Please note that this conversation on hospitality was recorded before the COVID-19 pandemic. We hope this conversation encourages you to show hospitality once it is safe to gather again.
On today’s episode of Let’s Talk, Jasmine Holmes, Jackie Hill Perry, and Melissa Kruger talk about welcoming friends and strangers into their homes. Hospitality comes naturally to some, but to others it feels intimidating, intrusive, or just optional. But more than once, the Bible commands Christians to show hospitality (e.g., 1 Pet. 4:9).
Inviting others into your home can feel like a lot of work. Melissa admits that nearly every time she has guests over, she says to her husband, “Now why are we doing this?” That feeling is normal: “The good the Lord wants us to do, we’re always going to be tempted not to do,” Melissa says. “And I feel that almost every time. And I think knowing that you’re going to feel it has helped me push through it.” By the time her guests leave, she’s usually really glad they came.
For more on how to practice hospitality, check out the links below. You can subscribe to Let’s Talk on Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, or wherever else you get your podcasts. Next week’s episode will be a conversation on how to make good decisions.
- Why Hospitality Beats Entertaining
- Hospitality Is Not Just for Home
- Is Hospitality More than Entertaining? Yes, But . . .
- How to Be Hospitable in a Post-Christian World (audio)
Today’s episode of Let’s Talk is brought to you in part by International Justice Mission. IJM is a global nonprofit working to end slavery and violence around the world. They take on the difficult, complex work of helping governments protect their own citizens from brutal systems of oppression that have, in some cases, flourished for centuries. With your support, children, women, and men trapped in cycles of awful violence, abuse, and slavery can be found. They can be rescued and they can be restored to health and wholeness. By becoming a freedom partner, you can make this transformation possible. Freedom partners give monthly so IJM teams can show up month after month to rescue people from slavery and walk with survivors as they heal. Visit IJM.org/LetsTalk to join today. Your consistent support will impact the lives of individuals all over the world who are waiting to be free.
The following is an uncorrected transcript generated by a transcription service. Before quoting in print, please check the corresponding audio for accuracy.
Jasmine Holmes: Welcome to Let’s Talk a podcast for women from the Gospel Coalition Podcast Network where we seek to apply biblical wisdom to everyday life. I’m Jasmine Holmes and I’m here with Jackie Hill Perry and Melissa Kruger. We all got introduced on the first episode, but maybe it would be a good time to take a minute and introduce ourselves again for any new listeners. So Melissa, why don’t you start?
Melissa Kruger: Hey, I’m Melissa. I’m a mom of three. I’m a wife to a man named Mike who teaches the New Testament and I work as the director of women’s initiatives for the Gospel Coalition.
Jackie Hill Perry: My name is Jackie Hill Perry as Jasmine mentioned. I’m married to a guy named Preston. We have two daughters. They are ages five and one. I write, speak, do poetry, rap, all that type of stuff. Anything words is what I do.
Melissa Kruger: She’s a renaissance woman
Jasmine Holmes: busy
Jackie Hill Perry: No, I don’t even know how to spell Renaissance without autocorrect.
Jasmine Holmes: I actually don’t either. Which brings me to, I’m Jasmine Holmes and I teach a middle school history, so I should know how to spell Renaissance.
Jackie Hill Perry: You definitely should,
Jasmine Holmes: But I don’t. I have a husband, Philip and two little boys, Walter Wynn and Ezra Langston. And I am a writer and that’s about it, about me.
Jackie Hill Perry: You have nice hair.
Jasmine Holmes: Thank you.
Melissa Kruger: And good eye shadow. I wish you all could see it.
Jackie Hill Perry: They can’t see it, but it’s,
Jasmine Holmes: You guys.
Melissa Kruger: I keep looking at it and I want to be that cool.
Jasmine Holmes: I just want to be mesmerizing. That’s my goal.
Jackie Hill Perry: That’s good.
Jasmine Holmes: Which is good because today we’re going to be talking about hospitality. And we aren’t talking about flower arrangements or recipes.
Melissa Kruger: Really?
