Choose Hospitality

Choose Hospitality

January 19, 2016

"Show hospitality to one another without grumbling." 1 Peter 4:9 (ESV)

Jen Wilkin

On November 6, 2010, I tweeted the most regrettable tweet of my mediocre social media career.

In anticipation of the holiday season, I decided to weigh in on hospitality. The tweet was a flawless blend of selective memory and self-righteousness, designed to heap condemnation on the heads of my followers under the guise of offering wise counsel. It was a verbal "selfie" snapped from my best angle, positioned to make me look very, very good. Let’s have a look at it, shall we?


"Moms: keeping an orderly house frees you to exercise hospitality at will. Both the order and the hospitality are examples to your children."

Note the double-whammy: If your house isn’t orderly on a daily basis, you will withhold hospitality from others and set a bad example for your children. Moms everywhere, be encouraged!

Five years later, I still cringe remembering that tweet, mainly because I have failed to live up to it repeatedly ever since.

I presume my house was clean on November 6, 2010, but it has rarely been so in recent months. Even as I type, I am looking out across a disordered landscape of scattered laundry, schoolbooks, dusty baseboards and chipped paint. That tweet neglected to mention what my house looked like when my children were small, how I would hide clutter in the dryer when guests came, how hard I found it just to get dinner on the table for my own family, much less for someone else’s. I regret I proposed a standard I could not uphold.

But more importantly, I regret that tweet because I now recognize the standard it proposed is flawed. It revealed my own lack of understanding about the nature and purpose of hospitality. In my self-righteous desire to offer advice, I confused hospitality with its evil twin, entertaining. The two ideas could not be more different.

Entertaining versus hospitality: What’s the difference?

Entertaining involves setting the perfect tablescape after an exhaustive search on Pinterest. It chooses a menu that will impress, then frets its way through each stage of preparation. It requires every throw pillow be in place, every cobweb eradicated, every child neat and orderly. It plans extra time to don the perfect outfit before the first guest touches the doorbell on the seasonally decorated doorstep. And should any element of the plan fall short, entertaining perceives the entire evening to have been tainted. Entertaining focuses attention on self.

Hospitality, on the other hand, involves setting a table that makes everyone feel comfortable. It chooses a menu that allows face-to-face time with guests instead of being chained to the kitchen. It picks up the house, but doesn’t feel the need to conceal evidence of everyday life. It sometimes sits down to dinner with flour in its hair. It allows the gathering to be shaped by the quality of the conversation rather than the cuisine. Hospitality shows interest in the thoughts, feelings, pursuits and preferences of the guests. It asks questions and listens intently to answers. Hospitality focuses attention on others.

Entertaining is always thinking about the next course. Hospitality burns the rolls while listening to a story.

Entertaining obsesses over what went wrong. Hospitality savors what was shared.

Entertaining, exhausted, says "It was nothing, really!" Hospitality thinks it was nothing. Really.

Entertaining seeks to impress. Hospitality seeks to bless.

But the two practices can look so similar. Two people can set the same beautiful tablescape and serve the same gourmet meal, one with a motive to impress, the other with a motive to bless.

How can we know the difference? Only the second of the two would invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind to pull up a chair and sip from the stemware. Our motives are revealed not just in how we set our tables, but in whom we invite to join us at the feast. Entertaining invites those whom it will enjoy. Hospitality takes in all.

Why be hospitable?

Hospitality is about many things, but it’s not about keeping a perpetually orderly home. So, forgive me, Twitterverse (and beyond), for my deplorable tweet. I could not have been more wrong. And may I have a do-over?

"Moms: exercise hospitality freely, clean house or not, to any and all. Willingness and generosity are the hallmarks of a hospitable home."

Orderly house or not, hospitality throws wide the doors. It offers itself, expecting nothing in return. It keeps no record of its service, counts no cost, craves no thanks. It is nothing less than the joyous, habitual offering of those who recall a gracious table set before them in the presence of their enemies, of those who look forward to a glorious table yet to come (Psalm 23:5).

It is a means by which we imitate our infinitely hospitable God.

So, five years later, here is my advice to myself: Forgo the empty pleasure of entertaining. Serve instead the high-heaped feast of hospitality, even as it has been served to you.

Dear God, forgive me for confusing true hospitality and loving others with the world’s version of entertainment. Help me serve others freely and follow Your example. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

1 Peter 4:10, "Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms." (NIV)

Jen Wilkin’s Bible study, 1 Peter: A Living Hope in Christ, can help you understand your true identity, and discover what it means to experience the Living Hope we have in Christ.

If you’d like to connect with Jen Wilkin more regularly, stop by her blog.

Enter to WIN a copy of 1 Peter: A Living Hope in Christ by Jen Wilkin. In celebration of this book, Jen’s publisher is giving away 5 copies! Enter to win by leaving a comment here. {We’ll randomly select 5 winners and email notifications to each one by Monday, January 25.}

Pray and ask God to help show you someone who could benefit from your hospitality in the next few weeks.

Has someone shown you genuine hospitality in the past? If so, send a text, make a call or drop a note to say thanks.

Jen WilkinClick here to pin the imageClick here to download this free printable PDF


© 2016 by Jen Wilkin. All rights reserved.

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  1. I would like to receive the daily devotional, on my email

  2. Sherry Wendelburg says:

    I would be blessed by receiving a book! Thank you!

  3. Thank you for this devotional. Entertaining and hospitality has such a fine line between them. I have personally been struggling with hospitality to others because I have been so drained from “entertaining” people too many times. This has made me re-think about where my focus should be. Thanks!

  4. What a true & power reminder between impressing & blessing.

  5. What a true & powerful reminder between impressing & blessing.

  6. Love this!! I was challenged on the “hospitality” side of our lives when I realised I was strongly encouraging our children too much when getting organised for people to come to lunch – by acting like this I was giving the wrong message to what hospitality actually is, and not representing Christ to them either…

  7. This was spot on. I have never thought about the difference between entertaining and hospitality. I have tried to host by making everything perfect and as someone else has said, that is just exhausting. Great points, thanks for sharing!

  8. Franchesca says:

    I like the idea of hospitality. I haven’t been the best host, in the past. But I do like thinking of this in a new way. I guess I do want my guest to feel comfortable and to enjoy themselves, and then there’s the line of self that wants to impress. Thanks to God what we can do and I realize need to do is ask Him for help!

  9. πŸ™‚ truly agree with today’s devotional!

  10. I totally agree with today’s devotional. Growing up I have seen my mom open her doors for any and everyone at the time I didn’t understand or like it but now I am so glad she did, those little actions showed me what hospitality is about, I am learning to be a blessing even if it is not convenient. Being a blessing is one of the greatest things we can ever be.
    I will absolutely love to have a copy of the book.

    • I think one of the best ways to learn hospitality is by living with people (your parents or others) who have an open house! The more you see it, the more natural it seems to you to invite people over!

  11. Oh how true! Trying to entertain is hard for me, but offering hospitality would be much easier and as you stated, a time to bless and be blessed by others. Much much better idea. I’m new in this area and hope to soon find a church and make some new friends that I can offer some good ole southern hospitality to my sisters and brothers in Christ…

  12. Teri Sutton says:

    Amazing do-over! This really helped me to see that it’s ok that everything is not ok just be hospitable anyway!!

  13. Your humility is beautiful and refreshing.I also at times have held people up to standards I couldn’t keep.God bless you.

  14. This was truly a transparent and inspiring devotional. Great truths too! I will remember this one!
    You are much braver than I will ever be…I’m thinkin.
    Blessings to you!

  15. I was just talking to my husband the other day about how we don’t enjoy hosting dinners anymore because they are so much work. Thank you for this.

    • Totally agree, prepping meals can take so much work and time. We’ve started doing simple stuff, like a Crockpot of homemade chili with chips and cheese and sour cream…or even inviting someone after church and ordering a pizza in instead of cooking…and people are just happy we invite them over πŸ™‚

  16. Thank I needed to remember this its so easy to focus on self. Trying to impress sucks the joy of the occasion.

  17. Thank you for reminding me of the difference. I want to always have an open door.

  18. Thank you so much for this article! This hit home for me, I’m embarrassed to say. I wish I had read this article years ago because my house seems to always be in disarray & because of that I seldom had friends over as I felt everything needed to be perfect. I missed a lot of opportunities to be hospitable over the years because my “self” got in the way.

  19. Yes!!! I have struggled with this so much. I never expect this from others but hold a double standard for myself and tend to apologize (even for my single sized mess) and allow it to keep me from extending hospitality. Thank you for the reminder and sharing your struggle. It helps challenge me to look to Jesus for validation not my ability to “perfect” hospitality.

  20. Geralyn Miller says:

    I am SO glad I found Proverbs 31! Looking forward to getting to know all you ladies and growing closer to God by spending time with Him. Your devotions and writings, etc. are so helpful to me. If I wasn’t so $ challenged, I would buy every book you guys write.

  21. Laurie ginsburg says:

    Great devotion. So often I have judged myself as being a terrible entertainer because I so resent going thru all the motions and trying to produce the perfect event. In the future I’ll focus on what I really desire, the good time with people.

  22. Elizabeth says:

    Thank you Jen for your honest update on a previous post.I am appreciative of your writings and of your encouraging web site

  23. Wow! Thank you sooooooo much! I surely needed this today! I’ve been so blessed, so encouraged, so spurred on to keep on keeping on! I loved it! Thank you for your honesty, your integrity and sharing your heart, so to encourage me to keep sharing mine! God bless you! Xx

  24. As part of my upbringing, I have remained a very neat person. And, I demanded that of my children. This devotion was awesome and reminded me of how I had to learn to be hospitable in my home to my family first instead of the drill sergeant. It became more about our relationship than how clean and neat I wanted their room and space to be. What a change in the atmosphere and environment of our home when I decided to love them instead of drill them.

  25. Nkhani Chiwala says:

    This is a great devotion. Looking over the past festive season I realise I was entertaining instead of being hospitable. Thank you for your openess in the manner you have acknowledged your flaws, and for highlighting the difference between the two.
    It is my prayer that the LORD will help me be more hospitable. Thank you oncr more. You have blessed my heart.

  26. Thank you for sharing this message from God!

  27. This is so true!! I always put so much pressure on myself to have everything perfect all the time when guests come! I expect them to be impressed and expect my family to act perfect. I want to invite anyone in who wants to come. And just enjoy their company and conversation. I’ll make food but that’s not what it will be about! Thank you for helping me on this subject!

  28. “Entertaining seeks to impress. Hospitality seeks to bless.” I love that quote. It will make things so much simpler if I keep that in mind when I invite others to my home to share a meal.

  29. Stephanie says:

    I pray the Lord grow deep the roots of these truths in our hearts so we will remember, especially when He knows we need it most. Amen

  30. So true! A friend of mine would always say, “if you’re trying to hard to impress then you won’t be able to bless”. Nonetheless, I still struggle with this as I have very high standards for myself, my home, etc. my husband and I have hosted a lot in the past and we both teeter on the side of entertaining more with so much emphasis on the food. Now we have our first child, our 3 week old son and I am being challenged immensely with how to maintain the standards I’ve had in the past. It’s a difficult reminder to myself that I do not find my identity in my appearance nor that of my home, but in Christ. ?

  31. Mary in NH says:

    Thank you for this interesting perspective. My husband and I hosted our family Christmas party, and it was once again, a miserable experience for us. We focused so much on making everything perfect, that we didn’t even have time to talk to anyone. I don’t recall seeing kids open gifts because I was cleaning the dinner dishes away, prepping for dessert. Less is more, thank you!

  32. Reminds me of Jesus pointing out the difference between Mary and Martha – it isn’t the action that matters as much as the heart or purpose that we do it with. Thank you for this.

  33. Debra Munava says:

    I also think entertainment focuses on oneself and hospitality focuses on God. Entertainment says ” l can” whilst hospitality says ” with God’s grace l will.” May God give us the grace to look up to Him in all we do.

  34. I was raised with southern hospitality but since my relationship with God has grown over the years every time I entertain its all about the time spent with those in your home not about how the home looks…cause when they leave Everyone will feel blessed and remember that and not a little cobwebs in the corner.

  35. This is the most freeing thing I’ve read in a long time.

  36. Sounds like a great read!

  37. Thank you for the reminder. Something I have been working on is focusing more on people and less on the task. I can get very caught up in making the task perfect and I forget about the people involved and I run over in the process for perfection. I don’t want to be someone who blesses the task/event more than the people involved at the task/event.

  38. I tell people that I’m a woman of many talents, but cooking isn’t one of them (I over-grilled last night’s cheese sandwiches; fortunately, I’m married to a very tolerant man). Pr 31 ladies, let me assure you that hospitality frees you from the expectations of entertaining. Folks don’t come to my house to be impressed by the food, but they willingly come. Most of my gatherings are pot-luck. The last of these, I was late leaving work and arrived to a couple good friends organizing the food in my kitchen while other guests gathered in the living room and around the picnic table (Hubby was manning the grill). They were comfortable in my home without me. I was delighted. The evening ended, as usual, with a prayer circle extending from the couch & recliner and around the dining table, with guests seated on a collection that included the desk chair, end table, piano bench and even lawn chairs. It was the perfect ending to my less-than-perfect hospitality.

  39. Peggy Hall says:

    I enjoyed your devotion today. Thanks for the comparison between entertaining and hospitality. I would love to have a copy of your book.

  40. Melanie Wheeler says:

    I love your descriptions of entertainment vs hospitality. I have learned that I truly do not have an “entertaining” ability/knack. I am all about hospitality though – I love to make people feel welcomed and loved but I can’t do it with the presentation of house or food!! Haha.
    I want to study 1 Peter with you!

  41. Thank you for your truth and the reminder. I have been so guilty of this and reading these words is exactly what I needed to hear. Thank you for your message.

  42. Wonderful definition of true hospitality! Having grown up with a very dear “Martha” personality mother, learning to be a “Mary” has been a life-long journey. What a blessing this message is!

  43. I pray daily for God to show me how I need to use the gifts he has given me. I would love to read this book!

  44. Love this!! Thank you for the reminder and the clarification!

  45. Angela Raphael says:

    I would love a copy of the book, thanks!

