Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Pursuing Hospitality: What If I Am Single?

What about those young men or women who are not married? Can they still practice hospitality? The answer to this is clear. Yes and they must. The command in Romans 12:13 is to all Christians, not just the married. However, there are can be some difficulties practicing hospitality when you are not married. Let me give a few bits of advice for those who are single. Much of this could also apply to couples who are limited in their space.

First, for young women and men still living at home. Make sure you are actively engaged in helping your parents with their hospitality. Do not stand by and let your parents do all the work. Do not assume that since you are now fifteen We learn best by doing.

Second, if you live on your own or with parents who do not share your convictions, you will have to think outside the box when it comes to hospitality. Most singles (and young couples) do not have room at their home/apartment to entertain a family. Or they may still live at home and this prevents them from just inviting people over. To fulfill this command they are going to have to do things a little differently. You could offer to bring a meal to a family’s house and eat it with them. Most families would love this. As a single man or woman, you could take a couple or family out to a restaurant for a meal. During the summer you could meet a family at a park with hotdogs, etc. and grill for them. When you are invited over to a home offer to bring some food or drink. As a single person you will have to find ways to practice hospitality that do not always involve your home. Do not be afraid to take initiative.

Third, watch hospitality in action. When you are invited to a home, observe and take mental notes about how things are done. Learn from the families around you so that you are ready to fill their shoes when the time comes.
Finally, do not forget other singles of the same sex. If you are a young man, invite young men to your home or apartment and cook them a meal. If you are a lady, living on her own or with a roommate, invite other ladies and serve them a meal. It may feel odd at first, but it is still hospitality.

2 comments:

beowulf2k8 said...

What does hospitality do in the modern world? I mean you read stories in the Old Testament where a traveler comes from another town and tries to sleep in the street because its late at night. So, some old man comes out and says "Come stay in my house! It's not safe out here!" Of course it turns out it isn't any safer in this guy's house in the two stories I have in mind. One is about Sodom and Gomorrah and the other about the Levite whose concubine is raped to death even after he takes shelter in this guy's house. Hospitality didn't do him much good. But in the modern world, where we have hotels and can roll into town at 3 in the morning and get a room no problem, its just not like the ancient world. Kinda like feet washing. You didn't walk on your journey and don't really need your feet washed. So why are you Calvinists being so legalistic on hospitality?

"What about those young men or women who are not married? Can they still practice hospitality? The answer to this is clear. Yes and they **must**."

There actually is no direct command "Thou shalt be hospitable" like their is "Thou shalt not commit adultery" which you Calvinists freely ignore. Rather Paul just says "Be not forgetful to lodge strangers for some have lodged angels unawares." Maybe you aren't forgetful but you don't see how it makes sense in the modern world with its hotels and such. And if you're single, especially a single white female, you don't see why you should put yourself in danger of rape to follow an antiquated practice that serves no purpose in the modern world.

--Rey Beowulf Jacobs
That's my name. Don't wear it out.

beowulf2k8 said...

Of course, due I suppose to awkward old english in the KJV you think that when it says "entertain" strangers it means invite them over to play Xbox, I suppose.


--Rey Beowulf Jacobs
That's my name. Don't wear it out.

Let the saints be joyful in glory, let them sing aloud on their beds, let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two edged sword in their hand, to execute vengeance on the nations, and punishments on the peoples; to bind the kings with chains and their nobles with fetters of iron. Psalm 149:5-8