Hospitality and self-care

As moms, we deserve a night to ourselves. As career women, we deserve a girls night out after a long week. As women, we deserve a massage and pedicure because life is hard. We live in an age where “self-care” is essential. In reality, we deserve zero “self-care”. Hang with me on this. Maggie Combs has spoken on this idea via her Instagram stories and she conveys that what we actually need is soul-care over self-care. Soul-care is steeping myself in God’s Word and finding my refreshment in who HE is and how He cares for me even when I can’t leave my routine for a pedicure or girls night.

As an introvert, this is a battle for me. I legitimately need time to myself to process, think and replenish my spirit in order for me to be the best “me” for my husband and children. The moment I feel like I deserve “me time” because of all I’ve done this week, my perspective has shifted and my motives have become selfish. I don’t have it down, and likely never will. However, it’s critical for me that I don’t ever allow my selfish thoughts of “but I’ve already done X,Y, & Z this week” to give me an excuse to pass up opportunities for hospitality.

Hospitality is a biblical mandate. Abiding with Christ is a biblical mandate. Self-care is not. I put it this bluntly because this is the hard reality I have come to terms with. Hospitality is the act of loving strangers. That means we have to get outside of our comfort zones and connect with all types of people around us! For me, when I’m practicing self-care, my attitude is one of “Don't talk to me; don’t bother me.” When I’m in a selfish mindset of how much I deserve a night at home or some peace and quiet, I’m closing the door on possible opportunities to show hospitality in that moment. However, in the moments where I pushed past the excuses of being “too tired” or “taking on too much” and decided to take that meal to a family or invite that person over, I’ve never once regretted it. I’ve never once regretted putting hospitality above my own desires.

We probably remember the story of the Good Samaritan found in the Bible right? A man had been robbed and beaten and left on the side of the road. A priest and a Levite both encounter the man, cross the road, and carry on about their day choosing to ignore him. Then a Samaritan man comes along. Samaritans were viewed as second-class citizens. Perhaps that is why he took pity on the injured man - because he knew the pain of being tossed aside and ignored? The Samaritan man picked up the injured man, cleaned him up, and took him to an inn so that he could rest and recover without fear of further injury. The Samaritan hadn’t met this man before, yet he befriended him and paid for his hotel room for as long as necessary.

This story is the perfect example of not letting our plans keep us from giving ourselves to love others. I’m sure the Samaritan man had plans for his day. I’m sure he wasn’t just scouring the roadsides looking for someone to help. For all we know he was off to enjoy some much-needed self-care after a long few weeks. Instead, in one simple act of hospitality the legacy of this unnamed man has lived on for centuries.

So let’s take our girls’ nights and get our pedicures! Let’s enjoy a cup of coffee with a friend after a long week. But let’s not neglect showing hospitality just because we deserve a break!