Moms, Women, Hospitality, and the Gospel

Chris and I went out on a real live date this past Friday night. Some sweet friends of ours ASKED US to watch Elias so that we could break away for a little bit. (We love them!) And it was so nice. We love, love, love our sweet son, but it’s the small things on a little date night: not having to carry around a 30 lb. car seat and extra baggage, taking a leisurely walk around unhampered by the weight of said carried items, getting to chat with each other undistracted, or to simply stare silently into the abyss realizing how tired you’ve become these past 8 months…if you’re like us.

While we were on our date, we took a few moments to reflect on the wonderful attributes of our sweet mommas: these fearless leaders who raised us in a culture that was throwing  new challenges at them, these loving women who showed us discipline and love and grace as we made the mistakes so common to mankind – children and teenagers in particular.

When I asked Chris what he most loves about his momma, I wasn’t surprised by his answer. It’s one of the reasons that I so love her. He commented on her boldness and fearlessness in providing for her family. This dedicated woman loves her family fiercely, and she fights for them. It could be in a big way, like trying to help them navigate a life challenge, or in a small way, like making sure that the restaurant gives her family what they ordered. She is a go-with-the-flow momma when it comes to her kids while equally demonstrating courage and protection for them. I’m thankful to have been lumped into that group through my marriage to Chris. She’s a wonderful woman.

When Chris turned the question back to me, it was an easy answer. I will forever be grateful for the ways that my mom made our home such a haven. We wanted to be there, couldn’t wait to come back. Whether it was returning from a full day of school, coming home from hanging out with friends, returning for a weekend break from college, or, more common to me now, the twice a year visits. Wherever my momma is, there is a warm and inviting home waiting for those she loves.

My mom loves through action. She was taught my the best in my Mammaw. Mom sure knows how to make you feel wanted and loved. And through my previous years in the classroom, and now in my current role as homemaker and stay at home momma, I see how difficult this can be. Driven by love, my mom cleaned, made great dinners for us throughout the week, encouraged family dinner time, played games, told jokes, showered us in things she knew we would love (at just the right amount so that we didn’t live in the allusion that all revolved around us – just so that we knew she truly saw us).

What I love about the picture of the two moms that we’ve been given in our family is this: we have learned so much about what it is to create a sense of belonging in our own families. And I think this is such a powerful concept within the Lord’s family as well. So much of the growth of relationships happens within the home, as people pour into their families and then also into other families. I believe Jesus is glorified in these love-generating, joy-seeking, selfless, God-honoring relationships.

Yesterday in church, Pastor Mike preached a convicting sermon on hospitality, focusing on the hospitable spirits displayed in Peter’s wife and mother-in-law as they contributed to Jesus’ ministry. His key ideas about hospitality were this:

  1. Selfless hospitality connects you with God’s family.
  2. Selfless hospitality connects you with the stranger who may need the gospel.
  3. Selfless hospitality connects you with God’s servants.
  4. Selfless hospitality connects you with God by connecting you with the people of God.

How blessed are we when we have seen pictures of this selflessness on display through hospitality within our own homes?

Mothers are a big deal. They are little images of Jesus to their children – imperfect as we all are. We are the ones who have the opportunity to give of ourselves so that others will be provided for, emboldened, treasured, disciplined, loved.

May we be challenged and encouraged that–regardless of the blessings or challenges we’ve faced at the hands of our moms–the Lord has called us, in particular as women, to create homes that model the gospel and cause people to desire to be a part of God’s story of redemption. What a cool calling that women have!

I end with one of my favorite verses about the ideal woman from Proverbs 31:25-27:

25 She is clothed with strength and dignity;
    she can laugh at the days to come.
26 She speaks with wisdom,
    and faithful instruction is on her tongue.
27 She watches over the affairs of her household
    and does not eat the bread of idleness.

Those are some big shoes to attempt to fill, but I pray that we’d be fearless in our attempt.



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