Share This Episode
Focus on the Family Jim Daly Logo

Hospitality For Busy Families

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly
The Truth Network Radio
September 5, 2022 6:00 am

Hospitality For Busy Families

Focus on the Family / Jim Daly

On-Demand Podcasts NEW!

This broadcaster has 755 podcast archives available on-demand.

Broadcaster's Links

Keep up-to-date with this broadcaster on social media and their website.

September 5, 2022 6:00 am

One of the most countercultural things you can do as a Christian is to invite someone over for dinner. Karen Ehman helps busy families find opportunities for hospitality in everyday life

Receive the book "Reach Out, Gather in" and the audio download of the broadcast "Hospitality For Busy Families" for your donation of any amount:

Get more episode resources:

If you've listened to any of our podcasts, please give us your feedback:

The Christian Car Guy
Robby Dilmore
Core Christianity
Adriel Sanchez and Bill Maier
Insight for Living
Chuck Swindoll
Family Life Today
Dave & Ann Wilson, Bob Lepine

Are somebody reach out to open our homes to maybe has never been inside the home of a Christian who maybe have never felt like they don't want to live in so you hang with your PHA have your Christian friends over you and neighbors over. Sometimes you feel God tapping on our stained person is not really expecting to be seen reached out to value my moment (even just to pay on Focus on the Family your hostess focus president Dr. Jim Daly and Jon, I think one of the most countercultural computers occurred is to invite someone over for dinner.

It's not glamorous, but the Bible says, do not despise the day of small fine was at me are like an interesting application to that verse just do something small for someone in your orbit. Jesus spent his time with a small band of disciples.

He taught that the kingdom of God would expand out like a tiny mustard seed, God accomplishes his grand plan through those modest beginnings and taking a small risk to invite someone to coffee her over for dinner is a radical act in God's kingdom. If you change your life. I have heard of so many testimonies of people that were invited to someone's home for dinner and they became Christian at the beginning of yesterday.

Yes, what cracks the heart of our guest today will reorient all of us about the view of ordinary hospitality and shall help you and us. Notice everyday opportunities to reach out right and Karen Eamon is a speaker with Proverbs 31 ministries and best-selling author and that she's capture some thoughts on this topic in a terrific book is called reach out gather in 40 days to opening your heart and home. The course we have copies of that here the ministry, contact us by calling one 800 the letter a in the word family or check the program notes for the links Karen, welcome back to Focus on the Family think it's great yeah hospitality.

It's a challenging opportunity for busy families will be put it that way. But it's not the busyness that prevents us from having people over what you think hospitality is more difficult today or is it I think it is more difficult, both because we are busier. That is a little part of it, but I think we have this notion in our minds.

Based on what we see on television or let me view on social media that has to look a certain way that makes it almost impossible in mentally and emotionally to try to do right.

It has to be this big thing if you can't do it like the experts do then just don't do it all.

If you can't make your centerpieces in your food in your home look like those people you're flying on Instagram and not against on those I get some great ideas from him but there there great to use as a resource, but not trying to replicate as a lifestyle we think we have to replicate all that beauty we see now that we see our blight having money over. I think so many Jean very much the same way. I think especially early on she saw it as such a tsunami event that was overwhelming.

You know the really do it the way she would want to do it almost perfectly, and therefore it was like paralyzing to do encounter that kind of attitude I do and I think what we wrongly think is that we have to pull out all the stops and get everything out perfect and then we can have people over and that's hospitality that's entertaining that's trying to impress other people not trying to just refresh them.

Hospitality is just letting them pull up a chair in your ordinary life and focus on them non-trying to impress them with all your decor in your food and all damages, focus on who they are, how can I get to know you. It doesn't have to be off so that regard.

How does a person lower their standard say they got this high bar of what the event that their home should look like having someone over for dinner and it's nice for you to say else is called a refreshing bed.

But how do you actually embrace that and the good with it and know that it's not to be all perfect and it's going to be a meal that maybe they're not gonna rave about but to be good enough.

How do you get there emotionally for me. I think back in my past I flip the script don't think about in my past when I've hosted people. But when I've been a guest in someone's house. Whenever I felt the most loved, wanted, and welcomed. I can think of some women pulling up in my brain now and then I think, what did they serve me. I can't even tell you is that amazing, you know, I went to the house look like once the dust bunnies hiding under the couch.