Jasmine Holmes: Mostly, we can
Melissa Kruger: That’s all I know how to do.
Jasmine Holmes: But mostly the focus of the conversation is talking about how to welcome friends and strangers into our homes, churches and lives. So I was really excited to do this episode because we’re coming up on a year of owning our first home and having room to be more hospitable. People can be hospitable in any size space. I however, am not a neat and tidy person, so it helps to have more closets to stuff things into when people are on their way over. But we have been so enjoying having brunches and celebrations and all kinds of things at our house and having people just stop by. It’s been a nice new season of learning how to be more hospitable.
Jasmine Holmes: So hospitality has been on the forefront of my mind, but before we get started about examples of hospitality and how we conduct hospitality, I would love to talk about the definition of hospitality. What does hospitality mean? When you think about hospitality, what do you think about?
Melissa Kruger: That’s a really good question. I honestly probably just have a very cultural definition of it, which I would think of it as inviting people into my home. I wish I had a better theological definition of what it means, but I think of it as just welcoming people. And so sometimes, I don’t want to say it has to be into a home or into a space. I think you can be hospitable at church just by saying, “Hey, I’m really glad you’re here.” So I’m thinking of it as a welcoming spirit about you.
Jasmine Holmes: But that can be completely,
Jackie Hill Perry: Well, Webster says hospitable treatment, reception or disposition, which means that we have to define hospitable, which is given to generous and cordial reception of guests. So yeah, it’s more disposition than anything.
Jasmine Holmes: I have the friendly and generous reception and entertainment and guests, visitors or strangers.
Jackie Hill Perry: I like that.
Jasmine Holmes: And that pretty much captures what I think about when I think about hospitality. Just inviting people in, having a welcoming atmosphere and just being open to all kinds of people and circumstances. What are some of the instances that you guys have had where you felt welcomed into other’s homes by hospitality?
Melissa Kruger: The most recent thing I had was actually someone who welcomed themselves into my home. They did it so well. We have some good friends. They’re missionaries in Prague and when they come back, they can’t ever host people. But what they did, my friend called me and she said, “We want to come over for dinner and we’re going to bring everything so you don’t have to do anything.”
Jackie Hill Perry: That’s nice.
Melissa Kruger: And so she brought all the stuff and we made this big taco meal, but everybody was in the kitchen helping and it was the most fun evening. And I did nothing except what someone told me to do, which was chop some peppers or whatever. And so everybody was in the kitchen. The kids are cooking the rice, one person’s doing the ground beef, one person’s doing the beans, we’re just all doing it together. And so she was being hospitable even though she didn’t have a home. She just said, “I’ll come to your house.” And she brought it all and we had the best time.
Jasmine Holmes: I love that.
Jackie Hill Perry: I love that.
Melissa Kruger: It was so fun.
Jackie Hill Perry: I think of one situation that was convicting honestly was when me and Preston were moving from Chicago to Atlanta we had two different cars so he drove the U-Haul with his friend, Chuckie. My friend drove my car, so it was me, her and Eden in the back. She was two, I was pregnant and in between Chicago and Atlanta was Nashville. So we stayed over at Ray Ortlund’s house and when we arrived, one, they were up and, Saint’s over 70, he’s sleepy. And so the fact that they’re up, I’m, “Man, like this is tight.” And then they had rooms for all of us and then they have baskets for Eden, for me, for Preston, for my friend, for Chuckie and all of the baskets looked curated for the person. Then she had a little, whole 30 dinner and then when we woke up she had a breakfast and I’m, “This is just crazy.”
Melissa Kruger: There you go.
Jackie Hill Perry: Which is hospitality too.
Jasmine Holmes: Absolutely it is.
Jackie Hill Perry: I felt like for her to be so intentional about serving us, it just made me want to be like her when I grow up.
Melissa Kruger: So Ortlund hotel, in Nashville.
Jackie Hill Perry: Yes.
Melissa Kruger: Can you give out their number?
Jackie Hill Perry: I cannot, but if you ever needed to stop over, that’s the place to be.
Jasmine Holmes: I love that. The basket part made me really happy.
