February is just a few days away! Time is flying it seems. How are you doing on showing hospitality so far this year? If you’ve been slow to take the plunge into showing hospitality as a lifestyle, February is a perfect time to start! After all, February is all about love and hearts right?
Growing up I didn’t really love February. I wasn’t much of a fan of pink or red. I didn’t have a boyfriend to give me flowers or make romantic gestures. Plus!! My birthday is actually on Valentines Day. Blech. In the midst of all of the lovey-dovey hoopla over the month of February, I felt very out of place. However, now that I’m married, a mom, and am in my thirties I can finally appreciate the month of February as more than a marketing ploy. It’s really the greatest month. The focus is on love, and while many limit it to romantic love, we should take the opportunity to show love to everyone and anyone we care about this month - teachers, friends, children, spouses, etc.
love one another - John 13:34-35
love unconditionally - 1 Peter 4:8
love is patient - 1 Corinthians 13:4
love keeps no record of wrong - 1 Corinthians 13:5
lavish love like Christ has for us - 1 John 3:1
We know the perfect example of love is Christ. We also know that God made each of us uniquely. Each of us is wired differently, but how we show and receive love can broadly be painted into 5 categories. The 5 Love Languages by Gary Chapman lists those as: quality time, physical touch, words of affirmation, gifts, and acts of service. So, based off of these 5 categories, let’s find a practical action step to show hospitality to those we love during the month of February. And I’d love to hear your ideas in the comments!
Pop over to a friend’s house. Call them and ask if they’re home. If they say yes, then tell them you’ll be over in about 20 minutes -no agenda or activity. If they’re not, that’s ok too. Just try again later. We’re losing the art of “just popping by” and it makes me bummed. Sure I run the risk of my house being a mess or me looking disheveled, but I wish people popped by more. There’s a comfort level involved with popping by that structured time together just doesn’t always afford.
Hug your people!! I know this seems like a no brainer but hear me out. I’m not a hugger. I don’t love or need physical touch like most people. However, I have several friends that are HUGGERS! You know the type. :) When I hug them after not seeing them for a while, or when I know they’re having a rough day, my hugs are extra special. They love them and they know that there’s genuine love in that hug of mine since I’m not wired that same way.
On this note, hug your spouse and your kids first thing each morning. Don’t let the busyness of the morning routine ever take precedence over giving hugs and kisses to your family members.
Words of Affirmation
Write little notes for your kiddo’s lunchbox. Maybe you’re friends with a co-worker and you’re leaving for lunch before her. Drop a post-it note on her car windshield telling her you’re grateful for her. Text your friend who’s out of town and tell her you’re glad you still keep in touch.
Never underestimate the power of dropping off a coffee or soft drink to a friend at work or their house. When friends have bought me a “happy” it means the world to me! In fact, one day my husband was out of town, kids were sick and sleeping and I really just wanted a Diet Dr. Pepper. I had 3 different friends drop off a can of that sweet caffeinated nectar!!!! They didn’t coordinate it; each of them just knew that in the struggle of that day it was an easy way to say I wasn’t alone! How special to know that I was thought of and someone would spend even a couple of dollars to bring me a little bit of joy.
Acts of Service
Stay until the end of the Super Bowl Party at your friend’s house. Help clean up and wash dishes. Ask a friend if they have anything you can drop off at Goodwill for them since you’re going anyway (#thankyouMarieKondo) Offer to watch a friend’s kiddo while they do some cleaning or have a doctor’s appointment.
All of these things are little actions. None of them are earth-shattering or even brand new concepts. However, as we go about life, it’s easy to miss the little moments to lavish love with intentionality. We can be so busy waiting to show love in big ways by hosting parties or taking meals to someone who is sick that we overlook the subtle opportunities we are presented with on a daily basis. Hospitality is all about focusing on other people. It’s about loving them in ways that make them feel seen, valuable and welcomed into your life.
I’d love to hear from you! What ideas do you have for ways to show hospitality based off your love language? How are you going to practice hospitality in February?