  46. Thank you. Thank you for the humility of what you shared.

  47. Kinser Euler says:

    I have been in the restaurant industry for 17 years, but I view my role so differently now that I am a follower of Christ! Before, I saw needy customers, piles of dishes, and tip percentages. Now I see my job as an opportunity to serve God’s people- even Jesus himself came not to be served, but TO serve!! Every day I have the opportunity to share the love of God in the way that I serve my guests.

    Father, give me the opportunity to share my faith today. Let my heart joyfully serve. Let them see You in me.

  48. Thank you so much for your post. My husband and I moved from a different state and ministry last year. We used to have fellowships and dinners constantly. It was such a blessing for sure…with many a rolls burnt πŸ™‚ it’s been about a year since we moved and it took some time to find our home church. With that it’s taken some time to start having fellowships. It’s difficult when first getting to know other Christians (or people in general) to not want to entertain for fear of criticism, rejection, whatever. Once we let our guards down and started being hospitable we have truly been blessed. We feel like we have our purpose again. Breaking bread is such a special time. Thanks again for your post…and your transparency! We’re all a mess in some way. I’d love a copy of your book.

  49. Ali Moore says:

    Thank you so much for sharing with us! I would love to win a copy of the book.

  50. Kalessia Cooperwood Chester says:

    I want a copy!

  51. Thank you. This is an area that I struggle with. Feeling that everything must be perfect. Its what is in a persons heart that counts and the love they are extending by the invitation, not what they are serving or how neat your house it. Amen.

  52. Great devotion!

  53. What a wonderful devotional! I don’t know why, but it brings to mind the biblical story of “Lazarus and the rich man”. Luke 16:19-31. How easy it would have been for the rich man to open up his home and table to Lazarus. It would have made such a difference in Lazarus’s life and the rich man would have been immeasurably blessed! It is not the size or condition of our home that blesses but the love inside that wraps its arms around our guests and makes them want to return for more of the warmth, peace and security found there. And, although we may not realize at the time, our guests are “gifts from God” and their presence in our home blesses us in so many ways!

  54. Joanne colson says:

    Love these readings from proverbs . I try to read them daily .
    Today’s very pungent hospitality vs entertaining . I’m now able to say there were times in the past where I had been entertaining not being hospitable . So glad to have discovered the difference!

  55. The timing of your post is incredible, I was just feeling so overwhelmed with all the clutter and disarray in my house. But you are right, it doesn’t matter what your house looks like, it matters what your heart looks like. Trying to get it to look like God’s.

  56. HEATHER COOK says:

    So blessed by this, I wish everyone thought this way. We cherish the time with our children but often get lost in the keeping and upkeep of our home, although never perfect, with four children it seems there is a never ending HEAP of laundry and dust and papers and food everywhere; but this helps, helps me to breathe and stop condemning myself so harshly, helps me to remember God’s grace and to allow myself room for improvement but not demand perfection. God bless and thank you

  57. Denise Hardy says:

    Wow!! Amazing and just what I needed to hear! It’s not about perfection but about the love of Jesus!!

  58. As a Mom with young children this is very encouraging and challenging. It’s easy to fall into the trap of “entertaining” and putting our best forward instead of simply loving people the way God intended and opening our home up no matter the state it is in.

  59. Interesting and insightful devotion today on hospitality. I would enjoy reading your book.

  60. Love, love, love this message! I haven’t ever considered the difference between entertaining and hospitality and I needed this. Praying that my thoughts and actions will reflect an attitude of genuine hospitality.

  61. Debbie Proctor says:

    So very well explained!!! Love this devotional.

  62. Thanks. I needed to hear this

  63. Wow! That invoked so many memories! My Mom was the queen of entertaining. She had people over she didn’t like to impress. It was a heavy exceedingly stressful burden. Beautifully prepared. Even as a Christian I have hated having people over. I felt stressed and so judged even though others always said they enjoyed themselves… for years. It’s not that I don’t enjoy serving others, it’s the expectations I can’t handle. Thank you for this I have much to pray about and consider. Glory to God as I have been set free in this area through you!

  64. This is great! I so often confuse entertaining with hospitality and end up having a miserable time because things weren’t as perfect as I envisioned. God doesn’t need me to be perfect. That’s something I’m really trying to grasp. Thanks for the message!

  65. Thank you for the words of blessing to each of us, I pray that I might be able to your realized example, to be servant to others and to be able to share hospitality to others without the concern of how I or my space might look, and that I might be able to share the love of Christ to those who need it.

  66. Looking forward to what this book has to seat!

  67. Nikki Kanode says:

    Thanks for the word that God gave you this morning to share. We all struggle with pleasing others and being able to distinguish between entertainment and hospitality. Great word of knowledge and Thanks for being obedient and sharing.

  68. Jen–Great job distinguishing and explaining the difference between entertaining and hospitality, As a “mature” woman who knows the difference between the two, I still find myself drawn into the lure of entertaining sometimes. This was a gentle reminder to keep alert and check my motives! Would love a copy of the book to share with the young moms in my life!

  69. Thank you for sharing this!! It is a great reminder to practice hospitality always.

  70. Jen- this is absolutely beautiful. I appreciate your vulnerability in sharing this! I am a former entertainer turned hospitality gal- and although I do find myself struggling once in a while to attain that feeling of perfection before guests arrive, it is so much more freeing to not worry about it. I missed so much when I entertained- now I enjoy the company ? Thank you for your precious words today that remind me to focus on the guests, not the house. I love Lysa TerKeursts quote “people over projects” and that can pertain to this as well. As Jesus continually showed us- people are what matter.

  71. Jenny Rice says:

    Great devotional. Just what I needed this morning.

  72. Thank you for the encouragement! Unfortunately I too have often been more worried about serving my guests than being with my guests. I love the idea of seeking to bless rather than impress. God bless you!

  73. Debra Elkins says:

    I have studied on line with Jen Wilkin. I was hoping to get to study 1 Peter.

  74. Myra Taylor says:

    I have enjoyed the wisdom of Proverbs 31 women for years now & you gals & our Lord have carried me through some pretty tough times. Thank you so much for being so real & answering the call in your lives, your eternal rewards will be abundant, I know!!?

  75. This was a wonderful devotional! Thank you! Hospitality is definitely shared from the heart.

  76. Love your raw honesty!!! Been there done that and have eaten my share of crow too?So thankful our precious Saviour is patient, kind and merciful to us. Thanks for sharing and encouraging ?

  77. mary louise says:

    impressing or blessing? help me to remember the true purpose and meaning of hospitality!

  78. Thank you for your devotion today!

  79. Becky Brock says:

    Yay! I’d love to win a copy of the book!!! I love the devotions that I receive daily!!!

  80. Hope seems to be the theme resounding in my heart & life lately. Would love to read this book. Also, thanks for this great reminder on entertaining vs hospitality. Especially today, those lines can get so blurry. As a domestically challenged mom, I need to remember that my heart is the game changer. It determines whether or not my guests feel loved within my home, which is the goal of hospitality–Sharing Christ’s love in abundance!

  81. Great point! Never thought of it that way but I have surely felt the difference of the two.
    As a child I loved being at my friends house for supper. They had 10 kids – messy, noisy but so alive! My home was stiff,quiet, sterile of kindly emotions.
    Hospitality feeds the heart as much as it feeds the stomach.
    God bless you. Keep on Seeking the LORD and using your Gifts to honor Him.

  82. Debbie Giese says:

    Great devotion, Jen. Very freeing.

  83. Thank you for this insightful devotion!

  84. I don’t think I have ever really thought about it that way before. It is entirely true. “Entertaining is to impress and hospitality is to bless.” Not only have I lives as if both were the same, I realize I am teaching the same to my daughters. I can not count the Times that I have not offered to open my door for fellowship because I was not ready to “entertain”.
    Thank you for a truth well spoken and very clear.

  85. Great devotion. Love your comparison between hospitality and entertaining. Sometimes we do get the two confused

  86. Hospitality is something I have had to learn. As I came to understand two things, God’s bounty and the call to love others, I came to understand hospitality.

  87. I always hated to have people over because my house is older and needs repairs. Now I’m glad when anyone comes over to have a special time of visiting and enjoying each other.

  88. This was a great devotional today. It really hit home. i pray that I will forget the mess in my own home and strive to bless others with hospitality.

  89. I really needed that. Hospitality is an area I lack in.

  90. I really enjoyed the devotion for today. It reminds me of my Grandparents home……always inviting.

  91. Thank you for sharing your heart and being honest about inaccurate advice– advice that would make many women feel inadequate when they look up from their phone and see that other moms doesn’t agree with the state of their house. what a powerful thing it is to say, “hey, I don’t have all together and it’s ok that you don’t either.” Thanks for sharing truth and love!

  92. Tina Pama says:

    Love your article on hospitality! Truly blessed by it!

  93. Thank you so much for that post!! I often confuse entertaining with hospitality and end up frustrated and not wanting to repeat the experience as entertaining is exhausting to say the least!! I pray the Lord may teach me this year to be truly hospitable and reach out to others in His name in this way!!

  94. This hits home more than anything I have read lately! I always get so frustrated when ‘hosting’ large parties I pray that the lord lets me truly understand and teach me how to relax and enjoy!

  95. Eva Bowlin says:

    Thanks for that lesson. You opened my eyes to something I truly needed to see. There is a big difference between entertaining and hospitality.

  96. Sonja harpe says:

    Yes, even the Bible gives us an example of hospitality in Mary sitting at Jesus’s feet.Martha gives us an example of thinking oh self.

  97. Really enjoyed this devotional on hospitality! Great reminder that hospitality is about focusing on people not things. Still working on letting go of frantically cleaning the house but getting better lol!

  98. I enjoyed your encouraging words and would love to read your book!

  99. Would love a copy of your book πŸ™‚

  100. Liz Feldman says:

    This post taught me a huge lesson in hospitality. I received this kind of hospitality just last weekend, at my husband’s mentor’s house, but I didn’t know how to do the same thing. Now I know, and with much less fretting and trouble! Thank you!

  101. Would love that book. Hospitality has been on my heart lately.

  102. Laraine Metheny says:

    What a lovely reminder! Getting past pride is a major hurdle sometimes, but love always wins.

  103. Cammi Hevener says:

    Enjoyed the devotion and needed the reminder! Thanks!

  104. Thank you for your humble message today. I realize my lack in hospitality is in my lack of generosity of my possessions. AS a child, my boundaries were often overlooked by my parents as they allowed my younger siblings to have free reign over my things and I have therefore been possessive as an adult, which does not make for hospitable host. It also says I am not trusting God to provide for me and others. We all have our areas of regret and thanks to God for His great grace to help us through our areas of insecurity and weakness. Thanks for your message today.

  105. Holly Dangerfield says:

    My husband and I were unsaved when we married 35 years ago.God saved me two years into the marriage but not him. I have been praying and waiting for 33 years in hopes of seeing my husband become a Christian. I have lost hope for this to happen. Perhaps the book will renew hope within me. Thank you for your consideration. Holly

  106. Karen Fletcher says:

    I have 4 kids ages 2-9 and my house is always a wreck so I don’t like to let people see past the front door, but I long to be the person whose neighbor feels comfortable coming over for coffee and conversation anytime. I realize that’s more about my attitude than my home. Thanks for this message today.

  107. So blessed by this post! I think I will hang that quote in my kitchen to remind me= BLESS, not impress. Thank you!

  108. Marge Henson says:

    Jen, today this reminds me of times when I was entertaining. How wonderfully you’ve put it all in retrospect!
    This reminded of Martha & Mary in the Bible. Yes, today I pray that I’ll always be hospitable and NOT just entertaining. Each time I have the opportunity to have others in my home I’ll remember what you said today. I think I’ll carry these thoughts with me forever and always think “hospitality” NOT entertaining and I’ll also remember the Scripture which tells us we never know when we’re entertaining angels unaware so I want to show hospitality to those less fortunate than I and always remember our Lord who was always hospitable not trying to entertain. Thank you for his wonderful thought today. Also, today, I’m going to a Bible study on I Peter 1 & 2 and I’d very much like to have your book to go along with the study. I’m certain many of your thoughts/words will be useful to me in this study.

  109. Such a great reminder of where we should be keeping our focus. Thanks for sharing.

  110. Perfect timing! My son’s 16th birthday party is in a week and a half. The house is a train wreck, I work the next 8 days straight and my husband is having surgery next week so won’t be able to help at all! I’ll have about 1 1/2 days 3 days before the party to clean- BUT it’s about sharing time with others and not impressing them. Thank you for the reminder!?

  111. Jennifer Scott says:

    I’d love a copy, thanks

  112. Thanks for the reminder, it’s so easy to cross the line between hospitality and entertaining.

  113. My house is NEVER perfect, and so I rarely invite guests in. You have inspired me to focus not on my surroundings but in the people in my life. And maybe I’ll clean up just a little before I let them in. ☺️

  114. As I read this devotion I could only think of my grandmother. She practiced true hospitality. Her philosophy was ” If they come to see me they’ll overlook the cobwebs. If they came to see the cobwebs they won’t be disappointed.” She lived to be 103.

  115. Marilyn Tibbs says:

    Great article!

  116. Great reminder, particularly for those busy seasons of life.

  117. Brenda Houston says:

    I would be overjoyed to have this book. Thank you for teaching me about the difference between hospitality and entertaing. I want to be a blessing to others.

  118. Love, love, love this wonderful, wise advice. Thank you!

  119. Wow….this hit home with me today! I’ve been on the “entertaining” treadmill since October and feeling exhausted. I was becoming angry because I was feeling that I was the only (family/friend) one doing all of the work. Now I realize I have focused on entertaining and not focused on showing hospitality. Thank you for this needed reminder and defining the difference between the two ways to host people at our home!

  120. Today’s devotional reminded me of my Nana. She loved to bless people with her gift of hospitality. Anyone and everyone were welcome in her home no matter what time of day it was. She made you feel important and and part of the family. I strive to be like her!
    I would love to win a copy of the book that was mentioned in the devotional today!

  121. Thank you for sharing! This is such a wonderful example of a gift we can all share. So often I wonder what my spiritual gift is, thinking it must be something big and important that shows off some amazing talent He’s blessed me with. You reminded me that it could just be hospitality. I don’t always think of it as big and important, but it is important. It shows God’s love through us. Thank you for the reminder. Would love to read your book.