Jackie Hill Perry: That was sweet.
Jasmine Holmes: That’s really sweet. I’m always looking for different ways to welcome people when they come over. And that sounds like the peak.
Jackie Hill Perry: It was legit. Even the bacon, because whole 30 years bacon a lot.
Melissa Kruger: I feel good when I have towels out. That’s impressive.
Jasmine Holmes: Which is good.
Jackie Hill Perry: Matching towels. You don’t have to have. Again, no shame. But when it matches, it’s just, “Oh, you gave me like two striped towels and not one turquoise and one brown
Jasmine Holmes: My husband’s from Mississippi. We live there with our two boys. And it’s the hospitality state, it is where people are known for being hospitable. And I had no concept of what hospitality in Mississippi would mean until my supervisor had us over for dinner and we had assigned seats that were not near our spouses. We had to sit next to somebody else and there were several courses. There was a palate cleanser.
Jasmine Holmes: And we talked about, I don’t know if you’ve ever seen one of those old movies or just old TV shows where you’re having a dinner party and we’re all talking about politics and literature and religion and I was just sitting there, “Oh my gosh, I can’t have anybody over to my house ever. Because if this is what hospitality means here, then this is not going work.” But then she invited us over a few weeks later and it was just this super casual, barefoot, stove cooking when we got there. Just sit wherever and just enjoy yourself meal. And we talked about the difference between hospitality and entertaining and to us as our family and our dynamic, we think of hospitality as inviting people in to just come alongside us. Melissa, what you described and to just join into our family dynamic and grab a towel, you can clean or you can cook or you can sit or you can do whatever. And we think about entertainment as more that huge several course meal.
Jackie Hill Perry: Thanksgiving.
Jasmine Holmes: Where it’s a special occasion and both have their beauty. Absolutely. And I love doing both. But I think sometimes what can keep us from being hospitable is that we think that it always has to be this big entertainment situation, which is-
Melissa Kruger: That sounds like Downton Abbey.
Jasmine Holmes: It felt like Downton Abbey.
Melissa Kruger: And like they had a whole group of servants down there, you know what I’m saying? I’m just me, you see some things that are put on and you realize there was a lot of help to do that. Whereas when it’s just us entertaining, taco sometimes it’s just the best way to welcome people.
Jackie Hill Perry: And even there’s a lot of dishes with tacos. The cheese and the lettuce,
Melissa Kruger: Paper plates
Jackie Hill Perry: That’s true.
Jasmine Holmes: Why is hospitality important?
Jackie Hill Perry: I think it’s important considering I think if you take it outside of just the home and just consider Jesus, he has invited us in, we are friends with him. God is opening up heaven to invite… We will live with Him. And so I think of it in those terms. I think for me, hospitality is a matter of, I just want people to feel at home in my home. And so even the way I curate my space is me considering how this will help me minister better. And so this is just me, but I want to use warm colors, I want a comfortable couch, I want a nice little area rug, I want to consider how people feel in their body when they sit down.Because if you’re a comfortable person, if you’re comfortable physically, it usually makes you comfortable in your conversation, which allows me to be encouraging, allows them to encourage, it allows vulnerability. And so I guess, I don’t know, hospitality makes room for me to love well, I think.
Jasmine Holmes: You talked about witnessing Jackie and like having a space that’s welcoming and open and how it can help us in our witnessing to other people. Can you elaborate on the connection between hospitality and witnessing?
Jackie Hill Perry: Well, people, because I talk about sexuality a lot and I’ve advocated for hospitality and how we invite people in because I think people have only considered evangelism in terms of on the street or in church. And so people are more prone to invite people to church than they are in their homes, but people are less likely to go to church and more likely to come to your home, I think. Especially when people have just these preconceived notions of what church is, what a pastor is, what the sermon will be, what the church will be like versus if I invite you into my space, not only are you more comfortable, but you’re able to actually observe something that’s valuable.
Jackie Hill Perry: You get to see how I love my husband or how I love my children, how I serve people, what I watch, what I like. I get to take care of you. Do you want some water? You want some cheeses? What do you need? Serving people well does wonders for your communication of the gospel.