I can't tell you but I know how they made me feel when I was over there and so I think it's helpful to think about what's important to us when were aghast in someone's home and then translate that to when we are preparing to have some over, don't stress about things that were important to you when you were aghast as this may be a tough question, but is there a bit of pride in some of the what is the source of that crippling.

It's gotta be perfect and I can do perfect so I won't do it. What was really coming from. I think it could be pride. I think it also is comparisons we sing other people and what they do and how it looks like they pulled off some awesome dinner party for 16 just want to have that new couple over from church and play and we can feel less than by comparison into there is this weird kind of reciprocal thing to where you think oh well if they had me over and they serve something really fancy that I have to do the same or you know if I have them over. They can have me over in its kindest tit-for-tat thing and it needs to not be that way in the opening Gyro back-and-forth about entryway for someone spiritually by having someone over for dinner. That was your story. You came to Christ through another believers hospitality. What happened I was a latchkey child and on early teens and into my teenage years and very lonely and didn't have a home where I ever had anybody over. My mom was a single mom living on a budget so tight sweet and she was just trying to keep writing on the table but we lived across the street had a kitty corner from tiny little country church and they got a new pastor and pastor's wife and that woman saw me out in my front yard throwing a softball up to myself as I was home alone and she invited me to join the church softball team through that. I started to hang out with her, she would have me over how old are you, I'm about 1620 and generally have me over to her house and feed me warmed up leftovers, and Apple cinnamon tea. Nothing fancy.

She would often joke like I'm so sorry all we have is leftovers, but it tasted like a gourmet feast.

When I was at her house because I felt like she took interest in my life. She wanted to know who I was what I was going through and she just said puppeteer. Sometimes I would fold laundry with her. I'd watch her toddlers and I just became part of her life and it was through her that I learned of a God who could be the father to the fatherless and I became a Christian. You know what's so interesting about that I think of my wife, Jane, who grew up in Garden Grove and she has a girlfriend.

Still to this day that they met in kindergarten, Linda's mom was the kind of mom in the community and she said her friends just like to hang out there. Even if Linda wasn't at home. Jean and her friend Monee would go over and hang out with Linda's mom because she was just so fun to be with. Is that amazing.

These were elementary school kids who hangs out with somebody's mom but she was just that love thing I think.

And that's what they were getting in that relationship was this loving adult who cared about them and that's what you say, what child, teenager doesn't want that right exactly what a great form of hospitality to Scripture. Instruct us to prioritize the needs of our family because no busyness is a killer to hospitality to get a start say okay God first note do the devotional time, which is good, and then my marriage and my parenting, family, and then what's left over than I could dole out to other people around me. What's a good way to look at all of this.

I like well I think there are two extremes I like to kinda take on the lot of the road approach.

I think the extreme is. My family is name first and most important, my only ministry, and I just really don't do anything with pastel you don't really invite other people entire life or the place I live for a while.

Sad to say when I tried to start being hospitable that wrongly started out thinking it was entertaining because I married into a family full of caterers and bed-and-breakfast owners and I need the hot water is all God taught me just a thing about you know the difference tween entertaining study, but I can more for people outside my family, my kids, but sometimes you guys would walk in the kitchen. Who's coming to dinner because I was pulling out all the times for the people, and I remember that day, my son, Mitchell said that I thought there were times that matches with hospitality that I would make a meal for someone that had a new baby or something would put all the stops and get my family lunchmeat. But he said in a negative way or just an observation away caught you just point was to hit his tummy and then he went for marketing to me was a piece so I kind of adopted the rule that if I make something for someone else. I made for my family and I took that middle-of-the-road approach, not pulling out all the stops in China and while people with my hospitality and even my family behind. Not just saying. My family is my only gag and not having people over but inviting my kids along for the journey, showing them what it means to open your heart and open your home and let people just joined you that is such a subtle but powerful insight. I mean, I'm sure I've done things like that and I was too dense to capture that wish you caught it right how to love your family and reminded their important to you as well and other people important. I always pray that my kids would catch a vision for hospitality. I'm seeing it play out that my daughter, she is way out there beyond me. She just had an elderly couple over and got stranded at the airport sweet murderers, you know me I left, but she did she saw this couple. They were distressed. The woman was crying. She had just landed in Charlotte North Carolina back home and she said she had a couple remains times in my one roommate moved out have a guestroom offer you she came she order them whenever dinner.

