Have you ever met someone who makes you feel at home? Someone who makes conversations flow easily, who makes everyone feel comfortable, and always seems to say the right thing?
Then one day you find out that despite the low season she might have been facing she still opened up her door, and her heart to hear about your highs and lows and pray for you? But you had no idea what all she was facing because she never once made the situation about her?
That’s the kind of friend I want to be. That’s the kind of home atmosphere I want to strive for. In short, that’s what excellent hospitality can look like.
A true #GirlBoss isn’t focused on herself, in fact, she’s focused on how she can support the other women and people around her. Finding ways not just to be a #GirlBoss but to serve with an open heart.
One amazing woman in the Bible, whose story can be found in 2 Kings 4:8-26 CSB & 2 Kings 8:1-6 CSB, dives into the beauty of hospitality and how truly boss like it can be.
Although scripture doesn’t tell us her name it refers to her as The Shunammite Woman. Now keep in mind, this doesn’t make her less of an amazing woman because if God didn’t want us to know her story it wouldn’t be written in His Word.
The Prophet Elisha and his attendant Gehazi were traveling through Shunem during the opening scene of our story. Our leading lady was stated to be a prominent woman who lived in Shunem. She saw Elisha and his attendant and encouraged them to come into her home. She fed them and gave them a place to stay.
The woman goes as far as having her husband and staff build Elisha an upper room with a bed, table, chair, and lamp. A special place for him to stay whenever Elisha is in town.
Talk about being hospitable!
Elisha and Gehazi bounce ideas back and forth of ways to thank The Shunammite Woman for all she has done for them. This is when it comes to Elisha’s attention that she has no children and her husband is much older. He calls her and says…
“At this time next year, you will have a son in your arms.”
She replies “No, my lord. man of God, do not lie to your servant.”2 Kings 4:16 CSB
Exactly one year later God blessed our #GirlBoss with a beautiful baby boy.
Despite the fact that the sound of her empty house could have been torturing her the Shunammite Woman welcomed in two men who needed food and a place to stay. Despite her own fear of dying alone, without a husband or children by her side. Despite what she was dealing with personally she welcomed people into her home with open arms.
Nowhere does it say her life was perfect, or her home was always clean. It doesn’t say in scripture that she never burnt a meal, or undercooked the meat. But we do see a woman who was willing to open up her home and love on others.
But her story doesn’t end here.
In 2 Kings 4:18-26 CSB we read of the woman’s son growing up and becoming ill then dying suddenly. The son she prayed for, the son she told Elisha not to joke about. The son who would take care of her in old age, gone.
She lays her only son on Elisha’s bed in the upper-room and rides on a donkey to see Elisha in person. Once she arrives she looks at the Prophet and says…
“Did I ask my lord for a son? Didn’t I say ‘Do not lie to me'”?2 Kings 4:28
Not only does the Shunammite Woman show us how to have a heart for hospitality but she also shows us how to be brave.
Elisha returns to her home with her and enter the room with her son, and prayed to God. Soon the boy flesh became warm, and then he sneezed seven times and opened his eyes. A miracle.
And yet her story doesn’t end here.
Years later Elisha tells the Shunammite Woman to leave her land for the Lord has announced a seven-year famine. So our #GirlBoss move her family and moved to enemy territory and lived there without land or a home. Years after she boldly goes to see the king of the Philistines to appeal for her house and field. Low and behold as she walks into the palace Gehazi, Elisha’s attended, was telling the King of the miracle of the Shunammite’s son.
In a foreign land to the King of her enemies, the Shunammite Woman retells the story of God’s glory and miraculous healing of her son. Moved by her story the King restores all that was hers, along with the income from the field from the day she left the country until that moment.
Because this beautiful woman opened up her home to two men, fed them, took care of them, and loved them, she was blessed in ways that I’m sure she never imagined. Although the blessing wasn’t what she was after, God blessed her anyway.
As #GirlBosses in the making, we need to remember that our journey of faith is not going to be easy peasy. It will oftentimes involve disappointment, heartbreak, and uncertainty. But learning to generously love those who God puts in our path is something powerful truly amazing and worth doing.
Heavenly Father, thank you for walking with me on my faith journey. Thank you for seeing me exactly where I am today and loving me. Although I might not have much to give I ask that you place people in my life to love. Let my home, and the atmosphere around me always exude my love for you. Teach me how to generously give to those around me, and to see others how you see them.