The Lord, former procrastinators, has graciously brought us into His family through Jesus. We can welcome others into our families and share the love of Christ who welcomes us.
What are some things that facilitate hospitality, making it easier to say “yes” to having others in our homes?
- The biggest help is a heart and mindset that welcomes people. No perfection. We simply reach out to others and share our time, place, provisions. Other ideas:
- Have a few easy-to-make recipes ready to grab. Keep those ingredients on hand. Include ready-made items too.
- One day a week , cook extra (chili, spaghetti). Invite others. Or let your children know they are welcome to invite friends that day without making special arrangements. Just show up. Leftovers are good later, frozen, or given away.
- Plan meals that are simple and easy to prepare.
- Do anything ahead of time that you can.
- Give guests a job. Finish the salad, read the children a story. It helps them feel useful and not self-conscious as a guest.
- Figure a way to do a quick pickup if you get warning. Hudson Taylor’s mother had a curtained section on a bookshelf where she could stash her sewing basket when company arrived. My mess would be way too big for that. Adapt. I have a large red plastic bag I can “swoop” stuff into on short notice and stash in a closet. Since it’s eye-catching, I remember to pull it back out and deal with those items later.
- For no-notice drop in’s, don’t worry about what’s out. That calls attention to clutter. Fussing and fretting distracts from the visit.
- If clean is important to you, plan for guests the day after cleaning. (Cleaning and hosting the same day might be so tiring you’re not able to enjoy guests.) Our daughter asked, “Mom why do we always clean when company is coming?” I thought that was efficient. For her, it took away some enjoyment.
- Welcome others into whatever your family is doing. My mother excelled at this. Please read here to see how her clean-out-the fridge nights ministered to my dad’s travelling colleagues. Just be you.
- Take a look at last week’s ideas for overcoming hindrances. Things like hosting a potluck or just dessert, or using paper goods. As Mother used to say, make it easy on yourself. (You’ll have more fun and so will others.)
People are far more likely to remember the warmth of your welcome and connecting conversation than they are the food, dishes, or matching chairs. What really matters is your interaction. That’s what they’ll carry away with them.
We had friends who attended an ambassador’s beautiful dinner. The next night they were in the cramped apartment of new friends from another country. It was simple, genuine, so enjoyable they stayed late. They agreed the second night was far better than the first.
May we seek to show hospitality. (Romans 12:13) God values it.
What helps you welcome others? Please share your tips!