Show Hospitality to "Your" Saint
Be hospitable to one another. 1 Peter 4:9
Wayne and Julie had come to take each other for granted. Neither focused on the positive things about the other. They described their home atmosphere as one of distance and boredom, particularly now that their two children were away at college.
Marriage is filled with challenges that make ever-increasing hospitality vital. We often tell couples that after children enter the picture, they will need intentional times of reconnecting with one another. We also often warn parents to prepare their marriage as their children approach their teen years. These can be times of "divide and conquer" if Mom and Dad don't guard their relational oneness.
Wayne and Julie, on the other hand, were being challenged with the "empty nest" stage, and they needed an increasing sense of warmth that comes through hospitality. We worked with this couple on restoring an inviting, open relationship, taking the following three steps:
Keeping a journal of gratefulness. We encouraged Wayne and Julie to take one month and keep a written record of how God blessed them through one another. We instructed them to enter the date, how they were blessed, and how they showed appreciation. This focus on blessings was to help them overcome critical attitudes, which helped them show appreciation for one another.
Expressing private praise. We asked Wayne and Julie to focus on one another's character strengths. During quiet reflective times, they were to move toward one another with touch and eye contact, then verbalize their appreciation and love to one another.
Asking about needs. We encouraged this couple to ask one another lovingly how they could be better helpmates to one another.
Wayne and Julie took these challenges seriously and are now actively involved in helping other couples. Do the same as you take these steps.
What steps can you take today to reestablish marital hospitality in your relationship?
Father, help us make our home one that reflects divine hospitality.