The writer of Hebrews counseled: “Do not forget to entertain strangers, for by doing so some people have shown hospitality to angels without knowing it.” (13:2)
A spirit of welcome; hospitality; entertaining others. Important parts of life, and important thing to model for our children and help them learn to do first-hand. What better way to demonstrate Christlikeness – selflessness and others-focus – than by inviting them into your home? So when my kids asked if we could have a Valentine’s party this year, I said yes.
The party was this morning; my kids anticipated it eagerly, and everyone had a good time amidst the chaos. But during the event, in which twenty children between 0 and 7 years old and ten moms were involved, I realized I’d not done a good job of prepping my children about the meaning of hospitality. Our focus has gone primarily to preparation enthusiasm; making Valentine cards; putting up decorations; baking cookies to be frosted. I’d neglected, though, to hone in on the goal and the purpose that belong to the host: to put guests first in all things. To make sure they are having a good time. To be thoughtful and selfless. I’m not sure how much such dialog would have helped in curbing their rowdy, relatively self-focused, sometimes demanding mindsets as they engaged with more than two dozen people in their home… but it sure couldn’t have hurt.
Chalk it up to lessons learned for next time; important ones…