Children, you show love for others by truly helping them, and not merely by talking about it. When we love others, we know that we belong to the truth, and we feel at ease in the presence of God. (CEV) 1 John 3:18-19
We want to raise our children to have a heart for others and service. This may seem difficult in a self-centered world, but God makes it possible! In his Word, God gives us everything we need to teach and model hospitality to our children.
God commands us to be hospitable. Hospitality is a character trait of his children. Use the following verses to help teach your children what God says about hospitality.
Romans 12:13 - “Take care of God’s needy people and welcome strangers into your home.”
Hebrews 13:2 - “Be sure to welcome strangers into your home. By doing this, some people have welcomed angels as guests, without even knowing it.”
1 Peter 4:9 - “Welcome people into your home and don’t grumble about it.”
God shows us how to be hospitable. As parents, we model behaviors to plant the seeds we want to grow in our children.
Serve a Meal Luke 14:13-15
Sharing a meal is a great way to show hospitality and get your whole family involved. Is there a new family at church, or neighbors you’d like to get to know better? Invite them over for dinner. Or perhaps there’s a new mom or someone who is sick who could use a meal delivered. A care package of baked goods to a college student means so much when they are away from home.
Spread Kindness Ephesians 4:32
There are numerous opportunities to teach your child about acts of kindness. All are great ways to model the love of Christ.
Serve at your church or food bank.
Send a card to encourage a friend or family member.
Donate money to a charity.
Visit the Random Acts of Kindness Foundation for more information and ideas.
Share What You Have Hebrews 13:16
God blesses us so we can bless others. He wants us to share what we have and build his kingdom. When we share, what we share belongs to God, not ourselves. Offer that extra shovel, hedge trimmer, or ladder to your neighbor to use. Share the blessing of your car by giving someone a ride to work. Give away clothes and toys your child has outgrown. Set an annual family task to sort through clothes and toys and decide which items could be donated. This is a great opportunity to teach gratitude and giving.
As a family, set a hospitality goal, and develop a plan you can put into action. Look for teachable moments in your home and community to put hospitality into practice. Learning kindness and generosity as a child can develop into a lifestyle of hospitality as an adult. Sometimes the best method of teaching is doing.
Want to do a deep dive? Check out Family Fire's article Can I Offer Hospitality? to learn more.