successful event was in place. The entertainment could then begin...
Have you ever thought about the difference between entertainment and hospitality? Most people think both terms are interchangeable, synonyms. If you look them up in the dictionary their definitions are very similar. However, I think there are some important differences that set these two words apart.
Entertainment focuses more on the external, the appearance of things, perfection. Hospitality is more internal, relax and unoccupied.
Entertainment emphasizes YOU, your accomplishments, your home, your skills. Hospitality seeks the blessing of OTHERS and isn't preoccupied too much about the state of things.
" The focus of entertainment is impressing others; the focus of true hospitality is serving others." -- Tim Chester, A meal with Jesus
I think sometimes we get so caught up in the many details of entertainment that we forget about why we are entertaining in the first place. I wonder if deep down we need some type or recognition for all of our hard work or we need to prove to others that we can also do fancy things...
Hear me out! I'm not saying you shouldn't create a beautiful environment when you have guests over. I love that! I find that part of hospitality very fun. I consider myself one of those "Pinterest moms" who likes to try new projects and enjoys crafts. What I'm saying is that we need to examine our motivations and our intentions. Am I hosting this event to show off or to truly love on others?
Sometime you will host a big event and other times you will just have a mom over for coffee, host a playdate or a couple who needs a place to stay. Whatever the occasion, however big or small the event is, hospitality is about a generous heart. It's about you trying to love others the way God does. It's about love put into actions instead of just words. It's about making your guest feel better about themselves when they leave your home. It is also about being vulnerable, real and open...
The Word of God says:
"Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality"- Romans 12:13
" Show hospitality to one another without grumbling"- 1 Peter 4:9
"The Jesus way of hospitality means you value being present more than being perfect".
Shauna Niequist, The power of the Living room
This post really made me reflect about the way I do things. I'd like to think that when I have people over I do it to bless them, but I know sometimes I haven't reached the mark...Does this sound familiar to you? If so, I think is good to be honest with ourselves and ask God to teach us to love others the way He does.
Next week, I'd like to talk to you about Mood Boards. In the meantime, I hope that this post inspired you to practice hospitality. Just look around! The opportunities to bless others are endless. We just have to be willing.
Have a great rest of the week,