Hospitality: Presence, not Perfection

Hospitality is the prompt word for #FiveMinuteFriday this week. It is one of my favorite words. Just the sound of it is welcoming to me. It’s interesting that a simple definition of the word, according to Rhymezone is:


Definitions of hospitality:

  • noun:   kindness in welcoming guests or strangers


Isn’t it funny that we often go way past that definition and turn it into something of a big extravaganza?


But in it’s simplest form, hospitality is just showing kindness to someone by making them feel welcome.


My mother and grandmother knew how to make people feel welcome in their homes. And they passed that desire on to me, but my home doesn’t look like either of theirs. I would love to have a clean, neat house all the time, but that is just not possible. We do live in a log house in a rural area, and some people find that a welcome change.




Hospitality Focuses on People


Through the years I’ve learned that hospitality starts with an attitude that focuses on people not things.


My husband and I have always enjoyed having people over, but what that looks like has changed over the years.


When there were just two of us it was easy to clean house and cook to welcome company. As the children came along it got a little harder but still we managed to have people over a lot. It didn’t seem to matter if the house was a mess.


We had seven children and some good friends had eight. Even though we didn’t have extra large homes, we visited each other a lot. Our children varied in age from young to adult. They not only got along well together but helped looked after the younger ones so we parents could visit.


Hospitality Comes in Many Forms


To be hospitable doesn’t always mean having someone in your home.


We can show kindness by smiling at a stranger we pass on the street. Maybe someone new comes to church and you notice them standing alone. Your smile and words of welcome might be the start of a new friendship. Hospitality is about sharing our lives with others.


My five minutes are up, but there is so much more to be said about hospitality. That might have to come in a later blog post, where I have time to expand on the topic.


When you think about it, any act of kindness can make a person feel welcome, and isn’t that the whole point of hospitality?


A Collage of Welcome 


I recently made a collage in my art journal. Today, as I was looking at it trying to figure out what words to add, I noticed the couch right in the middle. Thinking about the #FiveMinuteFriday prompt word, I could picture the word welcome right on that couch.


So I looked through magazines until I found all the letters. I even tried different styles and finally decided on what you see below.




How about you? What other ways can you think of to show hospitality? I’d love to see your ideas in the comments.


Hebrews 13:1-2 (NLT)

Keep on loving each other as brothers and sisters. Don’t forget to show hospitality to strangers, for some who have done this have entertained angels without realizing it!


I’m linking up with: #FiveMinuteFriday, #InspireMeMonday, #InstaEncouragements



24 thoughts on “Hospitality: Presence, not Perfection

  1. I love the quote that you used to end the post with! What a wonderful way to encourage us to show hospitality in the everyday. Thank for sharing your post on Five Minute Friday. Have a wonderful and blessed weekend!

    1. Thank you, Joan. It really is important to show hospitality and it doesn’t have to be anything big. Blessings to you! I hope you have a lovely, blessed weekend, too.

  2. Hi Gayl – visiting from FMF (#25)!
    Loved your thoughtful post, especially “When you think about it, any act of kindness can make a person feel welcome, and isn’t that the whole point of hospitality?” Spot on!


  3. Thank you Gayl for always making me feel so “welcome” here on your internet home. Since the first day I visited you here, you have always shown hospitality and kindness here! I am so very grateful that the Lord allowed us to “meet” through these digital airwaves. Blessings, love, and hugs to you!

    1. My dear Bettie, I also am so thankful God allowed us to “meet” here on the web. I’m so glad you have always felt welcome here. You also have been a great encouragement to me and I always feel welcome on your site, too. Blessings, love and hugs right back to you! xoxo

  4. This is well written.
    You are lovely at heart Gayl.
    Hospitality is good even though it is getting tougher these days to open our hearts and doors God still brings His children our way so we can serve them without doubts.
    Thank you for sharing.
    God Bless

    1. Dear Ifeoma, thank you so much. Yes, sometimes we need to have just family time and kind of recharge. But God brings people, just as you said, and so we encourage them and they us. Blessings to you! Thanks for stopping by. xoxo

  5. Gayl,

    Thank you for the word ‘Hospitality’ its just a word but means a lot..Its drags me into the hospitality of our dear Christ, our Lord.He is the perfect example who always shows hospitality to others.

    Gayl, its really nice to read all your writings.And through your writings always welcomes your dear ones with lots of love and hugs..I’m really thankful to Him for you..<3

    Stay Blessed 🙂

    1. Dear Athira,
      Thank you so much for your sweet comments. Yes, I agree that our Lord is the perfect example of hospitality to others. I’m glad you enjoy reading what I write. Thank you! I’m thankful for you, too, and for the words you share on your blog. May God protect you and give you peace and joy! Blessings to you! xo

  6. Great thoughts. I especially liked the phrase “When you think about it, any act of kindness can make a person feel welcome, and isn’t that the whole point of hospitality?” Amen! Have a blessed weekend.

  7. I went in a similar direction this week on FMF. Hospitality isn’t in the location or even the method but in the intention for relationship. I love what you wrote here. I aspire to make more room in my life for this kind of hospitality.

    1. Thank you, Bethany! I”ll have to go check out your post. 🙂 Yes, our intentions are so important, and I also want to make more room for this kind of hospitality. Blessings to you! Thanks for visiting.

    1. Amen, Anita. And sometimes that is hard, isn’t it? But when we do it anyway, we not only help the other feel welcome but it brings joy to our hearts. Blessings to you!

  8. Gayl – This was a beautiful explanation of what God intends hospitality to be. I tend to make it something else. I love having people over but for some reason seldom do. I want it to be a certain way when really, I just want to spend time with them. Thank you for the encouragement.

    1. Thank you, Maree Dee! It’s so easy to make it more than it needs to be, but in it’s simplest form it is showing kindness to one another and to strangers. Blessings to you! I’m so glad you were encouraged.

  9. Beautiful post on hospitality, Gayl! It’s a gift. It’s an art. However, some of us are not gifted or creative when it comes to hospitality. But that doesn’t get us off the hook. It’s something we have to work at. I know personally, it’s a challenge! Introverts are challenged when it comes to hospitality and sadly I find myself falling into that category. But I continue to work at it. Thanks for the reminders!


    Thanks for linking up at InstaEncouragements!

    1. Thank you, Patsy. Yes, sometimes hospitality is a challenge, but you’re right – we have to work at it. It’s okay to start simply, because every tiny act of kindness is helpful to someone. Blessings to you!

  10. Gayl, these are wonderful thoughts on hospitality. It is so true that hospitality surely entails kindness. When I have been welcomed into someone’s home, I never notice whether it is picked up or if I am being served leftovers. But I always remember the warmth, the conversation, and the friendship which has been offered.

    1. Thank you, Joanne. It is true that when someone welcomes us into their home, showing us kindness and love, we don’t really notice what the house looks like. Or even if we do, that’s not what we remember. The kindness shown to us is what sticks with us. We need to remember that when we show true hospitality the condition of the house doesn’t matter so much. Blessings to you!

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