This week we’ll be hearing from the Rowley family through Lynelle about their opportunity to open their home and from the recipient of their hospitality.
I love how this church puts people together around the study of God’s Word. As a participant of a small group this past year through The Well (CHBC Women’s Bible Study), I happened to meet and get to know several women – one in particular named Darby. Right away, she won me over with her joyful spirit and enthusiasm for life. It was so much fun to get to know her and I’m really grateful because I feel pretty confident that we may have never met otherwise if it hadn’t been for The Well.
One of the things I love about the small groups are that they are set up with the goal to bring people of all different ages, stages and backgrounds together. Being part of an eclectic group (sometimes having only Jesus in common) is so valuable. Together, our group prayed and drank deeply from God’s Word. We were able to glean a lot of wisdom and support from one another, relying heavily on the variety of personalities, ages, stages, and life experiences represented around the table.
So, when I heard a prayer request that Darby needed a place to stay for the 5 months in between her graduation and her upcoming marriage, at first I was just focused with helping her find the right place. Then, one night, Colin and I realized that maybe God intended to use our own home as that place.
Our family is not new to this idea; in fact, Colin lived for a couple of years with a newly-married couple during his early 20s. He is very grateful for that transition time in which he got to see a working marriage up close, have some accountability, and figure out what he wanted his own adult life to look like.
Likewise, over the years, Colin and I have had two long-term guests stay in our home. Both girls were in that same spot in life: those sometimes nebulous, post-college years can be hard to navigate, especially when you’re far from home. While it wasn’t always easy, we loved our time with our guests. They are now both married with children, and our bond, even years later, is deep and rich because of our time together. They are truly family!
We are greatly looking forward to sharing our home with Darby for the next 5 months. I think Rosaria Butterfield might approve this as an official act of “radical hospitality,” and I look forward to the ways in which this will glorify Christ, as it doesn’t exactly fit the norms of how the world works. And, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that despite the inevitable difficult moments, this endeavor will be a blessing to all of us, and will create lasting relationships and family-like friendships that will endure for years to come.
I did not grow up in a Christian home, and it was not until I was in college that I truly came to faith. While I have grown by leaps and bounds in my 3 years at Bible Church, there is still a crucial aspect of hospitality and family that I feel I am missing because I did not grow up within a Christian household.
When Lynelle offered her extra space to me, I immediately felt in my heart that it was God’s will for me to be there. I am 5 months away from marriage, and while I am excited and sure it is God’s will, there is much that I am nervous about and so many questions that I have.
- How do I keep a home?
- What does it look like to sacrifice in marriage?
- How do I raise children who love Jesus?
- What does it mean to truly submit in the context of marriage?
- What even is homeschooling?!
So many questions, and by God’s grace, He has put me in contexts at church where I can have them answered by Godly Christian women.
As I enter a period of life where I have just graduated from nursing school, start full-time nursing in July, and will be married in October, I believe that being grounded in the Rowley’s home where Christ is at the center will be immensely rewarding, and also challenging! In these next 5 months, I will strive to better understand and emulate the Proverbs 31 woman in order to prepare for marriage and the rest of my life.