  122. I would enjoy receiving the book. Thank you!

  123. This was the best piece of advice someone gave me when I was young with three small children. Entertaing is about you, Hospitatality is about others. Just as you said. I’ve never forgotten it. Even now, as my children are grown , When I am having others over, I have to check myself and my motives. Thank you for this devotion. So many young women are not practicing the art of Hospitality. I believe it is because they think,everything has to be perfect. This would free them up!

  124. I struggle with this daily. I call it my Martha when entertaining and my Mary when being hospitable. “Martha” has to continually be on guard and recognize my intention. I really need to study 1Peter to deal with my daily struggle.

  125. The verse in 1 Peter 4:10 makes me wonder what my real talent is. I want to use whatever it is to serve God, but having a hard time figuring out what He is calling me to do…and how.

  126. Jennifer davenport says:

    A great lesson for us all. I cook lunch every Sunday after church for our family and invite friends each week. Of course, undoubtedly I burn or almost burn the rolls b/c we are talking. The grandchildren now yell from the living room “check the rolls”

  127. Brenda Pearson says:

    I would love to thank you first for the devotional this morning about hospitality. I struggle with this so often. Second, trying to find my identity in Christ and my spiritual gifts have been something I need more guidance and prayer with. Thank you for your faithfulness in Christ and God bless you and your family.

  128. Julie Mutchler says:

    I loved this devotion this morning and continue to see references to 1 Peter….it is placing a desire to dig deeper into that book and study. I would love to do this study!

  129. Elsie Kappler says:

    Thanks for showing the differences between entertaining and hospitality. Yes, I will choose hospitality over entertaining. Hospitality is showing who we really are. We are called by our Heavenly Father to love one another.Let us bask in His love love that He has for us and others.

  130. Kelly LaVigne says:

    I would love a copy of the book.

  131. Thank you, JW! So often I fall into the entertaining category. πŸ™ With the Lord’s help, may I “burn the rolls” and bless, rather than thinking about the next course/step and wanting the evening to be nothing short of perfect.

  132. I so enjoyed your devotional on entertainment vs hospitality. What a blessing and an eye opener. I have a messy, run down home and always cringed at the thought of someone stopping by to visit. Your devotional opened my eyes that the “house” does not matter, but it is the “home” that is important and the open heart to truly serve those who walk through my not so well painted doors. Thank you so much. God is so good.

  133. Courtney Swillinger says:

    Hope to win!

  134. What a wonderful explanation of entertainment versus hospitality—-I am guilty of entertaining and look forward to more hospitality.

  135. Debbie Schaefer says:

    Wow! I really needed this. At first I saw nothing wrong w/ your original tweet ? which reveals MY need for a change of heart. Thank you for sharing yours and pointing to Christ’s. I’m gonna have to exercise the correct thinking. I just might be saying the wrong things to my young adult daughters with Littles. ??

  136. Sounds so interesting and needed. I would love to read it!

  137. ~kimberly says:

    So timely a devotion… I will add this to my personal documents for Thanksgiving, Christmas, and family menu plans, as a gentle reminder (in addition to including a hard copy in my recipe binders). A lesson to be remembered… for us all. Thank you~
    I would love to win a copy of Jen’s book as well~!

  138. Susan Gordon says:

    I am studying to be an Evangelist and would like to have one of the book to better understand God s hope for us and to better leads and tell others of the hope in Christ Jesus

  139. Oh my goodness…this is the difference…there was a falling out with some members of my family and they don’t attend our family get togethers anymore. As the hostess, I have noticed a difference in the atmosphere of the gatherings. It is so much more enjoyable because we are no longer entertaining but being hospitable. Thank you for your words of wisdom.

  140. I really liked this post about hospitality. I have a very small apartment and it made me feel more comfortable in inviting folks over – it doesn’t have to be a perfect space cause its about people. Thanks!

  141. Love the devotional. I’ve done both- entertaining and hospitality. It’s amazing the difference in what you are able to give when you let go of the idea of perfection and just enjoy your guests. You both get so much more.

  142. Wow! So many lines I wanted to underline and memorize. This was perfect! Thank you!

  143. Thanks for the great teaching on hospitality! I will try to remember that it is not about perfection (rather my perception of it), but it about connecting and blessing others for the sake of Christ and to make Him look great, not to make myself look great in my works. I have been reading 1 Peter everyday this month, thanks for the godly insight!

  144. Ann-Marie says:

    Would love to read this book!

  145. My thoughts were stretched this past Sunday as we discussed hospitality in SS. At my church. Thinking outside the “box” or home in this case, hospitality could also include inviting others to enter your space…throughout the day can I apply these words of advice to invite others into my personal space….not only my home, but my work place, the store, the coffee shop….. It’s taking a step to be vulnerable as we listen to the Spirit nudge us or bring someone that interrupts our moments……into our space. It challenges me, as I am nor ally quite task driven.

  146. I never invite people over because I am self conscious of my cooking and because I want everything to be in its place. This is a challenge for me to get out of my comfort zone.

  147. I would love the book! ? Excellent devotion!

  148. Barb Schuler says:

    Dear Jan,
    I appreciated your take on hospitality. Being a home-school mother of 8, you can only imagine what my home may have looked like at times. I confess, at times I would rather have just had no one stop over, because I didn’t want to clean. My home was never dirty, (I would not stand for that). There were times when my children were so young, that I just felt like I couldn’t keep up. I only have 3, left home and there is light at the end of the tunnel. I do have to say that I am much more relaxed with a clean home, now. I enjoyed reading your daily devotion and would really enjoy reading your book. Thanks for sharing.

  149. Jennifer Weant says:

    Thanks for that thought-provoking devotional. I would like to learn more about using my spiritual gifts for God’sglpry.

  150. Jen

  151. Jennifer Weant says:

    Thanks for that thought-provoking devotional. I would like to learn more about using my spiritual gifts for God’s glory.

  152. I want to learn more about blessing people and not feeling the stress to impress! What a great message!

  153. Kay Phelan says:

    Thank you for clarifying the difference between entertaining and hospitality, and thank you for sharing your tweet of 2010 with us today. My standard of living, and what I learned growing up, is more aligned with your tweet of 2010 so this is a brand new concept to me. My mom always stressed out when “company was coming” and I’ve continued in that manner (truly not blaming, that’s how life works sometimes). My desire is to invite people over but my anxiety stops me. I am going to take a new view and think in terms of spreading the love of Jesus at all times instead of only when it suits my schedule and emotional quotient. God bless you and thank you again.

  154. Mary Weiss says:

    This is a truth I really need to remember!
    What a well written truth!
    I would enjoy reading this new book.

  155. Jill Foley says:

    I really loved the devotional about hospitality. I was just looking at dates to have our Sunday school class over to provide opportunity for new people to get to know others better as we are getting ready to do a parenting study. I am reminded by my friend to not ” hide your stacks”, for she has said she feels better going to someone’s home and seeing hat they have stacks too! A great reminder of what the true meaning of hospitality is! Thanks

  156. Deborah Punt says:

    I would like to read your book.

  157. Beautiful description of the differences I. Hospitality and entertainment. Thank you, may God always make my home hospitable.

  158. Thank you for your thoughtfulness in reminding us we are not perfect. Even when we think we are doing great things. I am so thankful for my God who reminds me when I have misguided ideas SO that I can redo and bless others. God bless.

  159. Cindy Boone says:

    Went to a Ladies Conference this past Saturday, Lyse spoke. I didn’t even realize how far I had walked away. My live has been crazy busy for about a year and a half now. There has been a change in our family dynamic. Too lengthy to tell here and now. I decided since I don’t have a smart phone and can’t do the 5 minute thing that I would check out the daily devotions on the website. Boy the second one in and you hit me right where it hurts. My excuse not having friends over is ALWAYS, its to much work. Clean house, fix food, set up and entertain. Well now I know that it was all ENTERTAIN and not SERVE. Thanks. I would love the explore your book.

  160. Loved this. Would love to win the book and hear more from you.

  161. Thank you so much for sharing that things dont have to be in perfect order to welcome others into our homes. I seem to forget that we are sharing Gods love not our house keeping. I needed reminding.

  162. Hospitality reminds me of my aunt – her life was taken a few years ago and she is now home with the Lord – she was such a good example of hospitality to me – an area that I seem to fall very short in. I would love a copy of this book!!

  163. Thank you for the reminder, it is personal true struggle.

  164. This devotion came just at the right moment. At 71, I am still wondering what my special gifts are and how to honor God with them.

  165. As a young Army wife, years ago, I learned these same truths. Singles, living in the barracks, far from home, are the perfect ones to reach out to with God’s love!

  166. Thank you so much πŸ™‚ I truly needed to read this. My home has never been ‘spotless’ but it is not ‘dirty’ either. ‘Cluttered’ and ‘lived in’ I believe represents my home :). My door is always open to those that need it. They get me ‘the way I am’ home and all, but plenty if food and a good time to be had.
    You are correct, it’s not about how your home ‘looks’. Thank you again.

  167. Debbie Wilson says:

    So true! This hit me square between the eyes and I had to do some real soul searching and self evaluation while reading. Won’t forget this one when I do my next “event”. Thanks for the eye-opener!

  168. Today’s post on hospitality really made me take a step back and look at my own attempts at entertaining. I would love to dive in deeper with her bible study to discover more about the role God has for me!

  169. What a joy to sit and visit and see the people and not the home! The people are eternal, the home, temporal!

  170. Ashley S. says:

    Interesting read. “But the two practices can look so similar. Two people can set the same beautiful tablescape and serve the same gourmet meal, one with a motive to impress, the other with a motive to bless.” Really examining your motivation. I would enjoy learning from your book.

  171. So true, and better to learn sooner than later.

  172. Kelli Loudermilk says:

    I have never really heard it put that way.

  173. Thank you ☺ Love the devotionals!

  174. Janet Peterson says:

    This came just as I’m in the midst of preparing our home for guests. A wonderful reminder to take myself out of the occasion and keep the focus on God and His blessings to us in the form of our guests!

  175. Thank you for your devotion today. I remember the times that others have shown me hospitality and how relaxing and enjoyable those moments were. It is a gift and I hope to be able to do more of it myself!

  176. I love your writing style! I think your study may be perfect for a small group I facilitate as we are trying to discover and identify our God given gifts.

  177. Wow, I could use your book in my ministry to help teach about the priority of others. Hope I win.

    Thanks for your blog and devotions.

  178. Every New Year my husband and I look back over the holidays and think how engaging and refreshing it was to be around so much family and friends. We decided that this year we will throw schedule to the wind and invite people over for dinner. And I was hungry! But I found myself trying to fill the hunger with a no-calorie ‘clean refrigerator shelves’ (you know, because guests actually look there) and a low fat ‘oh it was nothing’ (though I literally cleaned all day) attitude. I kept shoving this food that didn’t fill down my throat. I thought I’d be full once the house was clean and the food prepared. Luckily as we sat over dinner and they oo’d and aaah’d over the meal, the praise fell flat. I realized that my hunger had been satisfied by the conversation and fellowship.
    Would love a chance to read your book

  179. Lauren Palmer says:

    Thank you for being open, honest; transparent and real. It is so important for us to live our lives this way so that the world can see God working in us. That God uses everything in our lives as teaching situations and that we struggle in our every day interactions with others and our selves trying to make ourselves look good and feel better while continually struggling to “die to self daily”.

    Thank you for the encouragement. Thank you for speaking truth in love. Thank you.

  180. Thank you for this great devotion. I would love to read your book.

  181. Thanks for the devotionals! Love Probverbs 31 look forward to it every morning!

  182. Loved the devotional today . It’s so easy to fall prey to hid in our society and something I constantly have to keep myself in check with this. This principle will help me so much!

  183. Aissa Norris says:

    In reading your post I find this is great advice to new brides who arrive at our home and venue for their weddings. So many want to entertain and out do their grandest thoughts from pintrist to only miss out on their day. I want them to see hospitality through me and encourage them to see this precious day as a time to engage and celebrate with family and friends. Any ideas you might have to address this is love to hear
    Blessings Aissa

  184. Wow! Thank you for sharing this insight and showing us the biblical application as well. I get so caught up in the visible material things around my house and even my own appearance. The condition of my house and my person do not represent “hospitality.” I need to get in touch with my heart and let the Holy Spirit do some work there…. to enable my heart to show and treat people with hospitality that God would approve of. Thank you for sharing your story and being brave enough to even tell us the exact words of your tweet that inspired this devotional. I will not forget this message and will ask God to help me live it out.

  185. Would love to read more from Jennifer Wilken.

  186. This puts into words what has been rolling around in my head and heart for a while! Entertaining is the opposite of hospitality. Thanks Jen!

  187. What a great clarification of the two terms. I admit there have been times where I have chosen to forego true hospitality and gotten caught up in the need to entertain. ?

  188. Suzanne Trent says:

    Thank you for this devotional!

  189. Sadie Judge says:

    Thanks for the opportunity to receive a free copy of your new masterpiece??.
    May God continue to bless the works of your hand.

  190. Elaine Segstro says:

    I loved your devotional this morning. I’m realizing that I often seek to entertain rather than to show hospitality. What a difference!!

  191. jimmee balough says:

    jen – i thank you for your Proverbs 31 missive. i pray that i am only one of many men who read this website regularly. we have messed up GOD’s world enough… is time for the women to have a fair say. while cleanliness is next to GODLINESS, we must not confuse the two. the greatest commandment is that we ‘love the Lord GOD with all our heart and mind and love our neighbors as we love ourselves’. you go Girl! LiCJ, mee

  192. Loved reading your blog on hospitality. Thank you!

  193. Thank you for helping me to know the difference between entertaining and hospitality. In the past I stopped ‘entertaining’ because I couldn’t live up to the ‘entertaining’ my relatives did. I felt so stressed and anxious that I could not live up to the wonderful spreads my family would offer. So I surrendered and just stopped and even shudder if someone comes to the door because my home is not in ‘perfect’ order.
    Lord, help me to be brave and be ‘hospitable’. In Jesus’ Name. Amen

  194. Jeanette Beck says:

    I would love a copy of this book. I grew up that everything had to be perfect and everything in its place even though my mother did not entertain. She expected that the house was clean and perfect everyday. Of course When I was growing up very few people entertained. So when I am having friends over I feel everything has to be perfect including cleaning, and food.

