Having people into our home has always been a priority for my husband and me. Small group Bible studies, book studies, Sunday afternoon football viewing, a simple dinner and game night; they all bring great joy to our family. So much so that we purchased our current home with the express priorities of having a home that could accommodate long or short-term overnight guests as well as host evening small groups. God blessed us and gave us the perfect place for that. And so we use it as He has called us to!
Here are some simple ways to make hospitality a little easier.
1. Let go of having a perfect house in size, shape or tidiness. If you wait until it is perfect, you will never have anyone over.
2. Make it easier on yourself: buy paper plates, plastic forks and plastic cups in bulk and then use them! One bulk purchase will last you through many evenings of fellowship.
3. Ask your children to help you. Earlier today, one my boys set the table for our dinner guests while the other acted as a gopher delivering items to their proper homes so that the main living space was decluttered.
4. Do as much as possible ahead of time. Right now, I have spaghetti sauce simmering in the crock pot and it’s been there all day. In just a few minutes, I will boil a pot of spaghetti and cook some broccoli. Our guests are bringing fruit and bread. Easy peasy lemon squeezy.
5. If you still have kitchen tasks to complete when your guests arrive, invite them to help you. We all feel more comfortable helping out a little than watching from a distance. Or invite her to sit at the kitchen counter with her feet up and a cold beverage while you finish up. Especially if she is pregnant.
6. Enjoy your guests while they are in your home. The dishes and the tidying can wait. Turn off your phone. Look your guests in the eye.
Inviting people into your home is a great way to make friends. The friends we have now, in our new home state, all came by inviting them to join us for a small group or dinner. A little preparation with a little relaxing of our perfectionism can make hospitality bring great joy.