Jackie Hill Perry: So Rosaria Butterfield has a book called The Secret Thoughts of an Unlikely Convert. And in it she was invited into the home of a pastor and he never invited her to church. And week after week, they would just talk about randomness and sometimes they would talk about Jesus. But it was her being in the home of this pastor and being invited into his space where she then became a believer and she said if he would have invited me to church, I would’ve never came back to his house. So those types of narratives and stories really stay with me to say, “Man, I want my home to be a place where I invite sinners and saints and this is how they come to see Jesus.”
Melissa Kruger: The things that happen in your family that are actually really different than the world, like praying over the meal. That’s simple thing. You’re inviting someone to pray, where we might not do that. But over a meal it feels appropriate. I don’t know, most people would just join in or whatever, but it’s little things of your home that look different. And I love that verse. I think it’s in Isaiah where he says, “He sets the lonely in families.” And I’ve loved that as I think about single people in our congregation.
Melissa Kruger: That’s one thing my husband and I have tried to do is to have singles into our home, especially at times of the year where they may have nowhere to go, Thanksgiving and Christmas. And I’m really appreciative of my family, my extended family. They always have, “Oh anyone’s welcome” type attitude. And I think that’s part of hospitality that anybody’s welcome. It’s never-
Jackie Hill Perry: That’s the hard part,
Melissa Kruger: just our family. Because that’s really exclusive and so every year we have different people at our holidays and love it because truthfully, it keeps everybody in line.
Jasmine Holmes: I’m sure
Melissa Kruger: You have to act better
Jasmine Holmes: You do
Jackie Hill Perry: When some strangers are there.
Jasmine Holmes: You got me there
Melissa Kruger: It really does, it works for us.
Jasmine Holmes: I think that hospitality, so we’ve said this before, how all three of us are introverts. I would much rather have people in my home then go over somebody else’s house or go to a party
Jasmine Holmes: I love my son, he’s one of the most hospitable people that I know. He never meets a stranger. He will say, “Let’s go to the park. I want to see some friends.” And it doesn’t matter who is at the park, if they look to be about his size. And sometimes if they don’t, he’ll just walk up to them and be, “Hey, I’m Wynn, you’re my friend, what’s your name?” And I think that that is a spirit of hospitality, going out, making friends, going out, making connections. How can we see and display a spirit of hospitality?
Melissa Kruger: I think what I love that you just said about Wynn was that he goes up and expects to be friends. Sometimes I think, this is so bad, but, “They don’t want to be my friend. ” So it’s almost to myself that keeps me from welcoming others because I’m thinking about me. So it was always self-centeredness in some way. I think that prevents our hospitality. So when I’m really being other centered, I just see them. And so I say, “Hey, my name is Melissa. What’s your name?” And just introducing ourselves to people sometimes can just be a way we welcome them in. I will say this, I think having eyes to see the person who might be sitting alone. So often we walk into a room and might see the person we want to talk to and they might have five people around them, but sometimes in a room there’s someone who’s just sitting alone. And so I think what Christ would do is go, welcome that person.
Jasmine Holmes: Absolutely
Melissa Kruger: And just see them.
Jackie Hill Perry: I do a really bad job of this. So, I can’t even speak from someone who’s victorious because I’m the person when they say, “Hey, go greet the visitors at church.” I sit there, I just don’t want to. And I think there’s just so much anxiety. I’m just not a stranger person. But when I was at my church in Chicago, one thing that I did learn and practice was bring along a talkative friend with me. And so they would lead the conversation and then I could just be, “Hey girl.” And then that’d be that. And so I think that’s one method that I have to learn to do, but I think some of the difficulties that I’m at a new church now and so I don’t know anybody, so I’m just already anxious.
Jasmine Holmes: I get that. I’m anxious and I’m awkward. So when I meet somebody and I want to be their friend, I say stuff like,” Hi, I really like you. And I think that we can be really good friends. So can we do that?” Then they quietly run away sometimes. But all of my deepest relationships have started with, “Hey, I like you and I’m bad at being friends, but do you want to try?”