They wanted and she said mom I got the courage to do that because you I saw you and let people and is pretty amazing. I'm hearing an airport ministry blue with all the delayed flights that might be a good I'm thinking of the passage in Matthew when Jesus says if you love those who love you.

Don't unbelievers do that, but it is that a big deal explained that pastor in this context of hospitality. It's really aiming at the outside or the people you maybe don't click with her don't agree with it. Having them over for dinner) are you serious that would ruin my meal right well I would say if you're just starting out, it is best to start out practicing on people you know well you are to get along with but don't stop there.

I like integrated I like to think of this, with whom does my life naturally intersect who I see as I go about my week that who I see as I go about my day. I can see and just ask the Lord, you know, is there somebody who we could reach out to who we could open our homes to that maybe has never been inside the home of a Christian who maybe has never felt like they are wanted and welcomed and loved and so yeah yeah you hang with your peeps you have your Christian friends over you and your neighbors over, but sometimes you feel God tapping on the hearts and that person who's not really expecting to be seen and to be reached out to value my mower even for something something to say. Would you like to come over and have coffee or you have to do it in your home, you can be hospitable anywhere you can take someone out for coffee if you're stressed about getting your house.

But think of those people that are not just those ones that it's easy to have over, but those people don't agree with politically. Are where does a lot of good for people to mix in that way, Jean. I have done that.

I wish we did more of it, but we certainly have done it in the fruit from it is been spectacular in cutting your story. When nonbelievers would come over over the course of time without the expectation I'm not there to change you over the course of time.

It's amazing how their hearts to open up to the message of the gospel just by the love that you're showing them what the Lord said right exactly.

I am actually a really current real-life example of a girl. She's young woman now in her late 20s didn't quite know if I wanted her hang out with my daughter in high school and I cast Dr. in social media, but we said nope.

Our houses can be to hang out place welcomed her over right after how high school. She was working at a strip club.

She was doing drugs. He was doing all kinds of things and I just my heart broke for her. I found on social media about a year ago I saw her start to post Bible verses. Long story short, she is now a believer. She reached out to me the other day came to my house and sat down and said can I just tell you thank you for always accepting me even though I knew you didn't approve of what I was doing.

I knew that humans are not to be happy with what I do in my life, but every time I came over here. You threw up in your arms. You hugged me and said what you want to eat and when I told you I was working at a strip club. You even flinch even flinch and is that once I was wanting you know, but it's just week we can expect everybody to behave like us to believe like I know when God might use you welcoming and loving somebody to be a little seed years on the road they can point back… Will see there a lot of people that were part of the equation. God is the saving but just being hospitable and loving. Regardless of what they believe be huge in the over arching statement there is relationship, which is why God created us in the first place for him right to have relationship with us and I think that's the key to spreading his word to the nonbelievers just have relationship just be normal and have relationship with people.

This is Focus on the Family with Jim Daly and our guest today is Karen even were talking about opening your heart and your home of her book is called reach out gather in as you can tell there is a real impact you can have when you bring somebody into your life were inviting you to do that and please get a copy of Karen's book when you contact us here 800 K and the word family 800-232-6459 or check the program notes for the link with it. Some of those roadblocks but I want to be a little more specific so people can see themselves frantically in what you're talking about when you were newly married. I think seasons of life can play big into this when you have little kids, it becomes very difficult because you got so much going but for you when you're newly married.

You were excited to have people over and then you kinda lost steam which I think is kind of the normal pattern. If you were to map it out on the graph you're newly married got a bit more time. Perhaps you don't have little children yet speak to that issue of availability.

Yeah, I think when the kids came along and got more difficult. I still wanted to do it but I started to get a little frustrated sometimes with other people's children who broke my stuff because I like my stuff. Now I registered for my wedding stuff and it's nice stuff and we used it for a long time when we were newly married and mostly hang out with people he didn't have kids but once we started become parents, not her friends became parents and their you know break in my stuff messing up my carpet.

