My husband isn’t likely to admit it to you, but he is a very good cook, that is when family or friends can get him into the kitchen. His specialties have become some of our favorites. One of those rare events occurred several weeks ago when a physician friend and his wife joined us for dinner along with two other couples. Jim prepared his wonderful Southern fried chicken. He didn’t need a recipe because when he was a boy, his mother taught him all he needed to know. Unfortunately she didn’t teach him how to keep things clean while he works. He absolutely destroys my kitchen when he fries. Let me set the scene for you on that special evening.

Jim was adorned with an apron, and the canola oil was popping all over the stove. Ingredients were strewn everywhere when our guests began to arrive. Jim was up to his elbows in flour, and he trailed it all the way to the front door. Everyone caught the spirit of the occasion and pitched in to help. We were all laughing and having such a good time. Then when everything was ready, we sat down for a marvelous meal of perfectly fried chicken, mashed potatoes and gravy, and all the trimmings. It was soul food at its best. We topped the meal off with apple pie and frozen yogurt. (No, Jim didn’t bake the pie.) The best part of the evening was the warm fellowship we enjoyed, replete with stories and laughter. There is no restaurant anywhere that could have provided the pleasure and unique cuisine of this evening spent together.

I loved it because I have always cherished family, faith, and friends. I’m sure it is because as little girl, I didn’t grow up in a loving environment. My father had a severe drinking problem, so when guests came by for a visit, we never knew if my father would show up and embarrass us. I knew very early in life that, above all else, I wanted to have a loving, stable home when I grew up. I also wanted to marry someone like Jim. As it turned out, I had to wait until college to meet him. Other than my relationship with Jesus Christ, Jim has been God’s greatest blessing in my life.

I wanted a home that would reflect the values that mean so much to me. I am not a decorator, but I have an eye for beauty and charm. The houses we have lived in have not been large, but they have been expressions of my personality. Having friends join us here in our townhouse for times of hospitality and fellowship is such a pleasure to me. The Scripture teaches that it is fitting and proper for believers to welcome others into their homes. Here are some of the references:

  • Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality (Romans 12:13).
  • A bishop then must be blameless, the husband of one wife, vigilant, sober, of good behaviour, given to hospitality, apt to teach (1 Timothy 3:2 KJV).
  • …is well known for her good deeds, such as bringing up children, showing hospitality, washing the feet of the Lord’s people, helping those in trouble and devoting herself to all kinds of good deeds (1 Timothy 5:10).
  • Rather he must be hospitable, one who loves what is good, who is self-controlled, upright, holy and disciplined (Titus 1:8).
  • Use hospitality one to another without grudging (1 Peter 4:9KJV).

These verses leave no question about the importance of being gracious to others by inviting them into our homes. In 3 John 1:8  it reads, “We ought therefore to show hospitality to such men so that we may work together for the truth.” In short, being kind to others provides an opportunity to introduce the love of Jesus to those who might not know Him. That is not only relevant to adults, but it also applies to children.