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Practicing Hospitality When Circumstances Make It Difficult

Article by Reverend Danny Rhoades

In the Epistle to the Romans, Paul discusses salvation, and it is often considered his magnum opus. Martin Luther regarded the book of Romans as the most important and purest Gospel. One of the key themes of Romans is that salvation is through grace, not works. However, faith can transform people to want to work for their faith. In chapter 12, verse 13.”  of Romans, Paul instructs Christians to “practice hospitality.”


Hospitality is defined as “the friendly and generous reception and entertainment of guests, visitors, or strangers.” While it may conjure up images of dinner parties with perfectly decorated homes, hospitality can take many forms. It’s about making people feel welcome and appreciated. Here are some ideas for practicing hospitality when circumstances make it difficult:

Does Hospitality Have to Be Difficult?

  • Hospitality doesn’t have to occur in your home. Can you reach out to others without hosting a dinner party? Hospitality is about making people feel welcome and appreciated. It’s human nature to want to help others, but it isn’t always easy to coordinate schedules and activities. Instead of giving up on practicing hospitality, what if you change your expectations?

Go on an Outing Together

  • Maybe your house isn’t visitor-friendly, but you can still take another family to the park, zoo, museum or ice cream shop. Cover the entrance fee for everyone. Many families live on a tight budget, even if they don’t talk about it. If the adults can’t go, take the kids. A couple of hours of kid-free time can really bless parents.

Take a Meal or Other Treat 

  • Bake cookies and take them to someone to let them know you were thinking about them. Don’t wait for a special occasion. Can’t bake? Go to your local bakery and pick up a special treat. Blueberry muffins would make a wonderful breakfast on the weekend. Go one step further and take an entire meal. Next time you’re making soup, lasagna or meatloaf, make double and take a meal to a family. If you don’t like to cook, get a gift card to a local restaurant or get take-out and drop it off.

Make Someone Feel Cared For with a Caring Gift

  • Flowers, plants and balloons are great gifts to make someone feel special. There’s no reason to wait for Mother’s Day, a birthday or another holiday. Know someone who loves coffee but can’t afford specialty beans? Pick up an extra bag when you get your coffee and take it to your friend.

Send a Card

  • A handwritten note goes a long way in making someone feel special. It doesn’t have to be long or fancy; just let them know that you’re thinking about them.

Hospitality Returns a Blessing 

  • Practicing hospitality is not only good for others but also good for us ¹. When we open our hearts and homes to others, we receive blessings in return.

Source: Conversation with Bing, 10/29/2023

  1. 5 Tips for Practicing Hospitality in Less than Ideal Circumstances.
  2. 9 Key Skills for a Hospitality Career (Examples and Tips).


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