  195. Soooo convicting! ! My husband and I bought a new to us house a year and a half ago. We have not entertained at all! ! We have painti g I want done, old wallpaper boarder that doesn’t fit my decor, and i want new furniture in one of the rooms (It’s ordered and coming late February ) I have thought we’ll have people over after all this stuff (& more ) is done. Where did this lady come from??? I never would have kept people my friends away in my earlier years!! We had people over frequently, messy house and all before. Somehow I have changed from being a woman that wanted to share my home with many to wanting to “entertain”!! Thank you for your wisdom in sharing this message. I really needed it! ! I’m going to share this devotion with several of my friends with their invitation to come spend an evening with us!! Thank you! ! God Bless! Rose

  196. Christi Payne says:

    Thank you. Your words made me smile and let me breathe.

  197. Thank you for your willingness to share this post. I am not only inspired to think about how I would sincerely show hospitality to others, but I’m also encouraged to seek ways to live honestly in front of others by asking for a “do-over” if need be… thank you for your humble heart. It is refreshing and encouraging.

  198. I was blessed by this devotion today…thank you!

  199. Thank you! This is good for me to reflect.
    God bless!

  200. Madeline Overton says:

    Loved your devotion today. I needed to hear that. My home needs to be a place I can share but my heart is what needs to be changed first. Thank you for sharing your heart.

  201. Christine says:

    Love this devotion.

  202. Thank you! This was such a beautiful reminder, a needed rebuke, and a motivating encouragement!

  203. Loved reading your blog about entertaining vs. hospitality. I think I am a mix of each….needing to work more on the hospitality side of things. And yes, I burnt the topping on the sweet potato casserole for Christmas dinner….totally started a fire while intending to “brown” the marshmallows! Talking to a family member was my excuse, but really I just can’t “multi-task” so well any more!
    I would love to read your book!

  204. I’m always on the lookout for books to read with my daughters.

  205. katie evans says:

    This is so great. Thank you for sharing how you got it wrong several years ago, and how you allowed God to shape you, change your perspective, and share with us that reality. I am completely convicted bc I often want to entertain in the name of hospitality. And i let it keep me from showing God’s love and mercy bc I’m not ready to “show” my home. AND i totally get what it’s like to be on one path with such good intentions, and have our Heavenly Father nudge us 180 degrees the other way. Thank you for writing this and being so candid. l believe it makes you a better teacher and writer and model for christian women.

  206. Great post on the difference between hospitality and entertainment. ??

  207. This is so wonderful. Serving is so much better than entertaining.

  208. Margie High says:

    I have always wanted to find my gift that God has given me. I know He said everyone has been given one but I can’t find mine. I have spent many years praying for God to help me discover my inner gift but I still don’t see it. Maybe this book would help me discover my gift and purpose.

  209. This is exactly what I’ve been praying about & you expressed JUST what I needed to hear – Bless you!

  210. Barb Ewest says:

    Thank you, Jen, for the beautiful devotion. I am a grandmother now and am continually working to show hospitality freely and often. Your words rang so true and encouraged me to keep at it for Christ Jesus’ sake and all He has done for me.

    Thank you!

  211. Michelle torres says:

    Thank you for this post. It is so easy to confuse entertainment with hospitality. We all need the reminder every now and then.

  212. Diane Shaw says:

    Some of the best times with people are the simple hospitality evenings striving to be a blessing wit a right heart. Oh Lord help me to remember that today as I prepare my heart, home, “haven” for those walking through our doors tonight.

  213. Thank you for such a wonderful devotional. Hospitality in service and servanthood over entertaining for worldly acceptance. God Bless!!!

  214. Beth Thomas says:

    Thank you for this reminder, that our houses don’t have to be perfect to invite people into them! I struggle with being open to showing people the mess of my house. This is a great reminder that we can bless others with out being perfect ourselves!

  215. Thanks for the post. Great reminder to remember to keep our focus on what is really important.

  216. Thank you for this post. Not only did you right the wrong but you set an example of admitting our mistakes to others. I know I learn so much through my life that changes ME!

  217. Thank you. Thank you for your honesty… for sharing your “mistake” with us, thereby allowing us to also share in your “do-over”. Yes, “entertaining” truly is hospitality’s evil twin! The twin, perhaps, that was ordering Martha around in the kitchen while Mary sat at the Master’s feet.

  218. Kathi Miller says:

    Thank you for today’s blog. For years I have been having terrible marital issues. The Lord has been teaching me to take my mind and energies off my issues and serve Him. Today’s blog is encouraging to all of us who are called to do the Lord’s work.

  219. I loved this devotional! I would really enjoy reading Jen’s thoughts on 1Peter. It is one of my favorite books. If today’s encouragement is anything like her book, I need to read it…then pass it on to someone younger who still has time to make corrections in her focus. Thank you for such a timely word.

  220. Diane Snyder says:

    Thank you for shedding light on the difference between entertaining and hospitality! Loved this devotional…appreciated your candor! This book sounds intriguing! I would love to win a copy of 1 Peter: A Loving Hope in Christ. Thank you!

  221. Thank you for this devo on entertaining vs hospitality. It’s great!
    I believe God blessed me with the gift of hospitality even though on occasion it seems to be some entertaining as some are involved that wouldn’t have necessarily been on my list. God used those times too.
    Thank you and God bless.
    In Him~S

  222. Thank you so much for this post. I have always wanted to invite people over but never felt I could “entertain” them. In reading the post today, I know I can show “hospitality” It make perfect sense.

    Question: In your Bible Study of 1 Peter, is it being conducted now as a group or would I be doing it by myself with the book and video?

  223. This was so encouraging! I realize how many times I may have missed great times and great sharing by thinking my house was not clean enough or too cluttered to have people over. And I felt that way even though when I have visited other homes not so clean, my thoughts were understanding of them because my home was the same way! Lord, help me to forget the clean, and not worry what is seen. But to focus on others and love them is your wish for us.

  224. Bless rather than impress. I love it!

  225. Thank YOU for reminding us that it’s about the blessing and serving of others with the gifts God gives us…not the presentation of our lives and selves!

  226. Beth Brunson says:

    Thank for your very encouraging note. The twins (entertaining and hospitality) are so. Lose and I frequently them up. Now I maybe I can pause and identify them.

  227. Wow, so well written and explained. Thank you.

  228. Gayle Worden says:

    Thank you for the clarity and for the reminder. That encouragement is just what I needed!

  229. This is exactly what my heart needed to hear this morning. My word of the 2016 year is focus. 1 of my 4 main focuses for this year is being a better wife/mother to my family. I know this means allowing the laundry to pile up a little bigger so I can play with my kids or forgoing cleaning the bathrooms today so I can have an extra-hour of conversation with my husband. I’ve always shied away from “entertaining” just for the fact that my house wasn’t up to my standards which is that it can grace the cover of the latest home decor magazine. I want to learn to be hospitable so I may bless others who may need me while honoring God.

  230. Wonderfully written and explained.

  231. BJ Phelps says:

    Jen: thank you for this insightful lesson! I rarely if ever entertain, therefore I rarely if ever express hospitality. We live in an RV, by which space becomes the excuse. I guess that’s another inexcusable world view…blessings don’t have to be big! Also, it confirmed why I don’t use Twitter or FB…LOL

  232. Joani Mulhearn says:

    Your devotion went so well with my bible study on hospitality this weekend with some girlfriends. We all want every little thing perfect when guests arrive, but if we only focus on the company and the blessing and leave behind the “perfect” house…. How much more blessed will everyone be from actual, genuine hospitality. Loved this devotion! Thanks for sharing your heart and God bless.

  233. I would love a free copy of Jen’s new book!

  234. Beautiful and heartfelt confession. I’ve been guilty of the same. Thank you for the example of what God does when He sets us free.

  235. Anna Smith says:

    THANK YOU so Mich for this article! I really needed it!

  236. Barbara Rice says:

    Thank you! Thank you! I actually cried as I read this post because I have struggled for so long with this and am finally learning (now that I have 4 teens in the house) that there is a true difference in entertaining and hospitality. I have missed so many opportunities to serve others in hospitality because I was terrified of having people over unless the home was ready, but it never was ready enough so we rarely had folks over. I’m glad to say that having 4 teens in home has forced that to change. As long as there is food in fridge their friends are happy and I am blessed to have them here.

  237. Amy Mackey says:

    Thank you for this devotional – it really hit home! I’ve always been focused on impressing others; however, I am going to concentrate on blessing others that enter my home!!!

  238. Kym Robbins says:

    A good friend introduced me to Proverbs31. Now my days are going so much better.

  239. Thank you!!! It is so good to be reminded that a warm heart and inviting spirit are more valuable to God – and to others – than perfection.

  240. Thank you for sharing your thoughts and being so honest and open. My husband and I try to be hospitable to those around us, but I have to admit it is not something that comes easy or natural for me. I am encouraged by your words and will be praying that God opens up my heart to show who I can be hospitable to in the next few weeks. I would love a chance to win your book thank you for the opportunity.

  241. Jen, thank you so much for your devotion today. It touched my heart and answered some questions in my mind that I had been seeking. Thank you!

  242. Cindy Criswell says:

    Thank you for your devotional on hospitality. I’ve recently learned that hospitality isn’t just for those that have this “spiritual gift” but that our Lord requires it of us all. Your humble words remind me again that it’s not about me but blessing those in attendance, no matter how humble my home/meal is.

  243. Jen, thank you so much for this! As I sit here with a lump in my throat, tears forming in my eyes I nod my head in agreement. Since November I feel as though my home has been a revolving door. I do love to have people over but I do too much. I spend too much. I am exhausted. And still I feel “less than.” I need to learn not to be so quick to say “yes” and take some time. More importantly, I need to listen to God and let him direct my steps. Thank you for the reminder!

  244. Thank you for your devotion today. That is something that I have not considered before, but it makes a lot of sense. My house is messy and I chringe at the thought of someone ringing my doorbell unexpectedly. Maybe now I won’t chringe as much as I consider this devotion,

  245. Mych'Iayla Mathis says:

    Today’s devotional blessed me! Thank you for your transparency. Your willingness to be lead by God and correct yourself was truly a blessing and made me look at myself and how I am either “entertaining” or extending hospitality. Again, thank you!

  246. Rhonda Eroh says:

    Thank you for your humble thoughts. I had to chuckle as I am a grandma who is having ten women of all ages over tonight for supper. My living room got half painted and then we had to stop. Therefore, I’ve got no pictures on the walls, tape still on the baseboards, two walls painted and two not painted. But I am going ahead with my plans and now I have a devo to read! Between your words and my example, they surely will see that the outward appearance is not what’s important!

  247. Thank you for your thoughts! I’m keeping this to reference as needed. I have always struggled with “entertaining” and striving for perfection, but this gives me a whole new perspective.

  248. Priscilla says:

    Thank you for the reminder not to confuse hospitality with entertaining. Its so easy to be caught up nit picking when having a gathering but you reminded me that it is the conversations and the heart to serve others that matters.

  249. I would love to read the book. I am way beyond the years of toddler raising. The heart attitude is just as important, if not more so, as the house attitude.

  250. Thank you for this! And if anybody out there wants to take this a step further please consider Safe Families for Children. It has spread all across the country and in many parts of the world. We need people who can host a child for a few days, a few weeks or a few months. Kids are 0-18. While kids are being hosted other volunteers and Safe Family staff help the parents get on their feet. We try to come along side the struggling parent and be the extended family they don’t have- how’s that for radical hospitality?! Please check out the website and I am happy to email chat with anybody who has questions.

  251. Wow! This really hit home, I never realized there was a difference! Guilty of being an entertainer not being hospitable. Thank yiu Lord for bringing this ti my attention through this article! My my future actions be ever pleasing to you!

  252. Yes. Yes. And, yes. It took and is still taking me years to completely hear in my heart the wisdom of your words. Thank you!

  253. K. McDaniel says:

    Two of my friends and I just went to the Women of Faith “Loved” tour this weekend & on the way home spoke of this very thing. Little for we know we spike of entertaining versus hospitality. I sincerely thank you so very much for your explanation. This was do timely and really opened our eyes. Thank You, 1,000 times, thank you!!!!!

  254. Angie Campbell says:

    I needed today’s devotion. Most often I stop myself when I start to think about having someone over for dinner just because I won’t have time to get the house spotless in time. Hopefully this will help me remember that the clutter should not keep me from offering hospitality. Thank you!

  255. My bible study teacher talked about this topic a few years ago and I was having a dinner party that night (she was invited). I felt guilty about the time I had spent getting my house perfect so I sprinkled some baby powder over the furniture so it looked like dust and she wouldn’t know how hard I had cleaned. I learned that it really does make people feel special when they are allowed to see us as we are on a daily basis and that we are not perfect. Thanks.

  256. Thank you for this message. I like your way of writing. It was easy to understand and up lifting.

  257. I can relate to this post. I learned this hard lesson many years ago. My husband and I decided to have a visiting missionary family to dinner along with two other couples we knew. I obsessed with this event. I worked really hard at cleaning the house to perfection. I even went out and bought new dinnerware set because what we had wasn’t good enough. I spent hours cooking a meal that was perfect. When everyone arrived, I was exhausted and faked my full involvement in the experience until everyone left. Then, I crashed. Later, God showed me my heart and I saw the self-centeredness of my action. I entertained under the banner of Christian motivation. Since then, I practice hospitality. People don’t come to our home to be entertained; they come for the friendship and relationship. I learned my lesson. PTL

  258. “If we wait until our house is clean, we shall NEVER see our friends! Please come in and enjoy the chaos with us!”
    This is the philosophy that my family and I have embraced πŸ™‚

  259. Valerie Little says:

    Loved the encouragement this morning on hospitality vs entertaining. I thought of Martha Stewart immediately as the entertainer and what a struggle to achieve her high standards. And Paula Deen as the example of hospitality. So warm and welcoming. But not the perfectionist that Martha Stewart is. I also thought of Mary and Martha and how important it is to sit at Jesus’ feet and learn from h as opposed to busying ourselves at the price of missing the blessing!