I started to just get a little frustrated especially to because we were living on a budget so tight it squeaks. I couldn't buy a new whatever that just got ruined what one day I was kinda grousing about it and I'm a friend gently kinda rebuked me and said you know like hearing that stuff is not your stuff anyway and belongs to God and if it chipped crockpot can help introduce someone to Christ.

Let the crockpot get shipped and when she said that to me. He really shifted my thinking and nothing I have belongs to me.

I need to steward it. While use it for the Lord if it gets broken gets broke the end of the world such a good reminder for all of us actually don't upset over the stuff people are more valuable.

Although the really valuable stuff is that's definitely good of you. One of one of things I noticed with Jean early on she was a people pleaser was really hard for her to say no and that created some conflict for us. Describe the group of women you met in college, I think, to maximize the roles of church and in that regard. What I saw Jean trying to do. This is especially even a church and or say yes to so much that it became a bit overwhelming for you. When I first became a Christian through that woman is Pat leading to the Lord.

I continue to go to church when I was in college and she does welcomed me into that women's circle of friends that were there. They were all older than me.

I was the youngest but they didn't make me feel like I didn't belong, but I saw was so interesting how they each had their little niche there saying that they were gifted at that they were good at their spiritual gifts, you know. One woman was great with making stories come alive to children and she was serving in the children's ministry.

One was really great with Bible study and prayer.

One elderly woman she was like stunning with her makeup and her close and she like to help people like find their best colors and stuff were specific and strategic and what they were good at but as a group.

I feel like I got so many many because they they weren't all trying to do everything they want all signing up for everything and they were so welcoming and hospitable, whether it was going out of their homes we would rotate like what house the Bible study was that, but even just being around them. I felt wanted. I felt like they were just really welcoming to me and they cared about me and my future and my dreams and my hopes and my fears and it was so interesting to me just how they all had their little and I knew who to go to if I needed a question asked about something.

It was a great place to land.

It begs the question, I think in my mind, those women that really know their niche and then they you know they don't go far beyond that, I'm sure.

Occasionally there saying yes to things that are outside their capability and that's all fine, but what I hear you saying is try to stay in the lane and the giftedness that God's given you, and you're going to drive there, you're going to do well there. When you overextend and have too many commitments. Whatever it might be it could take you right outside of the very core thing God has been yeah you mentioned something about heart drops and I want to ask very specifically.

You say you need to know what it means to truly listen and look for the heart drops what is that It's a concept I saw my mom to you as I was growing up she was great at listening for people's heart drops. I didn't know that this was the term for it.

Someone in my small group that they too turned this and I think it's really fitting what hardtop is, is when someone gives you a little peek into their heart without really saying anything. You just how listening between the lines, they may say that they have some medical test coming up next Thursday and they don't say and release said about and I'm really nervous about it. You know they just give you by the tone of their voice that speaking to them. We write down in year number core down in your phone next Thursday to text Holloman now that they're doing, why member. One time my husband he he heard a little heart trap. When I turned 30. Just a couple years ago I was a youth pastor's wife. I have a youth pastor and the girls in our youth group were all talking slumber party and this Linda price and he said what slumber parties, like with you way back in the late 80s you know I grab the rock together.

Simply said, I'll know I never had a slumber party in my house and heard that he knew home I grew up in.

My mom was a single mom very sad that she was divorced that it was you know the worst thing in the world and wasn't treated great by the church and so she shut down. She let anybody in our house and my husband is hurting so no I never really party so he heard that hardtop I wasn't saying and it really upset me.

Anyone still said about. To this day commanded. He pulled off a surprise slumber party for my 30th seriously got kidnapped by two friends and taken to that my church and they had this whole slumber party overnight was just listening between the lines, hearing what people are saying without really saying it, or it's also listening for random pieces of information about someone's likes and in their their hobbies or whatever that you don't know how you can use, but you'll use it someday. For example, I love to listen when I met coffee shop with my friends at their high maintenance coffee orders and other photos although writing crazy down in my phone and one time I remember specifically, one of my friends. I recorded it in my phone in April did know when I never use it but that fall her only child went off to college I knew was good to be a hard day and so I showed up on her front porch with a box of tissues and she would coffee drinks. My simple one in her high maintenance one and said I thought you might need a shoulder to cry on and she said all what you bring me of an vanilla latte a month and 2°. Not for all, and it meant so much to her that I mentioned. That is really good. Let me ask about hospitality outside of the home and I'm not even sure that I've ever is always connect hospitality in the home, was that look like outside the home hospitality. I can no longer get mad at the guy that cuts me off that out of the house ready for hospitality much better. God's work: my you just need to think about where does my week take me where are my layovers in life where my going to be sitting waiting for the kids at baseball practice. You know, or where am I when I'm with my my job or my volunteer responsibilities or what I'm doing in my church and just look for ways to make people feel welcome there. For example, if it's the baseball sidelines and there's a new family, you know, maybe you could reach out to them and invite them over.