Jackie Hill Perry: That’s good though.
Jasmine Holmes: You should try it.
Jackie Hill Perry: That’s better than nothing.
Jasmine Holmes: We should try it. Jackie, you mentioned church and that’s something that I would love to talk about how to be hospitable in church and as a church because I have definitely been that visitor at church who when everybody says, Turn around and greet somebody that you’ve never met,” is dying and wanting to like crawl out of my skin and not be met by anybody that I haven’t met because who would actually want to do that? But apparently it’s what we’re called to his brothers and sisters in Christ. And so how do we overcome that feeling in the church, as a church? And how do we reach across the aisle and show hospitality to people as a church?
Jackie Hill Perry: I know what I’m convicted of is Philippians 2, “consider your brother as better than yourself.” And I think it’s pride and it’s selfish, but it’s also shortsighted because I think these strangers though they may cause me anxiety now, they might give me joy later. I don’t know what story they have. I don’t know what spiritual gifts they have. I don’t know what way can they serve me and I serve them. And I guess considering the fact that it should not be all about me. And I think it’s super Western, one and I think it’s a super… We are so isolated and this just is not a thing in other cultures. I think other cultures outside of America are so much more… African cultures in particular are so much more communal and I think I would do well to just learn from them.
Melissa Kruger: That’s a really good point. I want to go back to at some point in this conversation about how almost our individual mindset of the West prevents hospitality. Because if you live in a culture where you’re sharing everything, you’re always in each other’s houses. Whereas it’s so easy in our neighborhoods, we don’t share much.
Jackie Hill Perry: And some of it is from a position of privilege, we’re not as needy and so we don’t have to be as spread out and, “Hey, help me come over here.” It’s just, “No, I’m good.”
Melissa Kruger: So if somebody has a mixer and we want one, we just get our own rather than borrow. And so there’s something about almost having need that can allow you to be more hospitable. The fact that my friend brought that meal over to my house.
Jackie Hill Perry: It’s true.
Melissa Kruger: We shared in it differently than if I had just made it all and been grumbling behind the scenes. I have cooked forever, I am exhausted and now I’m worn out, or whatever. We were all together in the kitchen. We had a better time because she knew I was in a season where I was worn out and she just said, “I’m bringing everything.” And so it allowed us to do it together. I don’t know. I think there’s something beautiful about that. But when it comes to church. And I think one of the things I’ve learned in those awkward moments when I turn. Because sometimes I was in a church for a long time and while we were at that church, I couldn’t remember if I’d met people before. And both my husband and I worked at the church. So it could be really bad if you’ve met someone five times and you still don’t remember.
Melissa Kruger: So what I started to say was, I’d either say, “Hey, have we met before you look really familiar.” Or I would say, “Hey, how long have you been here?” And sometimes people have been there 10 years, sometimes they’ve been there two months. And that actually helps me to know how should I interact with them. Another thing that helped me, we led in our church, it was called a life group, the small group Bible study. And one thing that helped me about that, it always gave me a place to invite the new person.
Melissa Kruger: So having a place that could immediately say, “Hey, if you’re interested in coming to our small group Bible study, it’s at my house.” So I felt like I had a place every week I could invite someone, that I was already doing. And it could be, if you don’t have a Bible study at your house or something, it could be that there’s an event at the church next week and you just offer to say, “Hey, we’re having a prayer meeting next Wednesday . If you want to come, you can come with me.” Just someone to go with sometimes can be hospitable. Just to have it in your mind and be ready.
Jackie Hill Perry: I got a question. When I think of small groups, invitations, I also think of some of us who are really busy. How have you all tried to be hospitable to people in busy seasons? Because it can be really hard to do that.
Jasmine Holmes: I’m a big fan of last minute. I was actually thinking while you’re talking, I’m inviting people, inviting people places. I met somebody at church who was another mom. She seemed really cool. I got her number the next day I had something canceled and so I just had some time in the afternoon and so I texted her, texted probably 10 other people. I like to kill all the birds with one stone. And I was, “Hey, I’m making hot chocolate. Bring your heads, come over.” And four or five people came. Including the new person and it was great and it took the pressure off of, I have to look down the annals of time and make sure that I have this chunk of space in my calendar.
