Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Practicing Hospitality: Hospitality and Family

Welcome to our chapter three discussion of Practicing Hospitality.  For eight weeks, we'll take a chapter and open it up for discussion.  I'll start us off with a summary of the chapter and then open the linky for questions and thoughts.  Even if you're not reading the book, feel free to add to the conversation.  May you be blessed!

Previous chapters:

Chapter Three: Hospitality and Family

The following quote establishes the basis of the chapter: "If the Lord has given us a family, extending hospitality to our family is our first priority.  Once we have established the ministry of hospitality within our family, we can then broaden our hospitality to include extended family members, friends, strangers, the needy and the poor" (pg 74).
The author's give three reasons why this is important:
1. For the sake of our integrity--extending hospitality to the world and not our families is hypocrisy
2. For the sake of our children--leading our children to feel like second class
3. For the sake of the gospel--blessing our families shows the world God's powerful work in our lives

Practicing Hospitality with a Family
"How do we keep our family a priority in the midst of reaching out to those who are in need outside our homes?... Every woman will need to evaluate her own unique family constraints and then develop strategies to assist her in promoting the welfare of her family, while at the same time allowing her to participate in the rich ministry of hospitality with people who are not in her immediate family" (pg 76-77).

1. Remember there are seasons of life-- our hospitality opportunities will NOT look the same in each season. Don't mourn the old; look for the now.
2. Partner with your husband-- having a second opinion and set of hands will keep you from overextending yourself.  Teamwork is essential.
3. Include your children-- help them to view hospitality as a way of showing Christ's love.
4. Treat your family as good as guests-- shows Christ's love for our families and models for them what hospitality looks like. 
5. Keep an orderly home-- our family benefits from our creating a comfortable place to call home.
6. Use discretion-- being wise about who and how you allow others into your home.  
7. Remember meaningful moments-- photos, journals, favorite is family traditions: weekly, monthly, and annually.

Family Traditions
1. Traditions provide a sense of stability and permanence in our homes.
2. Traditions provide a method for remembering God's work in our lives.
3. Family traditions provide a means for passing on a godly heritage to our children.

Establishing Family Traditions
1. Spiritual Heritage-- This is our priority as believers.  What traditions are we establishing to pass on biblical truth?  Examples: family devotions, extending hospitality as a family, giving, serving, spending time in worship
2. A Kindred Heritage--unique to your family.  Examples: unique birthday traditions (letters, calls, etc), baby books, photo albums, plants to mark the date (birthdays, anniversaries, deaths, etc), date night, pancake breakfast, theme nights.  Look for a future post on this topic.
3. A Holiday Heritage-- looking at holiday and seasonal traditions.  Examples: traditional holiday foods,  opening home on the holidays, christmas ornaments, traveling on the holidays vs staying home

This week's discussion:
1. Are you thankful or bitter about your current season in life and how it affects your hospitality opportunities?
2. Do you practice hospitality to your family?  Evaluate whether you treat your family "as good as guests."  Identify how you can specifically apply the ideas mentioned in this chapter.
3. Begin practicing family traditions.  Create a chart to list ideas and then begin adding new traditions as the seasons change or family events occur.

Next Week:
Join us next Thursday Jun 14th for chapter four: Hospitality and Management

Linky Party:
Feel free to link up below if you're discussing Practicing Hospitality on your blog.  We love hearing your thoughts and being encouraged in this journey together.  Can't wait to hear what you're thinking.

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