I’ve long been thinking about the idea of hospitality, and making my home a place where people know they are welcome. As my kids get older, I want them to know they are welcome to bring their friends home. I want my home to be a place that is safe. A a place where every person can find nourishment for his body, soul, and mind. Home is a place where our family meets together, celebrates the happiest days together, and holds one another up during the worst of them.
I recently found this quote by Charles Spurgeon that talks of the value of a mothers’ work in raising her children. I loved it, because I agree so wholeheartedly. But what struck me was the part where he mentions making your home a church. I’ve never thought of making my home a church. I’ve thought of having church in a home, but church always seemed like something that was done, not something that is.
I suppose if I think of church as more than just a place where you go on Sunday, but a group of people who celebrate God and life together and love each other through the good and bad, then I think that church is exactly what I want my home to be.
Making my home a place that is safe.
A covering from heat, cold, and storm. A shelter from anyone who would do harm. I don’t want my home just to be a physically safe space, but spiritually as well. I want people who enter in to my home to have a covering from the storms that life brings. To find ears that will listen, mouths that will encourage and souls that will stand with theirs in prayer during the storms they can’t fight on their own. I want my home to be a place where we are safe from the enemy who wishes to steal, kill, and destroy. Where we know our Father’s Word and His truth so well that we speak it over one another day and night.
Making my home a place where there is nourishment for body, soul, and mind.
I’m mom, so my kids come to me for food all day long. Three hot meals aren’t enough, their growing stomachs are always searching for something more. Their minds are growing too, faster than they will grow at any other point in their lives. They are constantly craving new material to digest. So should their souls be any different? If I only fed their bodies, but neglected their minds, they would be ill-prepared to live responsible lives as adults. And if I only worried about teaching them facts but not about the cultivation of their character, or the foundation of their faith, they would be ill-prepared to fully live the life God has for them. The same goes for me, my husband, and for anyone who steps through the doorway. Those who need nourishment should find nourishment, and those who are full can join in caring for the rest.
Making my home a place where we meet together.
You know, after Christ died and the veil was torn in half? How the Holy of Holies was no longer a place where His presence was reserved for just one, but was an open invitation to all? We call it a sanctuary now. Yeah, I want my home to be a sanctuary. A place of peace. Not only a feeling of quiet, but of real, genuine peace between the people. No one is too young, too old, too much or not enough of anything. If there is no person who cannot be welcomed in to His presence, I want there to be no person who is not welcomed in to our gathering place.
Making my home a place where we celebrate the happiest days, and hold each other up during the worst of them.
I want singing and dancing and praising our Father for His work on the cross. And I want the every day celebrations because we have each other. Candles and cakes and celebrating each year of life. Gifts exchanged because He gave us the greatest gift ever. Feasts and laughter and joy that remind us of the rich inheritance we have because of Him.
But what about the worst times? What about when the reality of this world hits us so hard we can barely breath? What about when people fail us, or when we fail ourselves? Or, when we know God’s promises, but he’s still saying “Wait”. And we don’t know how much longer we can wait. We can’t do any of this alone. We’re not supposed to. And we need to be sure that no one else is doing any of this alone either.
It is a privilege to live this life under the covering and protection of a solid roof, and in the safety and protection of Christ. With stomachs, minds and souls that are full, knowing that we are good enough for one another, and good enough for our Father’s grace.
If we get to celebrate the best days with the people we love, and we have them to hold us up during the worst days, we are not only privileged. We have the duty to extend this privilege to others, to open up our arms, our hearts, our homes to others, the same way God opened His holiest place to us.