Jasmine Holmes: It made it more, “Hey, I’m doing this. I was thinking of you, do you want to come?” So if I’m going to the park, if I’m taking the boys for a walk, the good thing about living in Jackson is we live in a really small city and a lot of people from my church are in my neighborhood. A lot of the moms are stay at home moms or they work part time and to a stay at home mom I always phrase it as,” Hey, do you want to break up the day? Come over.”
Melissa Kruger: You have survived.
Jasmine Holmes: Let’s break up the day. Let’s do something that will help us get to five o’clock. When our husband get off work and that last minute is a freeing thing.
Melissa Kruger: I like that. One thing I really liked that you did rather than just get to know the new person alone, you invited other people because that takes the pressure off too. And it invites them to know not just you, because sometimes what I get concerned about is, if they just know me, then you start to feel responsible-
Jasmine Holmes: You do, yes.
Melissa Kruger: For them. But if you can invite them to a community, they can get to know different people and that’s even a better way to be hospitable in some ways because you’re inviting them to know these other people.
Jasmine Holmes: For sure.
Melissa Kruger: As Well, I think that’s a great idea.
Jasmine Holmes: I have a fun time picking friends who I think will, “Oh, I’m going to invite her. Because I think that she’d really get along with her or I know that she’s interested in this and this other person is also interested in that thing.” It’s fun. It’s my inner, I don’t know if you guys are familiar with Jane Austin’s book, Emma where she’s a matchmaker. I do that. But with friends just, “Oh yeah, you all would get along well and if the three of us hung out then I wouldn’t have to talk. So come along.”
Jackie Hill Perry: It sounds super intentional, which to me is love, you forcing or seeing what would benefit or serve somebody else, which is really dope. I can grow and learn from you.
Jasmine Holmes: It sounds like love, but it’s really me trying to figure out how I don’t have to talk.
Jackie Hill Perry: I’ve learned that I need to give myself and my personality much more grace. Yes, serve. Yes, step out of yourself. But what works for you? I am not the extroverted. I have friends that are just extroverted people, they’ve got coasters and the hot chocolate with the little peppermint stick and cookies and brownies and let’s ice them together with our two year old. I don’t want to do none of that.
Jasmine Holmes: I don’t either.
Jackie Hill Perry: That’s not me. But what I will do, you could come over here and I can order some Grubhub and give you some bottled water and we can have a nice time, that-
Jasmine Holmes: And that can just be good
Jackie Hill Perry: That’s just who I am, if you bring somebody, you’ve got to tell me. I’m sorry. I need to prepare myself for the entrance of another human being. That’s all I’m saying.
Jasmine Holmes: I’m real ratchet with it. I’ll be, “I’m making hot chocolate, but I don’t have milk. So stop and get that and come over.Do you want to see me? Yes or no? Bring the milk, almond.”
Melissa Kruger: I love that element. I like the notion of hot chocolate or coffee or tea, something that’s not a whole meal too. It’s a lot less intimidating to just say, “Hey, do you want to come over after dinner? For coffee and dessert.” That can be an easier way because I think it can be really intimidating. I do still think we have Martha Stewart in our heads sometimes of what hospitality looks like. Are there any fears that keep you from having people over?
Jackie Hill Perry: My mood. Honestly, my mood can change where I just don’t want to be around people. And so I get afraid that, I invited you all last week and now we’re here and I don’t want you to come. And that happens a lot. And so what I’ve had to do is really just beg God, God helped me want to be here, helped me enjoy these people, help me serve them. And he’s been faithful every single time to just help me walk by the spirit, which is to love. And so that’s a huge fear.
Melissa Kruger: That’s a good point though, about almost every time I have people over, I look at my husband and I say, “why are we doing this?” Beforehand and I think that’s sometimes a scheme of the devil to keep us from doing things.
Jackie Hill Perry: I think so.
Melissa Kruger: And I find it about ministry too. Before I go speak somewhere, I’m, “Why am I doing this?”