  260. Thank you for this devo. I needed to hear this angle on hospitality. I never think my home is ready for guests. This devo changed my attitude.. Thank you!

  261. Kathryn Carpenter says:

    Looking forward to this new Bible study!

  262. You have put yourself out there for comments. I understood your message and I agree with it.. however, I enjoy entertaining….my gift is decorating and having an ‘eye’ for design. I do not entertain to impress…it is who God made me to is my personality and I feel blessed with this gift. .

  263. I’m ready for a new bible study and would love to win this! Just finished up a Kay Arthur study.

  264. I enjoyed your words this morning and appreciate how you differentiate between entertaining and hospitality. I have always loved to “entertain”, messy home…kids, dogs and all, or so I thought. Now I understand there is actually a difference, what I love is the blessing of being surrounded by others.

  265. This is something I have been working on. Thank you for this devotion.

  266. Brittany Schlup says:

    Thank you for reminding me that entertaining is not the same as being hospitable. It’s easy to confuse the two, but I’d much rather serve others for the pleasure of God than serving others for my own pleasure.

  267. I would love to receive a copy of this book!

  268. ❀️ Never thought of it like this! Really opens my eyes and pray I can be a women of hospitality

  269. Wow – this hit home. As I am constantly striving for a perfectly ordered house, and I get stressed when it is not. I want friends to want to come to our house, but I still want it picked up. I actually got upset with my husband yesterday because he told 2 of my 7yo son’s friends they could come over without asking me. I panicked because I was in the midst of cleaning out our garage that has flooded 4x since May, and I was running around trying to figure out where to put my son’s new b-day and Christmas gifts that we have no space for. We live in a small house, and when the walls feel like the are caving in with clutter and stuff, I feel like I can’t function. But I realized that for my son’s sake especially, I need to let this go. Reading this really put things in perspective, and I am so thankful you posted it!

  270. When I stop in to visit a friend, it’s to connect with her, not to “check out ” the state of her home. I would hope she’d do the same for me! I love it when folks drop by no matter what state the house is in!

  271. very well put, thanks for your words and warm heart today.

  272. Patricia Mayfield says:

    When we are relaxed even in the midst of our not perfect home….we can truly say I am so glad you dropped in today…it’s so important to me to have some time together. Give yourself the gift of actually concentrating on what the Lord has purposed for these moments. Remember Philipians 2:13 God is working in you to help you want and be able to do what pleases Him.

  273. Leah Fisher says:

    This article is so true. Thank you for reminding us to be more hospitable.

  274. I needed this, today!

  275. Amy Shinlever says:

    Would love to read this!

  276. Susan Thompson says:

    Thank you for being real. I have often fought with Entertaining versus Hospitality and I truly enjoyed your message today. We put all this pressure on ourselves to make things in our home perfect which it will never be. We are not perfect so why should our house be! Let’s be real to those around us and allow God to work through us.


  277. ChristineMarie says:

    Wow! Your honesty and candor are so very refreshing! Thank you so much for sharing this. As a woman of faith, who is also an event planner, I strive to make events more meaningful for the people that attend them. I try to go out of my way to think of ways the event can have a positive effect on them. I really enjoyed this devotion today!

  278. Michelle Bills says:

    Thank you so much for this today! Thank you for being honest, showing us how to forgive ourselves, and more importantly how to server others and make it about them not us. I had a friend come from another city to visit this weekend with her family. Typically I would have spent days before frantically trying to clean and put everything in order, driving my family absolutely insane (because our house is not rarely every in order); but this this time we were all tired from a really busy few weeks. So I had my friend and her family over with some of our every day mess, and you know what… it didn’t matter. They didn’t care, the kids loved that toys were already out, I was less stressed and enjoyed our time together more, she loved that I was honest and it strengthened our bond because she had left a home looking much the same. Hospitality is so much better than entertaining! Thank you again for this!! I would love to win a copy of your book and to share it with my dear friend.

  279. Mickie Hodder says:

    Wow to know the difference between both has made me think…thanks and will forward to my daughter too…she entertains more then I do… I would Luv a copy of your book ? blessings

  280. Ouch! My toes hurt, but my heart is blessed and encouraged to show biblical hospitality! Thank you:)

  281. How timely your message…months earlier I had volunteered to have a ladies brunch on Saturday. Imagine the condition of my house since I’d been gone a month, arriving back three days before the brunch. To complicate matters, Friday night refrigerator stopped working. Thank the Lord, lights and furnace were still on. We all were blessed with a warm fellowship

  282. Lynda Perrylyndap70@gma says:

    Today the message fit perfectly. I have wanted to have my church quilting/sewing group over for brunch. This morning as I looked around at my unfinished kitchen. I thought, I’m not ready. Yes I am as I realized I just want to share time and fellowship with theses special sister’s in Christ.

  283. Such a struggle…this devotion was so well put!! I would love to win a book and read more of Jen’s writing!

  284. Thanks for sharing! I never put much thought to a difference between entertaining and hospitality. But I can see the difference now and I’m challenged to explore my motives the next time I’m hosting something … I want to be a hospitable host!

  285. Thank you for this great word today!

  286. Thank you for your honesty and words. What a great reminder to think of your guest instead of yourself and things and food and house and…

  287. A great reminder! I had my mom over for supper last night – the table was lovely, the meal simple (too simple – my mom would’ve had a hot and cold veggie and homemade bread), but topped off with my husband’s favorite, custard pie. I was a little embarrassed by my 2 year old’s compliments – this is so yummy- Isn’t this yummy food, Grandmom? πŸ™‚

  288. Kim Smestad says:

    Its a blessing to ever seek God in all we do, especially when using social media. Its so important to be supportive of the avenues of faith found in the writing of other people. I very much appreciate having found & read “choose hospitality”. I look forward to reading more. Thank you for sharing your gift.

  289. I would so love to win a copy of this study. I struggle with my identity in Christ a lot, and more so recently. I feel like my worth is so tied up in what society thinks of me: my jeans size, how successful I am at my job or homemaking, etc. It is SO HARD to block out all the noise of this world and focus on Christ. No one will remember how clean or perfect my house was, but they will remember how I made them feel in my house. Thank you, Jen!

  290. Loved the devotion on hospitality! Would love to win the book!

  291. Grace Crapitto says:

    I know many who would benefit from genuine hospitality. I am guilty of entertaining good friends. I would love to read this book and learn more about making the change I need to make.

  292. Thank you for this timely devotion today! In this entertainment world that we all live in, it’s so easy to get hospitality and entertainment confused. Thank you for reminding me to stay focused on the true meaning of hospitality and sharing and giving more of myself this year!

  293. I try to exercise hospitality often Love the devotion even expending it to family we are know having Soul Food Sunday

  294. Edie Clark says:

    I am an example of the fact you are never too old to learn a lesson. (early 70s) Thank you for the reminder lesson and understanding between hospitality and entertaining. Good stuff! Having had a career in “hospitality” that was really “entertaining” and having that spill over into my personal life did skew how I looked at what I do and why. I just never stopped to think about the difference. Thank you!

  295. Jen, thanks so much for the insight and words today concerning hospitality vs entertainment. Have a blessed day!

  296. Gwen Gallagher says:

    I really enjoyed your article and will definately keep it in mind. I will strive to remember not to go crazy trying to make my home perfect the next time I have a dinner guest or even when my kids visit. Thank you!
    Would love to receive this book as while I am not new to Faith in God, am new to getting back into the church and trying to enrich my spiritual life. Thank You!!

  297. Stephanie Beal says:

    Monday morning I woke up to find out that I had lost a “mom” figure that was a monarch in our circle not only because she was an amazing person but because of her strong faith and ability to guide us younger women when we were lost. Today’s message that you sent hit home and brought tears to my eyes. She always said that about having people over. “It should be fun not work!” Your house should be lived in and comfortable but clean lol. I had been struggling to find my “gift”…. I love to pray and am very outgoing. I don’t know a stranger. Bonnie always told me to pray and ask God to reveal it to me. I recently saw the War Room and it changed my life. Today when I read the bible verse 1 Peter 4:10, “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.” it hit me like a ton of bricks…. I LOVE THAT VERSE! Thank you for sharing your emails and your bible verses. I will continue to pray that God reveals my gift. Lord bless you.

  298. Rebecca Pickett says:

    Thanks for the encouragement about a (not) clean house! πŸ™‚

  299. Liz Beckman says:

    1 Peter, one of my favorite books in the Bible. Thank you for such a wonderful reminder of God’s love towards others.

  300. Loved this devotion. Many things I needed to be reminded of. One thing I especially appreciated was the acknowledgement that a pretty set table and a nice meal can be hospitality. Too often you hear that attention to detail in preparation is just being fake…sometimes it is how a person chooses to be a blessing πŸ™‚

  301. Love this! Oh, what I’ve missed out on over the years. Praying that I will bless and in-turn be blessed, with no need to impress.

  302. We often are so Pinterest inspired to serve the perfect dinner, throw the most fabulous party and the most outrageous dessert table but often feel like you didn’t really talk to anyone and that our own self criticism has taken over how great the night truly was. I was once told that the if you serve fabulous food but your service is mediocre, your guests might not come back. But if your food was simply ok and your service was memorable and heart warming that they’ll always come back time and time again because in the end, it’s our connection with people that leaves an everlasting impression – not our perfectly medium roasted pot roast.

  303. Emily Farthing says:

    Love this! Good reminder that it’s about the people surrounding you not the atmosphere

  304. My study group just started on spiritual gifts. I just said last week that I don’t have the gift of hospitality cause I hate all the fuss. How uplifting to hear that there doesn’t have to be “all the fuss”. I am very informal & don’t want to miss conversation. My husbands says I have FOMO (fear of missing out). He’s absolutely right. What encouragement to finally understand the difference between entertaining & hospitality. Thank you!!

  305. Charlotte L. says:

    This devotion came at the perfect time. God’s timing is always perfect. I am in an “in between” home at the moment, simply set up to be liveable. That means packed boxes are visible and no home decor. We have been asked to lead a Bible study in our home. I was horrified at the thought of having a group of people in my current home…then I read today’s devotion. Needless to say, I spent time in prayer asking forgiveness for my reluctance to answer God’s call immediately. Thank you for listening to Hm and sharing your thoughts. I would really love to be chosen to receive the Bible study, it looks great.

  306. Thank you for showing me that it is OK to be non perfect! That ministry of the heart is sometimes meeting each other in the midst of the messiness of life! Sometimes others need to be met right in the middle of reality! And that is one of Jesus’s best examples! Meeting us in the midst of the messiness of our house…. Laundrey, dishes,and kids toys! Jesus meets me even when I have a messy house and need to get the dinner on the table! So I should be more worried about someone’s heart than my dinner being perfectly displayed!

  307. Wow I’m accessing how much I needed to hear that. I had never thought about entertaining being self focused. I always thought I was creating something special for those I was entertaining. Maybe not. Can’t wait to do your study.

  308. Stopping by not only for a chance to win a copy of 1 Peter: A Living Hope in Christ, but to also say thank you for your post on entertaining vs. hospitality. I am SO guilty of the entertaining mindset. We have an extra room upstairs that someone could use. We have an inviting home that would be an excellent place to hold a small group – but yet our peeling couches have stopped me from inviting people over. It’s not about perfection, it’s about purpose. Thank you!

  309. Hospitality and service, two things I really don’t have. πŸ™
    Thank you.

  310. This devotion was amazing and encouraging! What a wonderful reminder to serve others genuinely and freely πŸ™‚

  311. Karen Bradbury says:

    Thank you so much for this wonderful devotional regarding hospitality versus entertaining. I have been “entertaining” for twenty years and never thought that what I really wanted to do was to offer hospitality instead. Wow! What a difference this makes to me. I feel so relieved! Thanks so much for sharing!

  312. Barbara valerio says:

    Good morning?I am new to your website so forgive for being ignorant in my writing I am not a social media person and very rarely go on the web to read , however, I have been widely impressed with proverbs 31 so I thank you for the encouragement

  313. Marianne W. says:


  314. So true!!

  315. Rebekah Cheung says:

    My Lord! What a timely and apt word! Thank you for helping open my eyes to this issue in my life.

  316. Thank you for this reminder of true hospitality! This is my daughter to a T ! She is a newlywed who has the gift of hospitality! She loves opening her home to whoever may need loving care. I have always been nervous about “entertaining”. I am so glad she received her gift from God, rather than my gift of self-consciousness! Again, thanks for the reminder that God uses open doors and hearts! Susan

  317. Thank you for this great devotional!

  318. I would definitely love a copy of this book. I was so inspired by your devotional on hospitality verses entertaining….I felt it just released me to be free to be hospitable without having a clean and perfect house!

  319. Jenny Jorgensen says:

    As A young pastor’s Wife, I Needed This Reminder. Thank You For The Encouragement!

  320. Always looking for new material for our ladies group! Would love to win!

  321. Thank you so much for sharing this. I can see clearly why I often feel sad and empty, let-down and exhausted, after hosting a holiday get-together – my goal was on entertaining. I can feel the weight lifting off my shoulders just thinking about the difference. Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!

  322. I grew up in a home where my mother was the example of hospitality spoken of in this devotion. We were in a small, Baptist college town, and through the years, she entertained faculty, college students, middle school and high school students, her circle of friends, and hers and my father’s friends, all with the hospitable grace you describe. She exampled to me that whether “prince or pauper”, all were/are welcome in our home. I strived to teach this to my now grown daughters through their growing-up years. We still laugh about friends they invited over on Fridays and were still with us on Sunday evenings! Thank you for emphasizing this fading art of making others feel welcome, not entertained.

  323. I really enjoyed your post. Sometimes I find myself caught up into feeling I have to entertain and you reminded me of what christian hospitality really is!

  324. Dear Jen,
    I am the Coordinator of Lay Ministries at our church, which basically means I coordinate all our hospitality related ministries. I really enjoyed your message of hospitality vs. entertaining and would like to use an edited version of it in our next Church Newsletter. Would you be willing for me to publish a shorter version of it? I am looking at removing the references to your blog mistake and print just the core of your message. We are always trying to remind our servant volunteers that we search out with our hearts, not just our hands and your devotional shared that message in a wonderful way, that can be applied at home too. Thank you for your consideration. Blessings of Joy, June Birk

  325. Barbara Bowman says:

    I would really like to have Jen’s book.
    I greatly desire a closer understanding of the hope that is in Jesus and how God would have me use what He has given me to fulfill His great command-To Love..
    I want to be usable..

