Do you enjoy being hospitable or is it more effort than it’s worth? Do you struggle with insecurity over an undecorated house or lack of confidence in your cooking skills? You are not alone, sister! But it’s important to move past those roadblocks #sothat you can experience and share the blessing of being hospitable. My good friend Jen Schmidt is here today to share with you her strong message of the blessing of hospitality. Don’t miss the giveaway at the end!
Excerpted with permission from Just Open the Door by Jen Schmidt. Copyright 2018, B&H Publishing Group.
For so many moms, our desire is to create a home that is a soft place to land for our children, yet it’s also their learning lab. Just as we bear responsibility to create a welcoming environment for them, we also need to show them how to grow a welcoming heart toward others. This gives us a whole new reason for allowing life-on-life ministry to flow in and out of our homes: it cultivates within our kids a generational legacy of hospitality and service. They learn it by watching; they learn it by doing.
Our sons and daughters, our boys and girls, our teens and college students—the children (or grandchildren) right under our roof—represent the thought leaders of the future in work, ministry, worldview, ethics, and culture. We are training and discipling a new generation of world changers. Yes, it’s an overwhelming and nearly paralyzing concept at times, one that can seem far beyond our reach to accomplish. But it’s a calling we should receive as the highest privilege given. And I can’t think of a better way of doing it—of tangibly exhibiting missional living—than by simply creating a life-giving home that says welcome. As we reshape our preconceived notions about hospitality and align them with God’s Word, we create a powerfully interactive life lab for our children. And an exciting new legacy for our family.
Think of it. Through this “welcome home” lens, our children begin to view every person God brings through our doors as divine interventions amid their everyday life. By watching us serve, they learn how to partner with us by living out the Great Commandment and sharing the gospel. As we demonstrate how much we value those different from us, as we affirm others’ unique personalities and listen to their stories, our kids learn to do the same. Through hands-on interaction with us, they see what it means to be the hands and feet of Jesus by becoming the church of God in our own home. As we walk alongside them, they’re able to imitate us in living a life on purpose.
It’s all part of Deuteronomy 6 parenting: “These words that I am giving you today are to be in your heart. Repeat them to your children. Talk about them when you sit in your house and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up” (vv. 6–7).
It’s not easy, no. But as the Lord is quick to remind me, I’m not so easy either.
In fact, let me say—in terms of viewing my home as a learning lab—the lessons start with me. Home may be the heart of my most important ministry, but regrettably it’s also the place where my sin bubbles over more often than anywhere else. I fumble through many days begging the Lord that His power would be made perfect in my weakness. Home is where I am the most exposed, the most exhausted, where my family sees the good, the bad, and everything in between.
But because of this, it’s also where the transformative power of Christ can best be seen in me. It’s the place where He’s most likely to begin chiseling away at my sinful heart, drawing me closer to Him and showering me with His sufficient grace. And just as serving others in Jesus’ name proves to be the antidote for my own self-centeredness, it works in my children’s hearts as well. Just as living a life of welcome roots me, shifts my focus toward others, and stops my wandering heart, it does the same for them.
Living a life of welcome lets us cast a long-term, multigenerational vision for our children. By being part of a welcoming home, they learn tangible life skills that allow hospitality to become a natural outflow of their lives, regardless of their gifting or personalities. They’re being equipped day by day to enter the future knowing how to build community in an age of isolation, how to make memories in a generation mobilized by technology, how to create an environment of discipleship among people yearning for godly mentors.
That’s creating legacy. Right here. In the laboratories of our own homes.
For the last decade, Jen Schmidt has been encouraging, challenging, and cheering on women to embrace both the beauty and bedlam of their everyday lives on her popular lifestyle blog, Balancing Beauty and Bedlam. With a variety of topics—from easy dinner ideas and personal finance to leaving a legacy—Jen equips others to live life to its fullest, reminding them it’s the little things that really are the big things in life. A popular speaker, worship leader and founder/host of the annual Becoming Conference, Jen shares with humor and authenticity as she invites others to join her on this bumpy, beautiful life journey. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, five children, a few too many animals, and an available sofa for anyone who needs it.
Just Open the Door , by Jen Schmidt
For many of us, inviting people into our lives and homes feels more like inviting judgment on our entertaining skills and stress on our already maxed-out schedules. But what if you knew that opening your front door had the power to radically change the world? To make an impact and leave a legacy with everyday invitations?
Jen Schmidt has set out to reframe how we think about hospitality and to equip us to walk a road of welcome in our daily lives. Jen knows that every time we choose open-door living—whether in our homes or by taking hospitality on the road just like Jesus—those we invite in get to experience the lived-out Gospel, our kids grow up in a life-lab of generosity, and we trade insecurity for connection.