Jasmine Holmes: Absolutely
Jasmine Holmes: All the time.
Melissa Kruger: “Why are we on this podcast?” But sometimes I just think the good that the Lord wants us to do, we’re always going to be tempted not to do. And I feel that almost every time. And I think knowing that you’re going to feel it has helped me push through it. And by the time they leave. I’m normally, “I’m so glad we did that.”
Jasmine Holmes: Absolutely.
Jackie Hill Perry: I’m grateful.
Melissa Kruger: But it just takes believing it’s important. More than feeling I want to do it.
Jackie Hill Perry: That’s good.
Melissa Kruger: One of my favorite hospitality stories is actually, we know the people who owned our house before we bought it from them. Not very well. I went over there one time, I was living in Pickens, Mississippi, which if you don’t know where that is,
Jackie Hill Perry: That sounds country
Jasmine Holmes: There’s probably 800 people in Pickens. I was living at the end of a dead end street on the same street as my mother in law and my two aunts in law. And our house, the dead end street backed up to the woods, which the woods backed up to the highway. So I was literally on the edge of town with one car. Then my husband was taking you 45 minutes into Jackson to work every day.
Jasmine Holmes: So it’s just me and my baby. And we were going to mom’s group at church. But the thing of it was that when my husband would drive into town, he would take me with him, drop me off at mom’s group with my little boy and then I would be stuck in Jackson without a car until he got off work and we could all go home together. But I wanted to go to mom’s group every week so that I could get to know moms. And it was so hard. I didn’t know anybody and I was in my husband’s hometown so everybody knew him. So that moms group, all the other moms would be, “Oh, I’m having this struggle with my husband.” And I’d be, “I’m having struggle with my husband.” They’d be, “Oh, Philip?” And I’d be, “No.”
Jasmine Holmes: I meant not husband and it was so hard. And I remember one time I went to the house that I now live in for an event, a little moms get together and the person who owned the house was so welcoming and so kind. And she took me aside, I never took her up on this. So she took me aside and she said, “Hey, if you ever want to come over and just stay in our apartment that’s above the garage, you’d be so welcome. And then that way you could come into town for mom’s group and not have to worry about it. Philip could just pick you up on the way home from work and it’d be so good.” And I wasn’t in a place where I felt comfortable taking that hospitality. That night was really hard for me because I felt awkward and I felt new and it was so difficult.
Jasmine Holmes: And it’s just such a redemptive thing to me that that’s my kitchen now. That’s my apartment above the garage now. And I’m able to extend what was extended to me in literally that same place to other people. And to me that’s just such a microcosm of what hospitality really is. Jackie, you alluded to this earlier. It is us taking ownership of the blessing that we have been given by God. He extended his hand to us and now we’re extending our hand to other people in this echo of what he has already done for us. And I love that about hospitality and I think that it often gets overlooked because we think about it as this Martha Stewart, more Martha, less Mary, type of inviting people in and pulling people in. But it’s so much more beautiful and deep than that, whether it’s like tacos or fancy charcuterie, it doesn’t matter.
Jackie Hill Perry: And I honestly think that as our culture gets progressively secular, that hospitality will be more important. Just because I think we will need each other at all times.
Jasmine Holmes: Absolutely.
Jackie Hill Perry: When you think about the early church, they were in homes all the time. Breaking bread, had everything in common. Jesus was healing people in homes. He got his feet washed in a house. I think we’re returning back to this need to do life in each other’s homes. And so I do look forward to that
Melissa Kruger: And I think about the homes. Was it Peter’s mother’s home where they took the roof off?
Jackie Hill Perry: They sure did.
Jackie Hill Perry: I would’ve been, “Yo.”
Melissa Kruger: They’re taking the roof off.
Jasmine Holmes: You did what?
Melissa Kruger: Can you imagine? Sometimes that picture. “Oh, what are you all doing?”
Jackie Hill Perry: “What’s happening now?” I got hay falling off. I don’t know what the roof was made out of
Melissa Kruger: It’s to get to someone to Jesus and that’s why we’re willing for our roofs to be taken off and our rugs to get dirty and our couches to get spilled on, our house-
Jackie Hill Perry: Our toilet tissue to be used.