  326. Debbye Hillstrom says:

    This really hit home to me. I had always been paranoid about having people over because my house was not as tidy as Mom’s had been. I cringed whenever my girls asked to have friends over, afraid of the clutter or dishes in the sink or piles of paper. Soon, they just stopped asking. This Christmas, our family get together was at our home. I agreed that the girls, now 19 & 27, could ask a few friends. Everyone pitched in to get the house in order, and we all had a good time. Later, my youngest thanked me for “allowing her friends to finally see our home.” I was so ashamed for withholding hospitality all those years, always finding an excuse and not setting a good example for my girls. Thank you so much for this article.

  327. Wow! Thank you! I may be the flip side of this coin but wow did what you say have to sink in. I never entertain because of a messy house, ever. I love people and it’s very hard to live this way. I have to give this over to God, big time. Thank you so much for making me feel for a moment that it doesn’t have to be perfect. I pray God keeps reminding me of this. Again, thank you.

  328. Lori McGovern says:

    Great message, thank you for the reminder!

  329. Margaret Dale says:

    I will be getting the book, one way or another, as I so need encouragement on this matter. My home is never in order, and I’m always apologizing for a mess or incomplete improvement projects. Neither was my childhood home in order, what with 7 children and a working set of parents, and yet my dad was one of the hospitable men I’ve even met, generous with his time, empathy for others and guidance as a longtime pastor.

  330. Robbin Kampa says:

    I would really enjoy reading your book. This article really hit home for me. I’ll have a new appreciation for showing hospitality to others.

  331. Great read, thank you!

  332. Thank you for this devotion. I have always struggled with hospitality truly being entertaining. I was raised ominous a home where everything had to be perfect and as an adult I have become so intimidated to invite people over, unless things are perfect. To change the focus from perfection to being a blessing is so insightful. Thanks you!

  333. I admire you for such an honest admission of self righteousness hiding in the background of that initial post. I believe it’s safe to say most everyone has been there- I definitely have. You didn’t just confess it, you took the opportunity to correct it- thats a living example, advice with no words needed. Isn’t God so good at gently and lovingly giving us a true look at ourselves in His mirror.

  334. Rachel Alexander says:

    Thanks for the great reminder of entertaining vs hospitality. I want to be hospitable.

  335. Sarah Bryson says:

    Always looking for a great Bible study. What an interesting insight. I always loved entertaining, but I think I need to change my mindset sometimes.

  336. Beth Abernethy says:

    My first visit to Proverbs 31! This spoke to me, as I pray for God to lead me to the people He wants me to serve. My husband is a non-believer & my hospitality is sometimes a challenge in our relationship. Thank you for the encouragement. I’ll be back to Proverbs 31! And I’m looking for a bible study, I would enjoy hearing more from Jen Wilkin.

  337. Lori Dopp says:

    Thank you for this journey we are taking together .I enjoyed today’s post
    I am beginning a new ministry in our church for women and really needed to hear this it is all about hospitality. And not all the details

    Thank you again and I would love the opportunity to enter the drawing for the study
    Have a blessed day


  338. Annette Hoogendoorn says:

    I was reading about the difference between entertaining and hospitality. It gave light to me that I too was trying to entertain instead of being hospitable. I have done both. I was happy to know I still having the attitude of hospitality more than trying to entertain But it’s good to see the wrong side too as I know where to grow for improvement. Thanks !

  339. Hey, you may have made a mistake with your original tweet – but today’s words were just what I needed to hear. You have redeemed yourself. I love to have people over ….but often I stress over the details…will they notice the spot on the rug or the dust on the shelves. I find that I compare my self, my family and my home to others and I only see where I come up short.
    But what I want people to see, is how happy we are as a family in our comfortable home. I want to offer them hospitality. Thanks for your words to my heart.

  340. Would love to win this – thanks!

  341. Thank you so much for sharing this today. I so needed to hear this. I am always worried about what people will think if my house is messy (always is with a 5 year old son, teenager daughter, and husband). I have a few select friends that understand and withhold judgment as they are in the same situation. After readings, I will step outside of my comfort zone and truly try to be more hospitable.

  342. I would love a copy of this book!

  343. Thank you for this reminder about what true hospitality is!

  344. Your thoughts on hospitality and entertaining really hit home for me. I enjoy having others in our home often. I must admit the occasion is not always initiated by being a blessing to others! Thank you for penning the words that prompt me to think about my own life and my true service to others.

  345. Wow! I have been guilty of this, trying to impress! It is so good how you explained the differences between hospitality and entertaining!! Trying to be more hospitable starting today!

  346. Miranda Marsh says:

    Loved this insight into hospitality! It is something that is rarely talked about–in my opinion–but many women need to realize there is such a need for it! Thanks for sharing!

  347. You’re take on entertaining vs hospitality is so clarifying. I’ve struggled with this issue for years!!! Thank you!!!

  348. Wow, Jen, this could not be a more timely message for me. I am totally out of my comfort zone when inviting people to my home, especially for dinner. I am in a small group at church and every woman in the group is hospitable with much entertainment sprinkled in. In each large and well-decorated home, I am invited for a tour, encouraged to walk with each lady to see the beautifully laid out and prepared table with chargers, china and all (Of which I do not have). Food is brought in from a wonderful caterer or cooked graciously. It is now my turn to have these couples over and it is TOTALLY out of my comfort zone. I do not want to do it. Here that–“I” selfish I know. I will do it and pray before the evening, but I feel so stretched and pulled in other things that already pull me out of my comfort zone (Some God does want me to engage in)I am on overload…But, it’s my turn. I want to be able to enjoy my friends and be relaxed. I am just not there and after many years of marriage, I still feel like a failure and being an introvert socially, this has put me over the top. I realize God is the one I serve. He is able and He will sustain me. I lack trusting Him fully and not worrying over what others think. So, I am printing this post out to read and pause and ask God’s divine intervention!

    Sweet Blessings.

    • Barbara Prince OBS Team says:

      There is such a trait as a “gift of hospitality” which everyone doesn’t have. If you can get ready prepared food that might take some of the weight off of you. Years ago, we went to some friends house for a small party. There wasn’t really anything fancy. The house looked beautiful. I commented on this to my friend and she told me her secret. Her house was not clean. She didn’t have time. But, she used lots of candle light to create an atmosphere to the house so the dust wasn’t even noticed. What a great idea!

  349. I loved this! It was SUCH a good reminder of what’s really important. I’m so guilty of hiding the clutter places and setting an unattainable level of order.

  350. Jackie Thomson says:

    Your devotion today challenged me to rethink “hospitality”. I had not realized the difference between hospitality and entertaining before. Thank you for sharing!

  351. WOW!!! I am so guilty. You painted such a beautiful picture in your story. I loved it. I prayed your prayer and asked for GOD’S forgiveness. My eyes are now open to see the difference. I will from here on out, STOP entertaining and enjoy the hospitality of family and friend. I thank you so much for sharing. May God bless you.

  352. Thanks for the post. I have always thought my Mom’s special gift was Hospitality.

  353. Mary Ellen says:

    I read a story years ago about a single mother who invited a church friend to go to her house for lunch after the service. When they arrived at the very modest home, the mother excused herself to prepare lunch will three little ones “entertained” their guest. Soon the wonderful smell of baking bread filled the house. Not much later, the mother called out that lunch was ready. Little hands were quickly (carefully? not sure!) washed and places were taken around the table. The guest was somewhat surprised as grace was said and the mother began to slice wedges of piping hot cornbread, buttered each one and passed it around the table. Milk was served and the guest joined in as the children chattered and ate heartily. The guest was somewhat amazed at this special “Sunday dinner”. Most of us would think of having to serve a much more elaborate meal than this simple fare. Actually, that young mother seems to have known exaclty what hospitality is.

  354. Awesome devotional as my walk with God continue this will be a constant reminder of what I spend my time doing. Thank you

  355. Samantha Nelms says:

    Would love to read your book

  356. Thank you for this study, and this truth. I’m struggling through a divorce that will be final in April, struggling to find my own true identity, and loving God through it all. Thank you for your words of truth and speaking encouragement into my life. Praise God!

  357. Brenda Fehr says:

    I love receiving your daily devotionals! Thank you for today’s on Hospitality! My Grandparents showed true hospitality every day! Their door was always open to anyone and especially their grandchildren and even their grandchildren’s friends! We would often walk to their house during school lunch breaks with friends and it never failed, they always welcomed us with a smile, prepared food on short notice and sent us off with a cookie! Their actions showed everyone the true love of Jesus! That is what I strive for everyday!

  358. Last year, I read you should not apologize “for the mess” as soon as guests walk through your front door. If you are friends and you trust them, you can show your true self and the true/normal state of your home without apology. That has stuck with me for months now, and today’s devotional follows along the same lines. I needed the reminder today; thank you! And I would absolutely love to win a copy of your new book!

  359. Wow…this hit me right between the eyes today! I am an awesome entertainer and took great pride in it…until today. I will seek now to be hospitable, and I will use Christ as my perfect example.

  360. Thank you, for the admonition and reminder to practice hospitality!

  361. Marci Hobbs says:

    I have been learning the joy of hospitality over a period of growing on my identity in Christ. It’s such a joyful experience that it’s almost become addictive. What could be more fun that letting Jesus love others through us? Thank you for putting words to my feelings. I would love to have the book and pass it around to other potential hospitality hostesses.

  362. Dawnielle says:

    Hospitality is a blessing of gathering with my brothers and sisters in Christ. It’s more about the fellowship than the surroundings and the food.

  363. Kathy Van Heukelom says:

    Thank you for your honesty. I need this reminder that it is ok to give myself permission to live in my home without it being perfect.

  364. It never occurred to me that there was a difference. My home is small and simple, but I always over due it to make up for that fact. Now I wonder…., Thak you a wonderful, thought provoking message.

  365. Barbara Prince OBS Team says:

    I always wanted to have a hospitable home. It has rarely been so. My husband has never liked having guest in our home. The last time I opened my home, with his permission, he acted in such a way that our 3 guest felt unwelcome. They even apologized to me when they left for causing a burden on me. I felt so bad for them that I have not attempted such a gesture since.

  366. Soothing to hear orher mothers with similar “struggles”. Great advice and how awesome to have listened to God’s voice and then be able to share it with the rest of his Princesses ☺

  367. I really love this devotional thanks .

  368. For years I never invited anyone into my home outside of my immediate family. But in the last 6 years my husband and I have opened our home to people we barely knew who needed a meal on a holiday, or a friend who just needed a place to stop over to rest while on a long trip. I believe the difference is because Christ became real to me and I saw those He had compassion for in a new light—I wanted to serve them too. God has blessed us many times over since we’ve thrown open our doors to others.

  369. Such a great reminder that Jesus wants me to bless, not impress. Will pray for His heart to come through when I open my home.

  370. Linda Hoffsmith says:

    Thank you for that reminder. Lord help me to not judge whose priorities are different thqn my own. Help me to ponder how Jesus would feel if He came to my home for dinner some evening.

  371. Jen, We should never regret anything, everything happens for a reason. God allows things to happen so we can learn from them (our mistakes) to glorify Him and you did just that!!! So don’t be too hard on yourself…by that tweet you learned something very valuable and you were able to share it with all of us!! Praise be to God!! And believe me, I’ve made enough mistakes and I’m sure I’m not done but I don’t feel I can say I “regret” them, I’d like do overs, and that is exactly the gift of grace He gives us in each brand new beautiful day! Blessings!!!!

  372. Judy Snyder says:

    We had friends we played cards with. When we went to their house for dinner and cards they served us elegant meals with elegant table settings, at Christmas they even used gold spoons, forks and knives. The decorations were picture postcard in all seasons but especially their Christmas tree. Most people they entertained never invited them into their own homes. But we would invite them over for dinner and cards, very simple nothing elegant about us or our home and at the time our kids were still eight or 10 years old. But this couple was always so happy and thankful to be invited into our home because that so seldom happened for them. We had so much fun together and loved our card games. As I read this blog about hospitality it reminded me of these times several years ago.

  373. Rebecca L says:

    Thank you so much for sharing this article and explaining such a difference!

  374. I would love to get a copy of Jen’s book! I love reading her devotions! This one today helps me to remember it is much more memorable to be nice than it is to be perfect. Because I’m not perfect no one is But God is and with His help we can lead a Godly life. Praying for each of you today.

  375. Katie Howard says:

    Such a GREAT way to point out the nuances of hospitality vs. entertaining. I can get so caught up in the details that I miss the chance to be at ease & enjoy the company around me.
    Thank you for the “light bulb” moment to move me more into His service.

  376. Heather S. says:

    Thank you for this devotional!

  377. Sandra Copple says:

    Thanks so much for your devotion. It opened my eyes to the difference in entertaining and hospitality. I have been
    guilty of entertaining thinking that everything had to be perfect , and I would be exhausted. With God’s help and through prayer, I will never entertain again, but show hospitality and be a blessing to others.
    I would love to win your book and join your Bible Study.

  378. Barbara Waldhuber says:

    What a great devotion. How we get so mixed up when we are not focused on God. It is great to see you on Proverbs 31! A proud friend.

  379. Wow!! I love this! What insight. Help me Lord to always be hospitable and not merely entertain.

  380. I loved your descriptions of the difference between entertaining and hospitality. Sometimes I’ve fallen into the “comparison trap” about how we do things vs how others do – always selling us as “too simple”. This helped me see that our desire to be hospitable “without flair or trying to impress” is perfectly fine. πŸ™‚
    Your book would be a blessing if I’m chosen for it. Thank you.

  381. I awoke today feeling really bad about myself and not able to get out of bed. I thank you for the wonderful messages you bring to us every morning. Reading and rereading them is what kept me here to read another tomorrow morning.

    So Grateful

  382. LORETTA GILL says:

    Thank you for being bold and humble enough to share what you did and put yourself out there. We all need to show mercy and grace when this happens and thank your for sharing the difference of hospitality and entertaining,

  383. Lindsey Denniston says:

    My relationship with God is very fresh. I’m learning everyday how to rethink my ways and to become gentle.

