It all started when my husband and I got married and he was still in seminary- friends wanting to come over, and who can deny free food to starving seminary students?
I realized then that our house would always a revolving door.
My week usually consist of one or two of the guys from the seminary eating lunch with us 4 to 5 times a week, a few teens in the evening coming over to eat or play games, or having a couple of ladies over for coffee. That adds up to a lot of cooking, talking, and entertaining. I can honestly say that I love having people in our home, cooking for them, and talking to them.
Perhaps you feel that you don’t have that “type of personality” to entertain, you really like to be alone and have me time, but if we look at the life of Christ, He was continually surrounded by people. Could you imagine having 12 people eat with you every meal, follow you around, sleep where you sleep, and ask you questions all of the time? Now, don’t get me wrong, Jesus did take some time alone, to pray and talk to His father, but even that was not for long periods of time. His disciples seemed to always be looking for Him.
The Bible gives us examples of people entertaining and showing hospitality many times. The two main ladies were Mary and Martha. I find it so interesting that Jesus felt completely at home with them, and it was important to Him to stay there. The question is; is my house a house where people feel comfortable coming over and spending time with us? Am I willing to have people over even if it isn’t always convenient?
We have had the privilege of staying with many people in our 11 years of marriage. Every time we stay with someone I try to learn new ways of being hospitable.
Here are some things that I have learned:
- Make sure things are clean. I didn’t say perfect, just clean. Clean sheets and a clean bathroom go a long way!
- Find out if they are allergic to any types of food, or if there is a food that they really don’t like. I’m so thankful when people ask me that, because I don’t eat cheese! Yes, I know I’m weird, but it has saved me from eating lasagna many times.
- Ask if there are things that they really like or that their children like. I’ll never forget when a church put a basket in our hotel room just for our children. A simple gift basket can really make people feel at home. Things like breath mints, bottled water, and snacks can really brighten someone’s day.
- Give them the option of having some alone time also. If they have just flown or driven hundreds of miles they are tired. Let them sleep in if they want to, don’t plan a huge busy first day.
- Ring, ring- don’t forget to ask them if they would like to call family.
- Keep a stock of extra things around- 1 or 2 diapers, toothbrushes, batteries, etc.
One of my goals in life is to teach my children to show hospitality to others. If someone isn’t at our house during the week, both of my girls are asking, “when is someone coming over”? I’ve seen them get out cups on their own and serve drinks or hot tea. It teaches them that our house, food, toys, furniture, etc isn’t really ours it’s the Lords and giving to others is part of our life.
I would like to challenge you as a lady whether single or married to learn to be hospitable and open up your house to others. Hospitality is such an easy way to show Christ’s love. It’s a skill that can be learned and perfected with time, and something that works in every part of the world. Perhaps, I can’t sing, draw, speak the language really well, or I might not have talents that some ladies have, but I can welcome people into my home and show them hospitality.