Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

Practicing Hospitality

“For a bishop must be blameless, as the steward of God; not self-willed, not soon angry, not given to wine, no striker, not given to filthy lucre; But a lover of hospitality, a lover of good men, sober, just, holy, temperate…” Titus 1:7-8

One of the ways we serve the Lord as keepers of the home is to open the doors of our home to others and show hospitality. The Guest Room is all about using your home to bless others. I do want to make it clear right from the start, however, that you are to only show hospitality as long as your husband has agreed to it and does not mind. Remember that your first calling is to submit to your own husband so do not disobey him even in order to do thing that would be considered good or right. That being said, hospitality is a beautiful calling and one that God has spoken of often in His Word.

The passage above from Titus (also found in 1 Timothy) is a list of qualifications for a bishop in the church. A bishop would be an overseer or elder in the church body. He is held to a high standard because he will take on the responsibility of caring for the body of Christ and it is a big deal. So part of the qualifications for a man to become a bishop is that he must be a lover of hospitality. He doesn’t just tolerate hospitality, but he loves it. To understand what that means we need to know what the word “hospitality” really does mean.

Looking up the Greek word we can see that there is not much to go on. The word simply means “hospitable or generous to guests.” It doesn’t say much. In the dictionary the word “hospitality” means: “the friendly reception and treatment of guests or strangers, the quality or disposition of receiving and treating guests and strangers in a warm, friendly or generous way.” So hospitality is welcoming guests and strangers. This is fantastic! Who knew that as Christians we were to be welcoming strangers? We would have if we were reading the Bible as we should be because it says so right there.

“Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Hebrews 13:2

I love this verse in Hebrews because it ties right in with the story of Lot. When the angels came to his town he showed them hospitality and brought them into his home. He was indeed entertaining strangers unawares! Then we see his family was the only one to be brought outside of Sodom before the firestorm. God wants us to welcome strangers and guests into our lives, whether it be at home, in the church, or wherever we can serve them. We should also be welcoming our church family into our homes and sharing life with them. In the book of Acts, the disciples of Christ and New Testament Christians went from home to home each night, breaking bread together and talking about Jesus. This is the kind of close-knit relationships we are meant to have within the body of Christ. I believe the church family should be so close that we are connected in unity, but we should also be ever-so ecstatic to open our arms to strangers and draw them in.

 “Use hospitality one to another without grudging.” 1 Peter 4:9

We are to extend hospitality and also do so with a good heart and attitude. Have you ever invited a family from church over for dinner and forgot that you had a very busy day planned and ended up running around like a lunatic all day to get the house in order, the groceries bought and the dinner cooked before your guests arrived? I have done this very thing. You love having people over but the added work can sometimes be a heavy burden and that can lead to complaining and grumbling. God wants us to show hospitality to others with a good attitude. He wants us to enjoy it. How can we make ourselves enjoy what is a difficult task to accomplish? We are as prepared as possible and we realize that God is not asking us for perfection. The house doesn’t have to be immaculate, nor the meal sublime, in order to extend hospitality. The more you practice hospitality, the more it will become a way of life and a part of life that is not stressful but pleasant.

This gift of hospitality is one way that God knits our hearts together with others from our church body. My husband I believe that having close relationships within the church is very important. We therefore try often to have other families over for dinner in order to get to know them better, find out how they are doing, and simply edify one another in the Lord. If I waited until my schedule was clear or my house was in perfect array before I invited anyone over, we would miss a lot of good, uplifting fellowship time with our brothers and sisters.

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Love Your Husband

“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:3-5

Aged women should instruct the younger women to love their husbands. Now this can seem like a funny statement to some women, especially to younger wives and newlyweds. It seems to be a silly thing to advise someone, for surely a young wife loves her husband automatically and without hesitation at all times. That’s why she married him, right? It’s certainly true that most people truly love each other when they get married. They have a passion for one another and that blissful feeling that they will live happily ever after. How many women go into a marriage knowing it’s going to be a failure? Even early on in our marriages, or before the wedding itself, we must study the Word and pray about why God would include in this verse that older women should teach younger women to love their husbands. The Lord wouldn’t have included it if it were not something we needed to know. It’s important we understand what the word “love” really means and how loving our husbands could mean something different to them than it does to us.

The first thing to consider is the culture at the time that this scripture was written. People during this period had a far different idea of love then we do today, and that is due in part to the typical nature of arranged marriages. Today most people choose their own spouses, and therefore will only marry someone they love emotionally. In the days of the early church, women and men were matched for marriage by parents and for all manner of reasons. It was tradition, and in most cases it worked out just fine. Many wives at the time this passage was being written would have been placed into an arranged marriage, and therefore might not have feelings of love for their husbands right from the start. It was not unusual for men and women to be betrothed before they even met. These wives did not start loving their husbands until after their marriage began. They therefore were instructed by older women to choose to love their husbands, and often the feelings of love would develop later in the marriage over time.