  384. Kathleen Fisher says:

    I would love to win a copy of this book. Thank you!

  385. Love this concept. Being married to a chef I kind of expect him to do the ‘wow’ factor with his food….that means our Home has to help set the scene but really, it doesn’t. Our home needs to be open in good times or bad and my husband can make something out of nothing to share with others. Thanks for the prompting. I hope to read more in the book!

  386. William Hutcheson says:

    Just finished a study of 1 Peter. I would love to read your book. America needs the hope that Christ offers.

  387. What a great reminder! Thank you.

  388. Amanda Wilcox says:

    Thanks for the thoughts. This has always been a struggle for me and I can clearly see a difference now between motivations to serve self and to serve others.

  389. That sounds like a great book to put the spark in your walk with the Lord!! πŸ™‚

  390. Ashley Bond says:

    My church is doing a study on this book and today I have been praying whether or not to join. This just popped up on my news feed- it seems like this may be Gods way of answering me.

  391. Jenna Sederstrom says:

    This study would be a wonderful next step for my small group!

  392. Jennifer Winebrenner says:

    Thanks for being real!!!!

  393. I would love to win a copy! Thank you!

  394. Tamara willey says:

    I’ve only recently discovered your writing but I appreciate your honest look at the scriptures and your own heart. I’ve been blessed by your words. Thank you!

  395. Tiffany Davis says:

    Thank you so much for this opportunity!
    I am in children’s ministry and would really really love to have some insight on what God’s plans are for me. I want to serve others by following Christ and being more like him than ever! He is First my True Love!

  396. Sarah Deringer says:

    This sounds like a wonderful study for women, no matter if they are married or single. We all need to show hospitality for the glory of God. I would love to win a copy of this study so that I can continue learning and growing. Thank you! πŸ™‚

  397. Kimberly Thomason says:

    I would love to read this and I am willing to bet make some changes myself as well. The piece I read spoke to me personally about the order of my own house and the state it leaves people in. Never thought of it that way but made sense. Interesting….

  398. Chrissy Wind says:

    Thank you!

  399. Zabby Moor says:

    I feel I am “new” to faith, though it has been part of my life (unbeknownst to me) forever. I came back to Christ in the deserts of Baja and have found my heart filled with a joy that is indescribable.

  400. Looks like a wonderful read!!

  401. Heidi Cole says:

    It would be nice to have but not nesscery, but I will try.. Thank you for the opportunity .. πŸ™‚

  402. I love this! I personally love having people over to my home, and I just recently feel like I’ve gotten to the point where it’s not “entertaining”. I used to panic at the thought of my friends seeing my house with a dirty kitchen, laundry on the dining table, kids toys everywhere… But now I have no qualms about it. I frequently invite mom friends over for coffee and a play date, and instead of picking up the toys, I let them be. The kids get to run around playing with toys, which frees up time for the moms to converse and share life together. I would love to win this book – it sounds great!!

  403. Ruth Ann Moore says:

    What perfect timing to read this. I am having guests over later and have been fretting over “entertaining”. I can now stop and pray for the gathering (and the menu) and truly enjoy being hospitable. What a blessing !

  404. Beth Mull says:

    I would love a free copy!! I always say my home may be a mess if you just drop by but it is always filled with love!

  405. Linda Willen says:

    This book sounds great!

  406. Mary Kaye Bluhm says:

    Would love to be chosen as a winner and receive the book.

  407. Terri Chavez says:

    Thank you for this message! This past weekend I hosted family and friends for the Broncos game. I made beautiful calzones and “toasted” the last one because I was engaged in conversation and enjoying our guests. I felt a bit embarrassed because I nearly burned my last calzone when the men said “That’s perfect! That’s just the way we like it! Just don’t burn the spaghetti sauce!” We laughed about it and they ate every bit of that calzone and all the others! Your message reminds me that life happens and things don’t always have to be perfect to be great! Thank you for your inspirational words! Be blessed! ?

  408. Would love to do the 1 Peter study.

  409. Storm Sutherland says:

    I often feel blessed after having friends or family or strangers over for a visit. I always want them to feel comfortable and safe in my home. The blessings flow with an open heart.

  410. A friend of mine just today mentioned she wants to read more of 1 & 2 Peter. Getting a book to give her would be such a blessing!

  411. Hope hardy says:

    I absolutely loved this devotion. I used to hate to open my door to friends to eat because my house was not perfect. Even if my food was good, I felt self conscious about the way I looked or my house looked!! I can say that I have been opening my house up to friends and I always say, ” this is my house. We live here. I am not gonna lie and say it never lookalike this because it does. Come in. I will feed you well and love you up!!” I am thankful to say that I am hospitable. And I absolutely love opening my crazy, mixed up home to our guests!! Thanks again for the devotion!!

  412. Karen Taylor says:

    Thanks, I think my gift is hospitality. But I fail to follow through because of fear of failure. I think your book would help me.

  413. Jen Williams says:

    I would love to receive this devotional book!!

  414. Thank you for sharing your heart and humbly sharing your social media failure. We’ve all been there and done that, thinking we know best and taking to social media to do it. I’ve beesn convicted of this many times as I love to have people over but also think my house needs to look perfect. When really they don’t care about my messy house, they are coming to see me, to have time together not to be amazed at my clean home! I would love to win a copy of this book, I just discovered Jen on Revive our Hearts Radio Broadcast last week and immediately went to her blog and facebook page!

  415. Thank you for being transparent. It’s nice to know that other moms have households that aren’t perfect.

  416. Cathy Hopkins says:

    I would love to receive a copy of your devotional! I’m desperately trying to get my walk with Christ back on track.

  417. I would love a copy of the book!?

  418. What a blessing this book would be!! I would absolutely love to receive a copy. Thank you for reminding me that hospitality is entirely different to entertaining. I love having an open door policy at home, as long as people are aware to take me as they find me πŸ™‚ The joys of chronic ill heath means there will be times when my house is spotless, and others when it is less so. But I always do everything I can to make people feel welcome, and just love feeding people πŸ™‚ God bless!!

  419. I Love this devotion, thank you for sharing!!

  420. Jody Lovdal says:

    I would love a copy of this Bible study. Entertaining makes me nervous unless it’s teens or kids. God calls us all to hospitality. With God’s help, I pray that he would teach me more about being hospitable and serving others.

  421. What a great message.

  422. Wow!Thank you so much for your humility and sharing. And thank you for helping the Holy Spirit open my eyes!!

  423. I would love to have one. I’m Deaf mom and involved Deaf Ministry. We have bible study at my house. I always nervous when people come over. So much going in as being mom, wife, frined, and sister. With God’s help, for help me more about teaching and serving others.

  424. I pick hospitality!!

  425. Jackie Woods says:

    I would love to learn and read more about the devotions. I have found myself wanting to know more about God and how I can become closer to him and do what he wants me to do.

  426. Janet King says:

    This lesson should be required for every young girl. This is so important and not only speaks to how we entertain. If we can be this comfortable with every aspect of life, and put away the “fear of man” (or woman), we can live our lives giving love and hospitality in a more Christ-like way. Good word!

  427. I loved this post! Thank you!
    I would love to win the book!

  428. Maybe I should have known, but I always associated hospitality and entertaining as a combo deal. It really changes perspectives and frees your heart and mind to bless others MORE and not focus so much on the ‘entertaining” perfect food/place setting /spotless house of entertaining.

    I would love a copy of the book. πŸ™‚

  429. I would love to win a copy of the book!! Hospitality is a thing of the past in today’s world. It is a sad thing.

  430. I have trouble not having clutter in my shared house. I do what I can but I try not to let it overwhelm me by the thought of needing it gone in order to have guests over. I would love a copy of your book! God bless you for showing your readers the difference between entertaining and hospitality. I’ll take hospitality any time!

  431. Vanessa G says:

    Thank you for your encouragement in the fact that hospitality is not about being perfect but about serving.
    I would love to win a copy of your book.

  432. This spoke to my heart about just being you and loving on people. If you wait for your house to be perfect before you have guests…you’ll never have the joy of guests!

  433. You are so right , that we do not need to have our homes in perfect order before we open our hearts to others.
    thank you.

  434. Wow! This is so good and very timely for me. Thank you for sharing out of your experience.

  435. Julie Brannon says:

    Would love to learn to bless people

  436. I like the analogy between hospitality and entertaining. I never thought about it that way before.

  437. This devotional really hit home with me. Thank you! I would love a copy of your study. I recently finished your Sermon on the Mount study and really learned a lot!

  438. Linda Page says:

    Jen,Many years back, I heard of Proverbs 31 Ministries, but have just recently experienced the joys of reading your posts. You offer such sincere and simple commentary on the Scriptures, and really have caused me to examine my life and desire to make the necessary changes to decrease in self, so that Christ has room to increase. Thank you for sharing your own misguided concepts about hospitality and the conviction that you felt from the Holy Spirit to truly be hospitable, rather than merely entertaining. You have blessed so many people, women, and men, too. I think that the result will be homes that are more Christlike.

  439. WOW! This comparison hit home. I look forward to reading your study wether by winning or purchase. Thank you for honesty and encouragement.

  440. You hit the nail right on my head. I miss blessing others because I want to entertain perfectly . I pray that God will help me change my attitude if entertaining to blessing through hospitality.Thank you for the wake up call.

  441. Jodee Minter says:

    Thanks for the encouragement and truth!

  442. I can really relate to this post. Now that I have children, I invite people over for company and really focus on the people. 4 years ago, it was all about the perfect meal. Now I have a simple meal and sit down with my guests. Praise God for growth and affirmation!

  443. Jeanette Mosley says:

    We open up our home quite often to family and friends for many different celebrations throughout the year. This article helped me realize the difference between entertaining and hospitality. I am also in the Hospitality business so this article opened up ideas for me to share with the leadership team.

  444. Amber Chaudhary says:

    Love to win a copy of Jens book!

  445. Donna Feica says:

    I love the way you teach. I thoroughly enjoyed your study of The Sermon on the Mount at our ladies small group, I’m looking forward to learning so much more from you! I would love this book, πŸ™‚ Donna Feica

  446. Rose Njeri says:

    I am truly blessed by your words and thank God for you. Keep up the good work!

  447. Rose Njeri says:

    I am truly blessed by your words and thank God for you. Keep up the good work! I would love this book.

  448. I would love to win a copy of This book. Thank you for the continued encouragment.

  449. Nicky Brittain says:

    Thank you so much for the eye opener! I am a new comer to Proverbs 31 and I am so excited about what God is going to do in my life through this ministry. Thank you for your obedience to what God has called you to do!

  450. Etta Meares says:

    This was a very good devotion……it really hit home for me. Thanks for the encouragement.

  451. Christy Troxell-Thomas says:

    This is an excellent reminder of how we should be. I needed some encouragement on the house making front, and this was perfect. Thank you.

  452. So this read was not what I expected. I think I have just read a something I’ll always remember. This blessed me with truth about real hospitality, encouraged me to give freely of all I’ve received, gave me hope inspite of a dirty house which I always struggle with, and challenged me to love others like our Father loves. Thank you so much for your willingness to be real & sharing as God showed you His way and heart.

  453. Sylvia Gisewhite says:

    This devotion reminded me of some thing my mom told us girls. Do you want guest to see you house or your home

  454. ellen Krane says:

    Thanks for the retraction, I can’t keep an “orderly home”. I recongnize that flaw, do my best to tidy up and welcome friends and strangers whenever I can. I hope those who know me can forgive my piles and dust bunnies and just enjoy the time we have to share each others company. Because it is easier for myself and my family to welcome you without being judged, but I do envy those of you who have the ability to live in a “showcase home”.

  455. Trina Fitch says:

    I am a high school English teacher, a mom of two adult children, and married to the love of my life who is a pastor. I would love your book.

  456. Would be very thankful to win this. I’ve heard this is a great study.

  457. Mary G Johnson says:

    My home will never fit the bill for total cleanliness, but I hope to still be hospitable and offer what I have to others.

  458. Debra Grisham says:

    Great Read To Live By…. May I always Serve Others and See others Through God’s Eyes and Be His Hands Extended!

  459. Taunee Whittenbarger says:

    Would love to read this! We are studying 1Peter in Sunday School.

  460. I have a girl at bible study who needs a friend. I think this confirmed for me that I need to not be afraid of the little that I have to offer her and others.

  461. would love to read and share this book!

  462. …reminds me of the time Jesus visited with Mary (the hospitable one-selfless) and Martha (the entertainer-selfish) Luke 10:38-42—At the Home of Martha and Mary…”Mary has chosen what is better and it will not be taken away from her.” Amen and AMEN

  463. Hi there. … Thank you thank you thank you. .. Today’s message on hospitality is so spot on and so apt for me….
    I have been ashamed and embarrassed to invite others to my home because my home is usually messy and cluttered.
    Sometimes I push past my discomfort and invite some people in… knowing they need hospitality ….love…care… kindness….

    A comment in your Facebook post also mentioned how hospitality can be practiced anywhere…. not only at home…. it may be in a cafe or even in a grocery store. …

    I have chosen to do this more often lately but the shame really my unclean disorganized home is huge….. I struggle with depression too….

    Still when I visit friends with ‘normal’ homes…. it doesn’t bother me at all… in fact I love my friend’s homes … just the way they are…. just as I love my friends.
    I visit to spend quality time with friends…not their homes…

    Accepting myself… just the way I am….is a work in progress…. Thank you again KC

  464. Teresa Stone says:

    Isn’t God’s mercy great?
    I would love to have a copy
    Of this book!

  465. Thank you for speaking what was in your heart. It’s amazing how God uses people to speak to others as I am literally lying in bed in the guest bedroom and while my family is living spread out all over the house so we can get our master bathroom and closet remodeled. Although it’s exciting to get new stuff, this devotion is a reminder of something revealed in me. I don’t consider myself much of an entertainer but very hospitable. I’m sure that’s why I have exhausted myself picking out the perfect travertine (looking through each tile to make sure I like the color variation), I carry a measuring tape with me everywhere I go just in case I come across the perfect mirrors, I even told my husband that no one is allowed in this house until it is finished. Is it ever really finished? What good is a house if it can’t be a home to share with others? Thanks again.

