In Romans 12, Paul outlines the behaviors a Christian should portray in verses 9-21. These verses are the essential characteristics of a Christian, but we sometimes overlook the smaller essentials. The first of these is love. Love “is the primary motivating factor in Christian living. Christlike behavior or character includes showing genuine love, without hypocrisy” (The Woman’s Study Bible, 1460). “Given to hospitality” is a phrase that some women cringe at. Most of us have our lists of reasons why we are not given to hospitality. Hospitality is more than inviting people to your home! This phrase in Romans 12:13 literally means: pursuing the love of strangers (MacArthur, 457). As Christian women, we are to actively pursue the best not only our families, but also for strangers. Be observant of those around you! That might mean not being on your cell phone when you’re in a store so that you can focus on people who are shopping, even lending a hand to a mother who is juggling grocery shopping and an active toddler. People are desperate for a kind word or encouragement. Simply offering a smile is one way of showing kindness and love in a world that is harsh and wicked.
The weekend that I moved to Texas I noticed a family moving into student housing across the street. I must admit I have been hesitating to visit because frankly, living all my life in a rural area, we have never had any new neighbors other than my grandparents. Therefore, practicing hospitality has to be intentional for me and that requires moving out of my comfort zone.
Recently, I was browsing through Pinterest (a website full of amazing ideas, crafts, and recipes) and came across a great idea for a housewarming gift. The housewarming gift idea originally came from this website. All I did was copy what they did and add my own special touches.
The point is: Be intentional with noticing others around you. Life doesn’t revolve around us. “Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself” (Phil 2:3).
Emily Beth Leathers is a student pursuing her M.A.C.E. degree in Home Economics at Southwestern Baptist Theology Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas. She loves Jesus, the color yellow, giggling, babies, skirts and life.
* MacArthur, John. The MacArthur New Testament Commentary. Thomas Nelson: Nashville, Tennessee, 2007. 457.
* The Woman’s Study Bible. Thomas Nelson: TN, 2006. 1460.