Can you hear the construction? Can you hear the hammers, the power tools, and the dump trucks removing the rubbish? Wise women all over the world are building homes. Listen. They are not building houses with human hands, but spiritual houses. Houses that don’t necessarily resemble HGTV’s dream homes but homes whose environments resemble a haven on earth. They resemble a house that is built on who she is in Christ, prayer and a hospitable heart. God is building her house from the inside out. Inside the very heart of the wise woman. Can you see this house being built on The Foundation that stands through all time: Jesus the Christ? It’s a beautiful masterpiece, isn’t it?
As we continue to move through the 14 Ways a Wise Woman Builds Her House, we’ve already covered two ways: Know Your Worth and Prayer. This time we will add another wall to the house: hospitality. Our primary focus will be on having a hospitable heart. The wise woman has a hospitable heart. Hospitality is defined as the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly, generous way. Disposition. Does my heart reflect a hospitable disposition?
The Bible has many examples of hospitality extended to strangers. Entertaining, while an expression or form of hospitality, doesn’t quite capture the essence of true hospitality. Its true representation is an open heart. As Trisha Wilkerson writes, hospitality is when we provide for the needs of others by giving of ourselves—even something as simple as our attention in a warm conversation. Trisha says that true hospitality is sacrificial, uncomfortable and does not seek to impress others. Hospitality flows from a hospitable heart. It is more about your open heart and home, not your impressive entertaining skills. Trisha, I couldn’t agree more.
The Greek word for hospitality is philoxemia. It denotes a love of strangers and the poor. See Romans 12:13 and Proverbs 14:31. We are called to love strangers like we love our own families and love the poor with no expectation of anything in return. [Proverbs 19:17] It is the love of God that drives this kind of heart. I have a hospitable heart when I engage with and give of my heart to strangers and the poor. Like you, I have spoken to and engaged strangers while in the airport, grocery store, or while volunteering and especially at church. I have a hospitable heart when I give my husband, children or grandchildren my undivided attention. When I listen enough to engage in a warm conversation. This is true hospitality in its simplest form.
I don’t know about you but that takes the pressure off of having a picture-perfect house. You know, a house that boasts in a beautiful location and is beautifully appointed. If my heart is warm, inviting and open, I am being hospitable. When I invite you into my space (my life) I am the quintessential hostess. The hostess with the mostest, if you will. A hospitable heart in a regular house is warmer than a house with all the bells and whistles with a cold or grumpy hostess. A well-worn sofa where I can put my feet up is better than a stiff sofa where I am expected to sit just so and sip my tea. Better a bread crust shared in love than a slab of prime rib served in hate, right? See Proverbs 15:17 MSG. So, it makes sense to me to quit trying to make my house look picture-perfect at the expense of being truly and authentically hospitable . I need to ask God to make my heart and attitude a place that welcomes Him first and then strangers and the poor. Do you have a hospitable heart? Do you look for opportunities to serve strangers and thus witness to them about the love of Christ? The wise woman does and she builds her house with it. Are you that wise woman?
+First Look: Read Romans 12:13; Proverbs 14:31; 1 Peter 4:9; 1 Timothy 3:2; Luke 5:29; Luke 14:12-14; Matthew 10:9-11; Genesis 18:1-22 and Romans 12:20-21
+Through The Looking Glass: As you read these scriptures, what stood out to you? What encouraged, challenged or convicted you? Which area in regards to having a hospital heart, are you asking God to develop in you? Reach out with a hospitable heart to someone today.