  466. Chrystal Pelletier says:

    It really struggle in this area….it would be a blessing to cecieve this book. Thx you reminding us of how to serve the Lord.

  467. Jessy Rushing says:

    My Bible Study group used Jen’s book on the Sermon on the Mount in the fall and this spring we’re doing her teaching on I Peter. I would love to have this book, so I’ll be ready for our spring Bible Study.

  468. So thankful for God’s hospitality! Would love a copy of the book! Thx!

  469. Hi, I love your post! You and your readers may enjoy the ministry I started called Heartistry ( I have been encouraging people to practice real hospitality and generous living through seminars, Heartistry Experiences and my blog. Our aprons are printed with Bless not Impress!
    Just sharing a free resource with you!

  470. Thank you for clearing up the misconception. Oh how important. I want my home to be a place of welcome and blessing to others.

  471. I sure needed to hear this! My husband tells me not to stress when I am planning to have guests. I just want everything to be “perfect” but it really does suck the joy out of my good intentions. Nobody looks at my messy, doggy drooled on floors, they just are thankful that I have offered a place for fellowship. I want to be more hospitable because I sure don’t like the stress of “entertaining!” Thank you for the reminder!

  472. Lisa Chafin says:

    I enjoyed your post! What a great reminder!

  473. I would love to read this. Thank you for sharing.

  474. Trish Gladish says:

    I needed to hear this. I obsess when the kids invite friends over, when we have simple family birthdays, I need to get over it. I don’t judge others for the state of their homes when I visit so why do I assume I will be judged? Women, we are all nuts.

  475. We had friends over recently and were talking about this – I’ve never been an entertainer, but used to stress over things not being the way I wanted them to be. God has shown me to just open our home and it has been such a gift to my heart to hear people talk, laugh, cry – sharing their lives and growing. I’d love a copy of the book.

  476. Thank you for this devotional! I’d love to win a copy of the book, especially since our church is currently studying 1st Peter. Blessings to you!

  477. Love this. I have always found that as a guest, I’m the most comfortable when I have to move a magazine or toy to sit down, or when I’m told, ” go help yourself” when the kitchen insn’t spotless. I still struggle when it comes to my hospitality under those conditions in my home though!

  478. Vanessas Swangles says:

    I so concur, What eye opener. My next function will be oooh so different….I will also be interested in your new devotional of 1st Peter. Thank you and thank you so much for that great article.

  479. What an awesome testimony! I just found P31 Devotions. What a great publisher to share their hospitality and blessings with a gift copy of this book. There will be an opportunity for those five copies to be a blessing to five more after the first five. Then it’s wide open to everyone! ?

  480. Very encouraging blog! I just had guests over last nightto eat and they were 40 minutes early! My vacuum cleaner was in the middle of the living room, I had no make up on, My kitchen was a disaster. It was an opportunity to turn a sad situation into one of fun and laughter, making my guest feel right at home. I totally get the entertaining versus hospitality idea, and I agree 100%!

  481. Love this reminder! Most of us learn this over time. I love to have people over and have learned to let go of the little things. This has allowed me to enjoy spending time with the people we have over, which is the reason we should be doing it in the first place.

  482. Rebecca Farris says:

    Thank you for sharing these thoughts. I’m not much of an entertainer, but am encouraged to practice hospitality in the future!

  483. I loved reading this message yesterday – so insightful! I passed along to my husband and he said it seemed like it was written for me. I love cooking and hosting friends & family, but too often stress about the details. Thanks for helping me reframe my perspective on entertaining & hospitality!

  484. DeLesa Curtis says:

    Thanks for the encouraging words. Opening our home and enjoying the time with one another. Spiritual time yes!!!!

  485. As I travel through life as a wife & momma I want to be the best I can be. But I want to be the me God wants me to be. I feel like I wonder around going from one identity to the next trying to fulfill my role, but never feeling contend or satisfied. I am a good wife and good mom, but I just want to be a good me. So all my roles just come naturally the way God intended me to be. And so others see God in me.

  486. Kristin F. says:

    Sounds like a great book!

  487. As a woman that deals with perfectionism and overwhelm, I would love to win this book to help with the softening of my heart in this area. Thank you for the opportunity!

  488. My soul is so thankful to read this.
    My husband has always had state jobs and we have always lived in state housing. While it’s always been free housing it has not alway been elegant. Right now our expanding family of three lives in a retired FEMA single wide trailer from the 80s. While we are thankful for shelter, togetherness, family and friends, I have always been a little self conscious about having people come to our home. I am slowly learning that Jesus in a home makes it more beautiful than painted walls and expensive furniture.
    Thank you for writing this article!

  489. Thank you for this inspiring devotional.

  490. Hi there!
    I do struggle with this a lot. I want to practice hospitality but get too nervous about what others will think. I worry about not being good enough. I pray God will help me change. I would love a copy of this boo!

    Thanks fort the blog post!

  491. What a great reminder!

  492. Carrie Smith says:

    Thank you for this. I have been confusing the two for a long time now! God has really been laying on my heart lately that the menu, the decor, etc… Doesn’t matter– the people do!

  493. Diane Poupore says:

    That was an excellent message! Thank you!

  494. Tanya Schiber says:

    What perfect timing! My bible class at church has just begun studying 1 Peter. I am forever surprised how P31 is always so relevant to my current life situations.

  495. What a great reminder of where our focus needs to be when serving others.

  496. Thankyou, thankyou, thankyou….for your “choose hospitality” devotion !!!!
    I’m praying for forgiveness, for my many years of entertaining…..thinking it was hospitality …..Sue

  497. I am thanking God for this & His timing in seeing it. Affirmation of where He has been positioning my heart for some time to open my home more often & more freely for what I call “Impromptu Interruptions of Joy”. On the fly God has asked me to ask my kids’ friends & their moms over for different occasions to spend time enjoying life. Tea parties, scavenger hunts, make-your-own-pizza nights, whatever! The kids have fun, we moms have fun. Through these God is teaching me to keep it simple, to prepare ahead of time whatever I can, & ask the guests to help–all so we can use the time to enjoy each other & laugh over the imperfections! God is using these times to be a stage for His truth with heart-to-heart discussions on how to keep our kids walking in truth, what we love about God most, what we’re thankful for… He is teaching me that it is actually BETTER, more joyful, loving, blessed to have these gatherings with a messy house & no makeup. The message of freely offering all God has given me to those He asks me to invite opens the door for His love to take place in so many ways that are so wonderfully not of me, of Him!

  498. Love this! Impress or bless–kind of makes our goal clear, doesn’t it?

  499. Katie Sexton says:

    Thank you so much. I often entertain ladies fr my Bible study group. I will never entertain these precious ladies again but I will offer hospitality to them more often. Now that I realize I don’t have to have a prefect home before I invite them in…thank you for allowing God to share His truth through you.

  500. This was such a blessing to read and reflect on. Striving for having the perfect setup for friends and family to come over makes me anxious and stressed. I am definitely going to try choosing hospitality over entertaining.

  501. Carmela Greer says:

    Thank you for your sweet honesty about what yoi learned about the difference between entertaining and hospitality. God bless you!

  502. Thank you so much! I often fear having others over because of the mess or because I haven’t prepared a gourmet meal. But that’s entertaining and I want to be hospitable!

  503. Wow. What a perspective! Leaves us with the ability to enjoy our guests instead of being stressed out.

  504. This was such a great reminder! Thank you! I love opening my home up and having people over. It’s easy to think I need to have everything perfect before I can serve others. But if I’m seeking to impress people, than my motives are self-focused, and in reality I’m serving myself instead of others.

  505. It is a struggle to be hospitable with little ones in the house – it is easier when the people you invite are happy to eat peanut butter and jelly with you πŸ˜‰

  506. Thank you for your honesty! It was so helpful, I want to be better at serving others

  507. Frances Bates says:

    Thank you for sharing your “mistake” and letting us know we are not alone. It has been a long time since I was hospitable towards others. In my battle with depression there are many times when I feel all alone but maybe I need to be the one to ask someone for tea and cookies. May God grant me the strength and wisdom to do this in the very near future.

  508. Thanks so much for this encouraging post!

  509. My child has taught me the joys of hospitality as he loves to invite his entire class home for lunch

  510. Lauren White says:

    This reading on hospitality versus entertaining was a joy to read – and exactly what this momma of 18 month old twins needed to set my mind on the right path!!

    Thankful for your obedient heart in sharing God’s word and encouraging others – and doing it all with raw honesty. It seems that raw honesty is becoming more and more rare in this day and age – certainly when it comes to being honest about ourselves! thank you for your love and heart.

    Would love to be able to dig into your enlightening study of 1 Peter!!!

  511. Sharon Walk says:

    When I read this, I realized that i have been taught wrong both by my mother the person who came and taught a class for seem wives when my husband was in seminary.

  512. Angie Henry says:

    Would love to share these with the women at my church.

  513. Our church had it’s CEW (Christian Experience Weekend) this past weekend for the women. Then men’s is in two weeks. I was blessed to be the co-kitchen lead with an amazing person and a group of ladies that helped make delicious meals for the weekend. Reading this was just what we accomplished…..we had some flaws, but we had fun and our guests were treated and satisfied by our meals. Wonderful weekend and great timing on this read. Thank you!

  514. I would very much enjoy this.

  515. I would love to study I Peter with this book!

  516. Oh, how I needed this reminder today…this month!! After a failed start at a new ministry at our church I’ve been questioning my position in the church. Where does God want me and what does He want me to do have been my daily questions.

  517. Thank you for that clarification about hospitality. I hate entertaining and now I know why. I hope to become more hospitable.

  518. Good word. A little over a year ago I felt that God was telling me that I needed to grow in my hospitality skills. Then he gave me a lot of opportunities to practice. We hosted weekly Bible study, large parties, play dates, and other smaller gatherings.

    Also, I am loving Jen’s Abide study. Looking forward to doing more of her studies.

  519. Wendy Tucker says:

    May I be blessed with this book to read and study more!

  520. Love the explanation of the difference between hospitality and entertaining.
    Pray I become better at being hospitable.

  521. naomi chne says:


  522. Heather mcmurray says:

    Would love to read this. Am trying to find guidance in discipline, time mgt, choices, as shown in the Word.

  523. Entering to win a free copy of Jen’s book!

  524. Single mom here who’s being broken of perfectionism because I literally can’t do it all!

  525. Erica Alvarez says:

    Amen, sister! Good words.

  526. The perfectionist in me needed this. Thank you!!

  527. Would love to win this book!

  528. Thank you for your incredible words of encouragement! Remembering hospitality is about fellowship with people not the show and tell of a perfectionistic appearance. Such a battle to allow myself to remember to breathe and enjoy. Looking forward to reading your book!

  529. Humility and honesty, how refreshing in our Pinterest perfect world! I have made myself sick with anxiety over entertaining, worrying that my home isn’t big enough or clean enough or up to a standard of perfection that isn’t real. Jen’s words are a gift to each of us who confuse Entertaining with Hospitality. Thank you!

  530. Sandra Jett says:

    I love your message on hospitality and it’s truth. I needed to hear this for sure.

  531. Thank you for clarifying the difference between entertaining and hospitality. When company would comment that our home was comfortable and homey, I thought they were really saying it was a lived in, cluttery mess. I try to keep things picked up and orderly, but unless I deep clean I never feel like it is ready for company. Your words have inspired me to not stress ~ being hospitable and a blessings is much more important.

  532. I concur. Applying Romans 12, loving one another in action. ?

  533. So true and so easy to forget. We need resources like this that help us change our hearts and minds, renewing them to think and act rightly towards the most needy of our hospitality. Thank you for publishing your book and giving it away.

  534. Pam Campbell says:

    Our congregation is reexamining our implementation of the hospitality concept. What a timely resource for us! Must be a God thing, praise His Name!

  535. I was so blessed by this devotion. I must admit that I am an entertainer and not as focused on the hospitality part. Thank you for bringing this to light as I pray for a more hospitable heart.

  536. Teresa Vogelsang says:

    Thank you for the hospitality post. It really hit home!

  537. Hospitality flows from our hearts and pleases our Father, entertaining pleases the world.

  538. I’m defintely guilty of trying to impress rather than bless. Pride is an area God keeps pointing out needs work.

  539. Great to admit your mistakes and be real with others. It makes the reader more open to what you have to say. And what you had to say here was definitely worth reading!!

  540. I would love to do a study by a woman willing to share how she’s grown in Christ with us.

  541. thank you for your challenging reminder. i would love to have a copy of this bible study book.i struggle with my perfectionism and with believing what the world says about me rather than what God says.

  542. JEN, I loved your post on the unfavorable Twitter post on clean and orderly houses. Smiles! THANK YOU and BLESS YOU for “nailing it” and understanding my world. I will keep reading and I FORGIVE YOU( and MYSELF for putting such unrealistic and shallow demands on myself, as a single mother of 2). Please KEEP writing and SHARING GODS WORD.

  543. What an exciting new way for me to serve others in Hospitality; I love talking and blessed with company at times my home is scattered and not perfect I know I serve a perfect God of hospitality!! Thanks.

  544. Words to live by! Thanks for a great read.

  545. Hospitality, what I desire to share, to be, to do. Wouldn’t you know so many of the very things mentioned here have kept me from sharing God’s love from my home for years. I would enjoy winning the book, but I covet prayers that even in my mid fifties I follow my heart and clear the clutter that keeps others out. That I open the doors of my home in true Christian love and the hospitality my Savior would have me share.

  546. My mom was an entertainer, and I unfortunately have followed in her footsteps, but anymore, I’m really trying to learn how to be hospitable. I’m so glad for the clarity brought forth in this devotion, and I am inspired by your example of humility in seeking forgiveness for a prior cavalier remark. May the Lord use your words to speak truth and positively impact his kingdom!

  547. I’m grateful that you’ve helped me with this. And, I hope I can express hospitality as beautifully in my life as you have here in this letter. Thank you!!

  548. Kaitlin Fulp says:

    Oh geez, oh petes! This post hit me straight in the heart! I am currently working on the hospitality portion of a women’s retreat put on by my church and I could in no way formulate my thoughts and words better than your work here Jen. I am going to create a entertainment vs. hospitality checklist and strive to ‘savor what is shared’ at this opportunity for fellowship! Well said, well said! Thank you!

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