The Blessings of a Messy House

Serve from Where You Are

God commands all Christians to practice hospitality, and there’s no question that some people just enjoy it more than others. But we’re not just called to work from our gifts. Biblically speaking, working from your weakness is often more blessed by God than working from your strengths, which you can often do in the flesh, stealing glory from God.

I think it’s better to think about where you are in your season of life, and what hospitality would look like in your season of life. If you have small children, hospitality to other moms with small children is ideal. It’s right there.

Don’t be somebody else. Be you, and think about how you can apply the Bible's hospitality commands to who you are in your season of life.

Ask for Big Things

Pray that you can be some earthly good to your neighbors. Just pray that the Lord would bring you the people that he wants you to minister to. For the ten years that we were licensed foster parents, we had so many children and babies, and by God’s grace, we were able to adopt four children. It was a blur of a decade—and we were blessed to practice hospitality through that, with ebbs and flows because of the needs of the children. 

One of the things that’s vital to realize is that it’s really in your weakness and messiness that people are attracted. I would just pray, “Lord, send me people.” I used to kid around that I don’t practice door-to-door-evangelism, I practice open-the-door-evangelism because the Lord would know that I was stuck at home with babies, and so he would just send people.

Don’t be afraid to pray in very big ways—that God would give you hurting people to minister to out of your own capacity. What you have in Christ is more powerful and it impacts the world in crucial ways that you’ve perhaps become slightly anesthetized to. But, don’t—because you’re needed.


Article adapted from The Gospel Comes with a House Key: Practicing Radically Ordinary Hospitality in Our Post-Christian World by Rosaria Butterfield. This article first appeared on Crossway.org; used with permission.

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