“Hospitality means primarily the creation of free space where the stranger can enter and become a friend instead of an enemy. Hospitality is not to change people, but to offer them space where change can take place.” – Henri J.M Nouwen
Do you create space for your spouse to be able to grow? Do you treat your spouse as a friend or have they turned into your enemy as the years have gone by? Do you bring out the best in your spouse or do you criticize and belittle them?
1 Peter 4:8-10 says “Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling”.
Is your love for your spouse deep enough to cover over the ‘sins’ you feel they have committed against you? Do you offer your spouse hospitality without grumbling?
Marriage is built on hospitality. You need to make room for your spouse.
You need to make space in the cupboard so they can hang their clothes in half of it.
You need to make space in your bed for them.
You need to make space in your heart for them.
You need to make space in your life for them.
Do you offer your spouse hospitality within the confines of your marriage?
“There is no hospitality like understanding” – Vanna Bonta
Does your spouse feel understood by you or are there constant misunderstandings in your marriage?
“Hospitality exists when you believe the other person is on your side” – Danny Meyer
Does your spouse believe that you are on their side? That you believe in them?
“Hospitality is the practice of God’s welcome by reaching across differences to participate in God’s actions bringing justice and healing to our world in crisis.” – Letty M. Russell
Do you offer your spouse healing and justice when their world is in a crisis?
“When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality” – Roman 12:13
When your spouse is in need do you reach out your hand to help them? Do you make yourself available to them?
“The beauty of listening is that, those who are listened to start feeling accepted, start taking their words more seriously and discovering their own true selves. Listening is a form of spiritual hospitality…” – Henri J.M Nouwen
Do you allow your spouse to talk and do you listen in such a way that they feel heard?
Are you so hospitable towards your spouse that they have the freedom to be vulnerable with you?
And then the big question is, are you hospitable towards yourself? Do you offer yourself all the things we have mentioned above? Do you love yourself? Have you taken to heart the following commandment found in Mark 12:31 “Love your neighbor as yourself”?
In our marriages we need to learn to be hospitable to ourselves and our spouses.