Teaching Our Children The Art of Hospitality

Today I’m participating in the Ultimate Blog Swap. You’ll find me posting over at The American Homemaker about a fun Shrinky Dink Garden Stakes craft, and I’m excited to welcome Jenny from A Mother’s Heritage:

Hi! I am Jenny over at A Mother’s Heritage and am so happy to be a part of the Ultimate Blog Swap. It is a privilege to be able to guest post today for you!

Let me tell you a little about myself. My husband and I just celebrated our 16th anniversary after a beautiful courtship. The Lord has now blessed us with 7 precious children. We are in a season of raising teenagers all the way down to an infant. Yes, my life is busy but it is full of tremendous blessing!

Today I would like to talk about teaching our children the art of hospitality. This is something that is cultivated very little in our society today and yet the Lord puts a priority on it. As Christians the Lord commands us to be hospitable. 1 Peter 4:9 says “Use hospitality without grudging.” Have you ever thought about how it is our responsibility to train our children in this forgotten art of hospitality?

It says in Deut. 6:7 “And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.” We are to teach our children in our everyday life, day in and day out, how to live as a follower of Jesus. One of those areas we are to train them practically in is hospitality. In other words we must impress this on our children by example.

Today, I would like to share a few practical ideas on how we can involve our children in the joyful art of hospitality.

Show joyfulness. Children are very perceptive and can easily see if our hearts are engaged in what we are doing or not. Use hospitality without grudging is the command we are given. Let the little ones see our cheerfulness as we expectantly prepare for our guests. If we are stressed and harried in our preparations we may send a signal to them that this is a burden rather than a blessing. As the hands and feet of Christ it is a privilege to minister and serve those around us.

Keep it simple. Many times we get overwhelmed by the thought of opening our home, because we have these expectations that our homes must be perfect and our menus something out of a gourmet cookbook. When you have a house full of little ones this is just not practical. We have had a houseful of people time and time again using paper plates and serving southern beans and cornbread. The fellowship and the Christian encouragement is what matters, not the expensive china or perfect model home.

Instruct your children in basic etiquette. This would include teaching the little ones to greet their guests with smiles and eye contact, taking their coats, and offering them a drink. It might be a cool glass of water, or a hot cup of tea.

Teach your children to look for unexpected ways to add an extra little touch. It might be a slice of lemon to their water, or a sprig of mint on their plate. If you are having overnight guests have your children make them little welcome cards to place in their room with a piece of chocolate next to it.


Involve the children according to their abilities in the preparations.

Here are a few examples:

Gather pretty flowers to go on the table

Make a welcome card or sign for your guests

Fold napkins to put on the table

Cut up veggies on a cutting board for a salad

Make a simple dessert that they can do “all by themselves”. A few ideas are: Freezer cookies, Jello served with Cool Whip, or a no-bake ice cream dish such as the Duggars Layered Ice Cream Cake (one of our family’s favorites!)

In short, make hospitality a family event that is fun and enjoyable. What a blessing for a child to grow up in a home full of hospitality, where the door is always open to show the love of Christ!

“And the King shall answer and say unto them, Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.” Matthew 25:40

Jenny is a normal mom with a larger than normal family and an extraordinary God! Come join her as we laugh, cry and seek to walk in this journey called life.. Her life is full keeping her home with her amazing husband and beautiful children. She also loves to sing and write. You can visit her blog over at A Mother’s Heritage.

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Comments

  1. I hope my children will see me as a delighted, peaceful host, and I can teach them to be the same. Wonderful tips! Thank you.

  2. I love this! My mom instilled in me a love of hospitality, but she did often appear very stressed in preparing for guests. I have intentionally tried to remember that hospitality is about opening my home to others no matter how messy or imperfect it is. Sometimes it does mean simplifying meals and ignoring an unmopped floor, because it’s the fellowship that matters.

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