About the Author

Jen encourages women to embrace both the beauty and bedlam of their everyday lives at BeautyandBedlam.com. A popular speaker, worship leader, and author of Just Open the Door: How One Invitation Can Change a Generation, Jen lives in North Carolina with her husband, five children, and a sofa for anyone...

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  1. Can I just say thank you for sharing that parenting moment?
    I don’t have any daughters, but am in the throes of parenting sons (who also can be very selective about with whom they spend their time!), and I love the way you steered that conversation right back to the foundation of your own motivation for throwing open the door. It’s so good to begin training our kids early in the gift and the discipline of giving ourselves away–not because it’s easy, but because it’s what love demands!

    • Thanks Michelle – I’m always learning from those that have gone before me, so I hoped that in sharing those real life parenting moments it will encourage someone else.

  2. Jen,
    Looking back, I wish there were times that I “stuck to my guns” like you did with your daughter. It’s so much easier to give in then to persevere in modeling and teaching a lesson. Deep down inside I am an introvert and I struggle with social anxiety so just throwing open the door and inviting people in causes some inner angst, but like you (His Word) said, “We are called to put on love.” Sometimes it’s an “outfit” we really don’t want to put on because it’s uncomfortable, but Jesus put on love to save me, a sinner, can I not do likewise?? Convicting post!
    Blessings,
    Bev xx

    • Oh Bev –

      I wish I could say I always stuck to my guns and took the time in those discipleship moments, but nope, not always. Parenting can be so exhausting, can’t it?

      And you’re so right, opening the door can cause inner angst, and why I need to preach to myself about putting on love everyday.

  3. Wow this is so profound and definitely stirred up my thinking. This is something I’ve struggled with ever since I was a girl. Now that I’m a woman and a mother and more mature in in my relationship with Christ I realize more and more that I must continue to ask God to help me with loving other’s as Jesus would have me love even in situations where the person does understand healthy boundaries or they have a shut love out kind of personity and makes it difficult to love them. Thanks so much for this post!

    • You’re so welcome, Melanie.

      Since I wrote this, I’ve now put that verse on a small chalkboard by our door, so it really is a constant reminder for me. I need that verse to meditate on. Continuing to clothes myself in those Godly characteristics that definitely aren’t my natural choice.

  4. Jennifer,

    Praying for you all in NC. I pray the water will recede soon. May God bring relief & healing to everyone there!! Thank you for a very convicting post. It reminds me of what King David said: 2 Samuel 24:24 ” I will not sacrifice to the Lord my God burnt offerings that cost me nothing.” He knew God’s love cost Him everything & he wasn’t about to give God second best. He wanted it to cost to show God how much He loved Him. God asks us to put on love & do things for others that cost us something. It could be something like cooking a meal, spending time with elderly, having people over that we may not exactly get along with. By doing this we are showing God’s love to those around us. That is the whole point of hospitality. Showing the world God’s love & point them straight to Him!

    Blessings 🙂

    • Thank you, Beth, for your Carolina concern. There are so many areas devastated. We are inland and the storm shifted at the last minute, so while we had flooding, nothing like the coast.

      And in response to your post comment. YES, YES, YES!!! Our world posts Facebook memes about wanting to change the world, but no one is really willing to wash the dishes, make the meals, spend time with the lonely. It truly starts there, doesn’t it?

    • Thank you, Pearl.

      I mentioned to Bev in the above comment,I wish I could say I always stuck to my guns and took the time in those discipleship moments, but nope, not always. In this case, we had such deep and meaningful conversations that have continued throughout the month. PUT ON LOVE….in the little things. 🙂

  5. It’s so easy to love on those who are similar, have same values, beliefs and those who looks like us but just think that if we can love others with that same intensity, how much light we can bring into their lives. I too struggle with this very same issue and I know that sometimes it is due to us being too comfortable in our environment. This is when I fear we lose our chance to love on others, to show them what God is all about. Unfortunately we live in this society of being so fearful of what others think of us and what that will do to our little comfort bubble we had built. I am reminded that we need to have the heart of little children and step out just a little bit and extend our hands to those who are different from us. We just never know what a small step in that direction will do in their world. Thank you for sharing this.