Character Notes - Hospitality

Hallmarks of the character trait of hospitality are - Being a good neighbour, being a friend, caring for the needy.

Find your way around this page:
More than physical needs
Be Hospitable to your family
Skills to learn
Keeping our lives in Balance
Lessons from the Bible
Quotes on Hospitality
Questions to ask yourself
Articles on this character trait
Have your say

shaking handsGoing the extra mile when serving a cuppa

Cheerfully sharing food, shelter, or friendship with others
~ Character First

More than Physical Needs

In our culture food is so central to hospitality but if we are to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs we need not only physical food, but also spiritual food to give to our guests. I encourage you to pray for your guests before they step foot inside your house and send them on their way with a blessing – pray with them before they leave.

Be Hospitable to your family

After discussing ways that we can be hospitable to others I asked my children how they could be hospitable to each other.
  • Greet each other in the morning
  • Ask about each other’s plans, ask how their day went, be interested in their interests
  • Make sure we have time to listen and be with each other, do things that we know would bless each other
  • Be prepared to share my things, don’t be so protective of my things
  • Don’t keep score of who has done what

Skills to learn

  • Greet people with a handshake
  • Introduce people correctly
  • Have some standard questions in mind that will generate conversation and show you are interested in them
  • Understand and be aware of food allergies and how to take these into consideration
  • Create a welcoming atmosphere
  • Prepare food to share

Finding Balance with this character trait

The requirement of hospitality is not to take over our life so much so that we don’t maintain our other responsibilities.

Balance Time –
We need to divide our time across all the relationships and priorities we have in our lives.

Balance Money –
Caring for others does not have to be expensive; it is not about putting on a feast, it is about sharing what we already have.

Balance Possessions –
When our focus shifts from being on relationships to being on our stuff we are ‘entertaining’ not being ‘hospitable’. There is a difference.

Balance Energy –
We need to be fit and healthy enough to do the things on our hearts to do. We need to make sure we look after ourselves as well as looking after the needs of others – this includes ensuring we get enough rest.

Lessons from the Bible

The Good Samaritan - Luke 10:30-37

  • He cared even though he could have been hurt himself.
  • He cared even though he didn't like the other person.
  • He cared even though he didn't know the injured man.
  • He cared even though it cost him (time and money)

Mary and Martha – Luke 10:38-42

  • Welcomed Jesus and his disciples
  • They cooked a meal to share
  • They struggled over their attitudes

Quotes on Hospitality

Discuss these quotes with your family – they raise some great teaching opportunities

To have a friend, be a friend
~ unknown


When hospitality becomes an art it loses its very soul
~ Max Beerbohm


Hospitality should have no other nature than love.
~ Henrietta Mears


Let me live in my house by the side of the road, And be a friend to man.
- Sam Walter Foss


Where there is room in the heart, there is room in the house
~ Dutch Proverb

Questions to ask yourself

  • Do you arrange your time and your energies so you have enough to give to other people?
  • Do you subconsciously only invite those who ‘deserve it’ or will repay with a reciprocal invite?
  • Is your home prepared for guests – is it welcoming?
  • What stops you from inviting people to your home? What are you going to do about it?

Articles to read on this trait

Children need to be involved

more articles to come....

Do you talk about character issues
in your home?

I’d love to hear of the conversations you’ve had and the applications you’ve made in your home. Here is a quick and simple way to share your stories. You can share about this specific character trait or any general lesson.

And if you've made a poster to help your children remember things - add that as a graphic for all to be encouraged.

Live life with your kids!

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