Maybe you could show up with hot cider and doughnuts for all the soccer moms in the fall. Maybe you could have a little tray of something on your desk of little treats that people can swing by and pick it straight and then say.

Also, if you want to leave prayer request just ways when you are out and about doing life that you can seek to make other people feel welcome. Just always be on the lookout my my mom had this philosophy that whenever you feel like your life is not going the way you planned it. Circumstances have got you down. Remember there's always someone out there who has life off worse off than you, so go find that person and do something to make their day in a strange way, it makes or is it as well.

Xiao used to say to try stuff yourself honey and get your eyes off those popular girls you know those popular girls you think your life isn't as good as then guess what there's some girls out there really are set go look for them and make them feel welcomed and wanted any works in this life and adventure. If you're seeking to serve others. When I think spiritually it's really good for your kids to learn that you're not as bad off as you think you are, and sometimes they need that little wake-up call you there wallowing in their own situation. The didn't get invited to the big thing whatever that's those are lessons I learned as a kid that were really good.

There's got to be somebody in a far worse spot than on that help me emotionally.

Actually, you had a chance to practice what you call in the moment ministry with your son's friend grant so tell us about grant yes grant I call him second grant that there was first and second Blake first second third Jake and first and second grant second grant had moved to our town and came over to our house off and he was a member of my son's football team state championship football teammate, I might add, early riser and he would get up in the mornings and Saturday morning. After all, the gang had spent the night Friday night since I was working on a book trying to get it done and he would get up and he plopped himself on the couch and he'd say what mama Karen and Sam trying to write a book and noticing people. If you could leave me alone. It was like I just said to me, I like it here and you will give the message you just don't want to live the message forward. Yeah so I knew what I needed to do. I need to shut my laptop and I needed to listen to second grant he actually also love to drink coffee sucking I would drink coconut mocha coffee just let him share about his life.

He had moved there recently and he had a lot of stuff going on in his life and I just got to know him and a few months later he asked one random Saturday morning when we were drink coffee. What I was going to be doing the third Sunday in March line of my husband and I were available and I thought what is there like some big game on anyone. I have the part here and watch the game they want to make my my food for them and he said no.

I just wanted to let you know that I responded to the gospel and become a Christian and getting baptized and I would really love it if you and Mr. Eamon were there in the front was also and I almost missed it was Mr. being so busy doing my thing to my big things and not noticing that person ingrained front of me that is so so good. What a wonderful reminder. This is been about what hospitality is in the way God uses it to infiltrate someone's heart right. Many examples of the so good and let me remind our listeners or viewers. Focus on the Family is here for you and would like to encourage you in your faith in the weeks and months to come, and we have many great resources like Karen's book reach out gather in 40 days to opening your heart and home and I would appreciate if you get that directly from us, rather than some big retailer big mail-order place because all the money goes right back into ministry. And if you can make a donation for any amount either monthly or one time will send it as a way to say thank you. Been part of the ministry and you get the benefit from Karen's want to contact us today donation. As you can pleasure one time gift reach out gather into our numbers 800 K word family 800-232-6459 or the link is in the program.

Karen, thank you so much room with this really good stuff. So much for having even very hospitable with behalf of Jim Daly and the entire team. Thanks for joining us today for Focus on the Family John Fuller inviting you back next time you and your family thrive your marriage resources your adventures in Odyssey stories constant influence. There are thousands of stories just like from Focus on the Family's legacy community folks who leave a legacy gift through their well, trust or other estate planning tool you help have godly family. Use your resources to help families for generations to come. Find out more focused legacy that's focused legacy

Get The Truth Mobile App and Listen to your Favorite Station Anytime