Melissa Kruger: Because I think about it, especially when you have little kids and you’re being hospitable and they were playing out in the mud and then they walk in and they totally didn’t notice the mud and all their shoes go right through the house.
Jasmine Holmes: Literally happened at my house. All my siblings were staying with me. This is resonating.
Melissa Kruger: It matters more that they’re at my house than that my house is perfect or perfectly pristine. That I’m just, I think about what you said about Jesus going to prepare a place for us. One of the kindest things we can do is just prepare a place that people can come and be.
Jackie Hill Perry: And he set the table. He’s the perfect model of hospitality in a real way.
Jasmine Holmes: He is. I loved that, what you said. Hallelujah, praise the Lord. We are willing to shake the roof off of our house, bursts down the doors, dirty the rug, do whatever to get people closer to Jesus.
Jackie Hill Perry: I’m not good at making desserts just because all desserts aren’t baked but a lot of them and baking is so specific. So you’ve got to be a scientist practically, but my favorite to eat by far is German chocolate cake. There’s not many people my age that I know like German chocolate cake, but it’s just the chocolate and the coconut and just all of it,
Melissa Kruger: caramel
Jasmine Holmes: Oh you like coconut, that’s weird
Jackie Hill Perry: How,
Jasmine Holmes: I can’t
Jackie Hill Perry: it’s good.
Jasmine Holmes: I like the flavor of it, but the shavings just,
Jackie Hill Perry: A lot of people don’t like the texture. I think it’s amazing.
Melissa Kruger: What’s your favorite?
Jasmine Holmes: My favorite dessert to make. It’s not really a dessert. It’s a breakfast. I make homemade cinnamon rolls from scratch.
Jackie Hill Perry: Oh, you are fancy Nancy.
Melissa Kruger: I want to do breakfast at her house.
Jasmine Holmes: I love to roll out the dough. I just love the whole experience of making homemade cinnamon rolls and I always do either a Bailey’s Irish cream frosting or a bourbon cream frosting and I just love to make them. It’s my favorite thing to make. My favorite dessert to eat is Apple pie. Very basic. But it is my favorite. I had it at my wedding. Apple pie.
Jackie Hill Perry: How many of them?
Melissa Kruger: Can we put the recipes in the show notes? That’d be fun.
Jackie Hill Perry: We should. Because the way you just described it.
Melissa Kruger: I know. I want to eat.
Jackie Hill Perry: That’s cinnamon but-
Jasmine Holmes: It’s so good.
Melissa Kruger: Mine, I have two, I couldn’t decide between, I love this chocolate chess pie. I don’t know if you’ve ever had the chocolate chess pie,
Jackie Hill Perry: I love it
Jasmine Holmes: I love the chocolate chess pie
Melissa Kruger: It’s rich and fudgey and it’s so good and It’s actually not hard to make. It’s got five ingredients, so I can do that one quickly when I’m having people over. But the other one is my mom makes this almond cake. It is the best cake I have ever had and it gets more moist the more days that go on. It has a cup of water in it. And I think I’ve never heard of a recipe that you add so much water to
Jackie Hill Perry: Is it cold or warm?
Melissa Kruger: The water’s cold. Yes.
Jackie Hill Perry: I see the benefit.
Melissa Kruger: It’s just a really, and the frost it uses three teaspoons of almond extract for the whole cake and so it has this rich almond flavor and but it also makes a huge pan of it. So it’s great when I’m having a lot of people ever.
Jasmine Holmes: And it’s something different,
Melissa Kruger: It’s yummy
Jasmine Holmes: That’s it for this episode of Let’s Talk, come back next week for a discussion on how to make decisions you can subscribe to Let’s Talk through Apple podcasts, Spotify, Stitcher, or wherever you like to get your podcasts. Check out other shows from the Gospel Coalition Podcast Network at tgc.org/podcasts. The Gospel Coalition connects Christians to resources that apply the truth and beauty of the gospel to all of life.