Hospitality is more than an expression of love for the guest. It is also and foremost an expression of love between the hosts.
Every good relationship between two or more people, whether it is friendship, marriage, or community, creates space where strangers can enter and become friends. Good relationships are hospitable. When we enter into a home and feel warmly welcomed, we will soon realise that the love among those who live in that home is what makes that welcome possible.
When there is conflict in the home, the guest is soon forced to choose sides. “Are you for him or for her?” “Do you agree with them or with us?” “Do you like him more than you do me?” These questions prevent true hospitality – that is, an opportunity for the stranger to feel safe and discover his or her own gifts. Hospitality is more than an expression of love for the guest. It is also and foremost an expression of love between the hosts.
True Hospitality ~ Henri Nouwen
(via Rita Pretorius)