10.12.2013

Haven or Hollywood?

Is your home more like a heavenly haven or Hollywood? Does your vision for your home include being a place of rest & caring for people, or merely entertaining them with dazzling decorative & culinary skills?


Entertaining says "Hi! I'm glad you came! Look at the tasty food I've prepared for you. Look at the way I can decorate. Look at my house. Look at how beautiful my life is. Come in, and compliment me on all of these things."

image: shutterstock
Hospitality says "Come on in. Put your feet up. Would you like a cup of tea? How have you been? Can I pray for you? Let me be an encouragement however I can. Your heart is precious to the Lord, and it delights me to help you remember that!"

I'm a people-pleaser. And I am an approval-seeker. For so long, I wanted to entertain people. To give them something to oooh and aaaah about when they came to my home. And, early on in our marriage, I sometimes did not invite people in if the house was not clean...I wasn't as concerned with hearts as I was with what they thought of my home. What a shame!

Does it mean that fancy dinner parties and planned get-togethers are wrong? No! Does it mean that we should sit around chatting and sipping tea with other ladies all day, every day? ...no! It means that you & I need to earnestly seek the Lord & His word daily and have a heart and a schedule that are flexible and willing to minister with an others-focus when He asks. And, as I'm learning right now, that my first priority is to be hospitable to my own family. To make sure that I am speaking (with words & actions) to my husband "Come on in! Put your feet up! Tell me about your day...." rather than, "Hi! Glad you're home! Did you see all the hard work I did today? Look at how hard I'm working to clean well." To make sure that my children feel that home is a haven, and that I delight in reminding them often that their hearts and needs and struggles are precious to the Lord.

It means that whether we're inviting people in to our houses or out to breakfast, visiting family or vacationing abroad, chatting on the phone or chipping in to help in our community, you & I need to be in constant communion with the Father, asking Him to reveal how to have a love for each person He puts in our paths.

If believers stopped entertaining and started administering true, biblical, radical hospitality in their homes, workplaces, and communities - oh! Think of the hearts and lives that could be healed and the hope that would be kindled, because of the love of Jesus having priority over making ourselves look good!

Here are some of the resources that radically altered my idea of what "Christian hospitality" should look like:
Strategic Hospitality - sermon by John Piper
Open Heart, Open Home by Karen Mains
My Heart's at Home by Jill Savage
"Ever Met an Angel?" - article by John MacArthur

God is teaching me how to make sure my heart & home are a haven for His love. What has He been showing you in this area?

Embracing hospitality,
for His glory!
~Lisha

I may be sharing this post at the following homemaking Link-up parties!

{If this post has encouraged, inspired, or blessed you, please comment or share with a friend!}

20 comments:

  1. Those are all great authors, but I've not read one of those books. I'm going to have to check them out! And hospitality has always been something that I've struggled with, Lisha. I'm nothing like Martha Stewart, so my parties are more like burgers and chips or coffee and store-bought bagels. This used to bother me--that I couldn't be more like my Martha Stewart-like friends. But now, I simply focus on the friendship and fun rather than trying to impress and everyone is a lot happier. What a relief! Thanks for this great reminder, my friend!

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    1. Thanks, Beth! Karen Mains' book is the one I'd recommend first. It really just gave me a glimpse of the Father's heart for welcoming people in my life & home. I'm thankful to know I'm not alone in my not-like-Martha-Stewart-ness. :)

      Thank you for your encouraging words!
      ~Lisha :)

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  2. Another great post! I've been contemplating writing something similar the past few weeks, but again, you've said it better than I ever could. Mind if I share a link?

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    1. Thanks for the encouragement, Jessica :) I don't mind at all!

      ~Lisha

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  3. Thank you for the encouragement to improve on this issue. It was a blessing.

