In a world where many people are living for self, often hospitality is not considered. There are those, however, who do, and who truly love others well. These are people, who joyfully offer hospitality. They offer a home with a door always open for guests, sun-dried sheets, coffee ready to brew, a place at the table, a listening ear, and much more.
Growing up, I had a wonderful example of hospitality…my mom. She loves having people in her home, and once someone walks in the door, they will soon hear her say,
“Make yourself at home.”
Now, this is not just something that she says…she truly means it! Open the fridge and grab a drink! Take a nap on the couch! Have friends over! Let your kids run and play! Her home is your home! And if you do not make yourself at home, you probably will feel quite awkward.
One key lesson that I learned from my mom is that when you make hospitality FUN and not about you, your kids will think it is fun too!
When you hear the word “hospitality”, what comes to mind? As missionaries, we travel often, and we have had the opportunity to be in other people’s homes. In some homes we felt like intruders, while in other homes we felt like family. On the flip side, we also love having people in our home, and I want to share with you four things that will make hospitality easier for you.
- Live with Flexibility.
Situations out of our control would make it easy for us to stress out. But, when you live a flexible lifestyle, it is okay if more guests show up than planned, or your guests are late.
I know that when I am serving with a good attitude, it affects the whole atmosphere. My family and guests are happier, and my children see hospitality as something enjoyable and are willing to help, even when it changes the family routine.
- Remember that your Family comes first.
They are more important than your guests. Do not neglect their needs or save the special snack for only the adults. And if possible, keep some of your family’s routine.
When we have guests, we always keep our bedtime routine, which is reading the Bible together, time of thankfulness, prayer, and goodnight hugs and kisses. Just having this time as a family helps us to reconnect and strengthens our bond as a family.
- Forget the Pinterest-Perfect Food, and go simple!
The meals that I prepare for our guests are never fancy, but they are filling. I have yet to hear a complaint from a guest. In fact, one time I made simple grilled cheese sandwiches, and my guest was fascinated at how something so simple could taste so delicious!
- Enjoy the Fellowship.
Listen to your guests. Laugh with them. Encourage them. Pray with them. Love them. All of us, to some degree, are hurting and are in need of a safe haven to rest. May your home be that kind of place.
Keeping these four things in mind – Flexibility, Family, Food, and Fellowship – will make hospitality easier for you as you extend Christ’s love to those who come into your home.
And know that if you are ever near my home, you are welcome to drop in unannounced…I may just make you a grilled cheese sandwich.
My home is yours, so Make yourself at home.