February 24, 2013

Hospitality Is A Commanded Trend

Over the last year, our family has made a conscious effort to get together with other families between two and three times every week.  Hosting people in our home has become a great joy for us, as we share a meal and fellowship together.  When we first married, we might host a family once or twice a month, and over the years it has increased to 3 times a week, most weeks.  

We regularly fellowship with 8 to 10 families and we'll have other families over as our schedules allow.  And a wonderful thing has happened!  Those 8 or 10 families that we get together with, now more deliberately practice hospitality in their homes!  What a wonderful, behind the scenes, influence the Lord Jesus has made through us!  We are blessed to see the community of Christ enriched, commitments developed and deepened, as Christian families informally gather together.  When the Body of Christ gathers informally, it makes the formal (church worship) gatherings that much more meaningful.

It is difficult to have a deep, personal conversation one-on-one immediately before or after the Sunday morning worship service.  There are several reasons for this: other brothers and sisters also wish to talk with you; there are other ears that may hear your comments because it's a public setting; your watching your children expend their energy after sitting for so long; etc.  However, when you have another family in your home to share a meal together, you can expect at least 2 hours or more of time to mutually edify, encourage and pray with each other.  After two or three hours with one individual, you can really begin to know more about who they are.

It's always such a joy to have people in our home and to be invited to the homes of others to share a meal.  The fellowship is so sweet!  I'm always encouraged to press on toward the goal of the upward call in Christ - to endure another day or week of the trials of homeschooling my children, submitting to my husband and allowing God's sovereignty to determine our family size.

There are a lot of logistical reasons why some don't practice hospitality.  There are many things we do daily that make hospitality easier and joyfully anticipated, but that would be another blog post.  I commend it to you.

Let love be without hypocrisy.  Abhor what is evil; cling to what is good.  Be devoted to one another in brotherly love; give preference to one another in honor; not lagging behind in diligence, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord; rejoicing in hope, persevering in tribulation, devoted to prayer, contributing to the needs of the saints, practicing hospitality. 
Romans 12:9-13

February 1, 2013

Kid or Kindle?

There's a daycare located very close to our home that has a sign posted advertising the current special, "Enroll Now.  Free Kindle."

Now for those parents who use daycare and read a lot, this deal might be very appealing.

But for parents like my husband and I, we have to say, "Really?!  Are you serious?"

Let's take a moment to compare: Our children are made in the image of God.  They were created with immortal souls and, Lord willing, will live for decades to come.  We hope our children will care for us as we age and deteriorate.

Not so with the Kindle.  It is an electronic device, a gadget, without an immortal soul and will likely not be functional in even 10 years. 

So, trading our child for a Kindle is a no-brainer for us.  Our child has an infinite, priceless value and a Kindle just cannot compare. 

If I give you my child in exchange for the Kindle, you will be the one caring for her and she will turn out to be more loyal to you than to me, her flesh and blood.  She will more likely reject the responsibility of caring for me in the years ahead to chase after selfish pursuits.  That daycare is not going to teach my child the values I deem are important, like the fear and admonition of the Lord Jesus Christ, familial loyalty, and the intended created purpose of women: to be bearers and nurtures of the next generation keeping the home.  That daycare may very well teach them to hate God and exalt man, like the public schools. 

You can keep the Kindle.  I'll keep my child.