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Is Southern Hospitality Biblical?

A large dinner

Did you know the Bible speaks into “southern hospitality”? As a new Texan, Kyle shares with us how he’s been reminded of God’s principles through experiencing some great hospitality since we’ve been here. He also reminds us why it’s worth our while to pass this way of respecting others on to the next generation.


“You shall rise up before the gray headed and honor the [j]aged, and you shall revere your God; I am the Lord.”

Lev. 19:32


I’ve been a Texan for just over a year now. I always knew I was to respect the Lord, and while my parents taught me to respect adults, I’d never experienced southern hospitality before. This southern hospitality concept I’m learning and experiencing as a new Texan is in scripture. It is real and backed up by truth in ways I never expected!

Is a good solid handshake, a “yes sir”, or a “no ma’am” something that just comes with the Texas territory? Did you know that in Leviticus chapter 19, as well as a few other chapters, the Bible speaks into “southern hospitality”?

Let’s take a look at what God’s Word says.

  1. Treat ‘em like family! 1 Timothy 5:1-2 says, “Do not rebuke an older man harshly, but exhort him as if he were your father. Treat younger men as brothers, older women as mothers, and younger women as sisters, with absolute purity and in Exodus 20:12,“Honor your father and your mother…”. Interacting and showing respect to adults and those around us isn’t a new concept. Treating any adult or elder as if they were family and with respect is something the Bible tells us we are to do, regardless of what we have been taught or what the world shows. Taking time to listen, having patience, and showing respect was important back then, and should be now.
  2. Bonus. We read in Job 12:12, “Wisdom is with aged men.” Taking time to actually listen to the “aged” can provide wisdom a quick, not-so-caring “hey”, or “what’s up” nod won’t get you. Showing respect isn’t about what we get back, but hey, if it comes with bonus wisdom we should enjoy it!
  3. Choose Wisely. 1 Peter 5:5-7 says, “In the same way, you who are younger, submit yourselves to your elders. God opposes the proud but shows favor to the humble.” Whether we are opposed by God, or shown favor by God is our choice!

Southern hospitality is real and alive today! Maybe the concept didn’t start in Texas, but we all should keep it going. In this way we continue to set a positive example for children of what the Word approves! We have lists and examples to help us from a perfect Father who loves us! Let’s take advantage of them!

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