This concept reminds me of one of my favorite books by author Janette Oak, “Love Comes Softly.” In this book a woman must marry a complete stranger out of sheer necessity. He is respectful and kind to her, and her affections begin to grow towards him slowly but surely over time. I highly suggest reading this book or watching the movie version. It will certainly make you laugh and cry! As this book so rightly presents, love sometimes comes after time, as respect for a person grows and develops into deeper feelings. Ultimately, in these cases, a woman chooses to love by being the wife God has called her to be, regardless of her immediate emotions and feelings.

Love is not simply a feeling. It is also a choice. Every woman of this generation can agree that love in the early stages of courtship and marriage is much different than in the later years. It starts out as an exciting burst of emotion that can hardly be contained. As time goes by, love is still there, but it changes and develops into even deeper forms of love, respect and honor of one another. Sometimes women in their super-emotional states will feel confused by this change and will think love has faded or gone. Or perhaps the husband begins to behave differently than he did the beginning. Husband and wife are becoming more comfortable with one another and less apt to try to impress each other. Romance just doesn’t have that flare it used to. Perhaps problems have developed in the marriage, and your husband is simply not acting in a loving way, which makes your feelings of love for him diminish. Perhaps it is you who are not living up to your commitments within the union.

There are many reasons the feelings of love change in marriage. Couples often joke that after the first couple years their sex life dwindles, as if that’s the norm in all marriages today. In a lot of homes, I’m sure it is the case. No matter what the cause or symptoms for these changing emotions, women must remember that love is also a choice. We can choose to love and respect our husbands regardless of how we feel at the moment, or whether or not he deserves our love. Just as we can choose to have a good attitude and to take our bad thoughts captive, we can choose to love in deed and truth with the power of the Holy Spirit. This is what the aged women are trying to teach the younger women and it is an important message in a world where people are filing for divorce because they simply “fell out of love.” You can fall out of a boat but you choose to stop loving someone.

According to Titus 2, God wants wives to love their husbands whether they deserve it or not. This commandment is between us ladies and God. He is the one instructing us to love our husbands, and if we disobey, it is the Lord we are turning our backs on. If we obey, it is the Lord who sees and will be honored by our obedience to love. Choose God’s way ladies. Love your husbands whether they deserve it or not. Keep on loving them when times are hard, and never withhold your love from your man.

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Being Discreet

“The aged women likewise, that they be in behaviour as becometh holiness, not false accusers, not given to much wine, teachers of good things; That they may teach the young women to be sober, to love their husbands, to love their children, To be discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed.” Titus 2:3-5

The word “discreet” is the Greek word “sōphrōn” which means, “of a sound mind, sane, in one’s senses, curbing one’s desires and impulses, self-controlled and temperate.” Being discreet is to be controlled and disciplined in all areas of your life. That does not mean you cannot have fun. A classy woman can certainly be discreet and have fun at the same time. Just don’t get out of control and make a fool of yourself!

Whenever I think of this word, the first image that pops into my mind is of one of those classic actresses from the black and white movies who were so well-put together and graceful at all times. These ladies were proper and dignified. They did not open their mouths for rude and obnoxious comments to come forth. They did not behave as if they were intoxicated, being loud and brassy and forceful. They were controlled, reserved and discreet. While generations and times are changing, and we the classy women of yesterday’s films have been replaced by crude and immodest women who are anything but disciplined, God’s desire for the role of the wife has not changed. And secretly, although men of today may be scared to say so for fear of being persecuted by the liberal left-wing feminists, most husbands still want a discreet wife by their side.

So what characteristics make one discreet? In public, a woman’s behavior should be dignified and controlled. Dress appropriately and modestly. Today, too many women in the church are dressing as if they are trying to get attention for their bodies. Wives, your body is for your husband alone, so cover up that exposed skin and dress in a way that speaks of your modesty. When speaking to others, try not to be too loud or boisterous. Do not squeeze your way into other people’s conversations unless you know it’s appropriate. Do not be forceful and avoid gossip by any means necessary. When speaking of your husband, never criticize him in front of others, even when he is not present. Build him up and speak only positive things. Talking disrespectfully about your husband, whether he is there or not, is a sin according to God’s Word. Furthermore, be cautious about what you share in conversations. Do not disclose all aspects of your personal life, especially if you know your husband would not approve.

Be reserved and ladylike. Femininity is beautiful to the Lord and to your husband. Do not be afraid to be soft, gentle and feminine. This is for public or private life. It is still important to be discreet at home with your hubby and children. In other words, do not be loud-mouthed, bossy or masculine at home either. When your husband comes home from work, let him come home to a pleasant home and a wife who is looking good for him. While wearing sweats and having your hair up in a messy ponytail on your head is comfortable and fine for cleaning house, try and make yourself pretty by the time your man walks in that door. He will appreciate it.

Being discreet includes your actions. A woman who runs up thousands of dollars on her credit card on impulse buys is not being discreet. A woman who hangs her bras out to dry on a clothesline in the front yard in the middle of town is not being discreet. A woman who screams at her kids in the grocery store when they are misbehaving is not being discreet. The Lord desires us to be a people of discipline and self-control. The world is full of people acting and talking however they like with no regard to discretion. Your discreet attitude will not only make your husband and children proud of you, but it will be a witnessing tool to others as they notice that something is different about you and begin to seek it out. Be discreet.

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