ep. 79 on gratitude and hospitality

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ep. 79 | Gratitude and Hospitality with Mary Mohler

On today’s episode of the Journeywomen podcast, I’m chatting with Mary Mohler about gratitude and hospitality. We talk about everything from where we see hospitality modeled in the Bible to how the gospel actually enables us to be grateful and hospitable no matter what circumstances we find ourselves in.

As a veteran hostess, Mary shared some helpful, practical tips for opening our homes, as well as encouragement for those of us who feel a little more burdened as opposed to grateful when it comes to hosting and serving this time of year. We really hope this conversation encourages you to welcome others in as Christ has welcomed us.

I think you’ll find Mary as delightful as I did. So you’ll know her a little better, she serves in ministry as the president’s wife at The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary in Louisville, Kentucky.  She is also the founder and director of Seminary Wives Institute, an academic program for student wives started 20 years ago at Southern Seminary. She has been married to Dr. R. Albert Mohler, Jr. for 35 years.

  1. Can you tell us a little about who you are and what you do?

  2. Do you have some sort of definition for what it means to be truly grateful?

  3. What encouragement do you have for someone who tends to view life as though the glass is half-empty?

  4. How does the gospel enable us to be grateful no matter what our circumstances are?

  5. How does practicing gratitude lead us to share what God has given us with others?

  6. What is hospitality? Why do we practice hospitality?

  7. What’s the difference between biblical hospitality verses worldly hospitality?

  8. How do we see hospitality modeled in the gospel?

  9. How does opening our home enable us to both model and share the gospel and our gratitude for what God has done for us through the person of his Son, Jesus?

  10. What encouragement do you have for someone who has limited capacity and feels like they don’t have margin to welcome others into their home?

  11. What are some practical tips for practicing gratitude?

  12. What are some practical tips for welcoming others into our homes in a season of parenting small children? How about in college? In an apartment or even living with another family?

  13. What encouragement do you have for someone who feels like practicing hospitality is more of a burden than a delight?

  14. What is the joy in opening our homes and welcoming others as Christ has welcomed us?

THREE QUESTIONS I ASK EVERY GUEST

  1. What 3 resources would you recommend for someone who wants to practice gratitude and hospitality?

  2. What are your 3 simple joys?

  3. Who has had the greatest impact on your own journey with Jesus?

NOTEWORTHY QUOTES

“If you bump into us, gratitude should spill out of us for the simple and glorious reason that we’ve been reconciled to God through Jesus Christ, bought with the price of his blood, and thus we live a life that overflows with thankfulness.”

“We define being truly grateful as being mindful of the kindnesses extended to us by those we encounter and eagerly wanting to let them know how we appreciate them.”

“I would encourage us to zoom out to see the glass half full and consider the wonder of the cross anew.”

“Those of us who belong to Christ have overwhelming cause to be grateful regardless of the circumstances. Our lives are now hidden with Christ in God, nothing and no one can ever change that, and we have the unmitigated joy of living the remainder of our lives on this earth in service to our King with the inexpressible anticipation of spending eternity with him. The world can’t understand our resolute certainty as we live by faith and not by sight. And nevertheless we know, he will hold us fast.”

“The folly is to think if we didn’t have to face a certain circumstance, then we would surely be thankful.”

“We all know many people who seem to have multiple thorns that are particularly sharp, but we trust the sovereign Lord who is always at work and will deliver us safely home. And even when our finite minds cannot make sense of it, we are still commanded to abound in gratitude.”

“The best way that we can please him is to hear the word of the Lord and obey it. And his word tells us clearly that we are to outdo each other in showing honor. We are to meet the needs of the saints as we practice hospitality. We are to love each other with brotherly affection. We are to seek to do this every day.”

“Biblical hospitality seeks to meet others needs without any desire for affirmation or attention or payback. It’s simply about making people feel loved, and it can take so many forms.”

“Unlike entertaining, Biblical hospitality is more concerned with serving and not impressing them. It’s seeking to bring comfort and edification, and it has nothing to do with showing off or being selfish or pointing attention to yourself.”

“This is the time to show gratitude for the truth that Jesus loves you. He made you, he’s kept you, and he’s preparing a home in heaven for you that you’ve done absolutely nothing to earn or deserve. And you believe that with all your heart. And that’s why you smile, and that’s why you’re at peace when bad things happen.” 

“No excuses are listed. We are supposed to be those people who spill out with gratitude when you bump into us. Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you’re on some proverbial treadmill for the next 15 years, and when you get off of this, then you’ll practice hospitality. We have to prayerfully seek opportunities to make it a delight in this season.”

“The joy is found in the fact that we are indeed physically, spiritually, mentally, and materially able to open our homes. Not everyone is able to say that. But you and I are able to say that. We are those. We can open our homes to those the Lord has sent our way. We may be ones he may choose to use if we are just obedient. Imagine the joy we will experience when we get to heaven.”

MARY’S RESOURCES FOR GRATITUDE AND HOSPITALITY

Growing in Gratitude by Mary Mohler

A Life That Says Welcome by Karen Ehman

The Gospel Comes with a House Key by Rosaria Butterfield

OTHER RESOURCES

Albert Mohler’s website

The Briefing podcast by Albert Mohler

SCRIPTURE REFERENCES

Colossians 2:6-7

Colossians 3:1

James 1

Luke 11:28

1 Peter 4:9

MARY’S SIMPLE JOYS

Playing with her grandsons

Planning in her paper planner

Fountain diet coke


Discussion Questions

  1. How does the gospel allow you to be grateful in this season?

  2. What is hospitality? How is it modeled in the gospel?

  3. How can you practice hospitality?

  4. What are you going to do or implement as a result of what you’ve learned this week?


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