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    1. You are so very welcome :)

      ~Lisha

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  4. This is such a great post. I'm guilty of being " Hollywood" hostess from time to time instead of "Haven" hostess. Thanks for sharing this great post. Came from Modest Mom blog party. Those books sounds great. I would put it on my book reading list.
    best,
    Marlin

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    1. Marlin, I think we all have our Hollywood-want-to-entertain-crowds times. I still fight it sometimes. Praise God for His patience toward us though as we learn! I'm so thankful you are visiting, and for your encouraging words!

      ~Lisha :)

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  5. Wow, this is awesome! I've been both a Hollywood & Haven hostess, but after being on the receiving end, I can tell you what a difference it makes to have the right approach! My "haven" friends inspire me to be more like them & less like the entertainer. Inviting people in should be about them, not us :) Thanks for the thought-provoking post!

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    1. I know what you mean, Summer! It should be about serving others!! Thank you so much for the encouragement :) I'm grateful you're visiting!

      ~Lisha :)

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  6. This is a very good reminder. I heard Joyce Meyer preach about her frantic house-cleaning attempts before company arrived and then when they came, she resented all the work and so she resented them (something to that affect). I found you on Fellowship Friday and I sent you a message on FB. Here's my latest post and blog hop at
    http://abooksandmore.blogspot.com/2013/10/make-my-saturday-sweet-blog-hop-54.html
    God bless!

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    1. Good point - there is that risk of feeling like your guests owe you when you spend so much energy to ready your house for them. I'm so glad that you're here and thankful for the invitation to link up with your site!

      ~Lisha :)

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  7. This is a great reminder! I think with all the "home" TV shows, we may have lost the point that hospitality does not need to be done perfectly. It just needs to be done in love. Some of the best meals I have enjoyed and remembered were leftovers pulled out of the fridge, warmed up, shared with a friend over great conversation. Thank you so much for this reminder. I visited from the Faithful Friday blog hop :)

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    1. Amen, and amen! Thank you for visiting, and for your kind words! Blessings!

      ~Lisha

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  8. You brought out some good points. I have felt for many years that it isn't hospitality that matters but having people over and being relaxed and making them feel at home. I have read a or two along these lines but can't think of the titles right now. I have heard of Karen Mains but don't think I read any of her books.

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    1. Yes, and one of the things I got from (one of the books) was not only to make people relaxed and at home when they are in your home, but that you can be hospitable no matter where you go! Taking along a box of tea or a treat to a friend's house, or offering to pray with someone while you're out & about...it's about the love & peace of Christ extended to those we meet.

      Karen Mains' book is wonderful! It came to me quite by "accident" years ago (...not really. The Lord knew I needed its message!) and it revolutionized my whole attitude!

      I'd love any suggestions you have for other books on hospitality! :)

      Thanks for your encouragement, Judith! Bless you!
      ~Lisha

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  9. I love this insight into the heart of hospitality, Lisha. We can be influenced about so many things by marketing companies and pressure to buy more and own more. I think Christmas can especially be like this. We can focus more of the beauty of our decorations and table than we do about what it's all about. Great wisdom here. Thanks for sharing.
    Thanks for linking up at Essential Fridays.
    Blessings
    Mel from Essential Thing Devotions & Connect With God

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    1. Oh, the holidays!!! I think that's one reason why my husband and I have never been interested in decking the house out during Christmastime - the temptation is too strong to wow people with our stuff.

      You have a sweet, encouraging spirit! Thanks again, Mel!
      ~Lisha :)

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  10. Lisha, I love to entertain, but my parties are not fancy. If people are looking for all the frills of the photo you have posted, and not friendship and being real, my entertaining is not for them. Your post was wonderful. It is about the people and not about what's on the table.

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    1. Thank you, Kim! I enjoy having people over too - it has just taken me a long time to learn that my heart attitude is so important because it determines how I see my role as hostess. To serve, not to be the star of the show. :)

      Thanks for the encouragement!
      Blessings!
      ~Lisha :)

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