As a newly married woman with my own space now, one of the things I can’t wait to do is show hospitality to others. As I unpack my many boxes, I’m imaging how fun it’s going to be to invite people into my new little apartment and serve them a good meal. I can’t wait to have my family, friends, and neighbors over for some southern sweet tea and good conversations.
Here’s the thing though…as excited as I am about pursuing hospitality now, this isn’t a new practice for me. Pursuing hospitality is something I have enjoyed doing for many, many years, long before I ever got married. As a single woman, I loved showing hospitality to others. In fact, it was during my single years that I learned that hospitality isn’t something I do “once” I get married…but something I do with my entire life.
Whether we’re married or single, hospitality is something that God calls all believers to embrace and pursue. Romans 12:13 says, “Contribute to the needs of the saints and seek to show hospitality.” And 1 Peter 4:9 says, “Show hospitality to one another without grumbling.”
Hospitality comes from a heart attitude that says, “I want to bless and serve others for God’s glory.”
Since the goal of hospitality is to bless and serve those around us, we can all pursue this regardless of our marital status. Instead of waiting around with the “one day when I’m married and have a house of my own” mindset, you can choose to pursue hospitality right now. If you’re not sure where to start, here are some ideas.
5 creative ways to practice hospitality as a single woman:
1. Host Monthly Game Nights
One of my super sweet girlfriends, Liz Wickham, is a true inspiration of a girl practicing the art of hospitality. She’s recently married now, but when she was as a single woman living with her parents, she was exremely intentional with pursuing hospitality.
Liz was (and is) the hostess with the mostess when it came to her monthly game nights. She started these game nights as a way to build Christian community amongst the young people in her area. Every month she, along with her parents, would invite a group of young people into her family’s home for a time of fun, fellowship, and encouragement.
She took initiative, she came up with the idea, she organized and planned. And I can tell you from personal experience that her game nights were an incredible blessing to the young people in her community.
I really encourage you to consider taking this idea for yourself. Begin practicing the art of hospitality in this way. Hosting game nights has the potential to be a ton of fun and a huge blessing to others at the same time.
2. Plan Brunches, Lunches, or Coffee Dates with Girls
Fellowship with other young women is such a gift. The conversations, mutual encouragement, and delicious coffee make for the perfect blend. Often times these sweet gatherings do not happen because there isn’t someone to take the lead and plan it.
I want to encourage you to be that person. Be the one to give of your time and energy to bring young women together. This is an incredible way to love and serve the young women around you. If you want to begin practicing the art of hospitality right now, this is a great way to do it.
3. Ask Your Girlfriends Questions and Listen
The art of hospitality is about serving and blessing those around you. One of the best ways to show hospitality is by being a question asker and a listener. So often we as women are too caught up in our own lives to slow down and notice those around us.
I encourage you to take the time to slow down. Look at those around you and truly get to know them. Ask good questions and listen well. Be a woman who is willing to give up her time and energy to invest in the lives of those around you. This is a fabulous way to practice loving, serving, and blessing your community. And that is the core of hospitality.
4. Go Out of Your Way to Love Others
Earlier this year Kristen and I had a book launch party for the release of Love Defined. During the celebration, I noticed that several people had made big efforts to attend our launch party. Their willingness to give up their time and drive long distances meant the world to me.
I felt so loved and cared for knowing that these people gave up their time, energy and focus for me! It was a beautiful gift of loving and serving that I will never forget. Be that kind of person. Be the kind of girl who gives freely of her time and energy to bless those around you.
5. Notice the People Around You
Most every Tuesday and Wednesday I wake up and take one of my sisters to Starbucks for good sister convos. Most every Tuesday and Wednesday when I walk into Starbucks I see a sweet old man sitting in his usual spot. For several months I just walked by this old man and didn’t say a word. And then one day I smiled at him and he smiled back. That smile turned into a conversation, which turned into a friendship.
I no longer just walk by my sweet friend. I stop, I talk, I listen, and I ask about his wife who’s stuck at home due to poor health. A sweet friendship has developed and I now look forward to Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s when I’ll get to spend a few minutes with my friend.
Do you know how many people would love to be noticed? Do you know how much a smile can mean to someone? I want to encourage you to slow down and take the time to get to know the people around you. Maybe it’s an old man at Starbucks, maybe it’s the cashier you see every time you go to the grocery store, or, maybe it’s your neighbor. You can begin caring about the people in your life right now. It’s a beautiful display of hospitality you don’t want to miss.
As a single woman, choose to develop habits of hospitality now that will last a lifetime.
I want to challenge you to take initiative and practice loving and serving those around you. These habits will help you develop an attitude of hospitality before you have a home of your own. You don’t have to have your own space to be hospitable.
Remember, hospitality is more about a heart of love and service…not just opening up your home and letting people in. Whether single, married, with a personal home or living with your parents or roommate, you can practice hospitality right now.
For more on this topic, I encourage you to check out Why Modern Girls Should Embrace the Lost Art of Homemaking.