Many home invites get stifled by busyness and the desire to perfect our environments with chic furnishings and sought-after floor plans. We may tell ourselves narratives that speak to our over-committed calendars and Pinterest-perfect fantasies of well-dressed farmhouse tables and china-plated dining areas. While beauty, design and keeping busy has its place, these things have somehow turned well-intentioned, hospitable people into reluctant, non-inviting hosts.
Here are 3 ways to combat these temptations and help you along the journey to stewarding your home well:
- Get to the root. Everyone has reasons behind their timidity to practice hospitality. Maybe yours is the perfect presentation, mentioned above. Apostle Paul reminds us that what counts most in our offering is our willingness to steward what we have been given well, not how much we have to give (2 Corinthians 8:12). Or maybe hospitality, in general, seems too daunting or ranks low on your list of priorities. If that rings true for you, ask God to reveal your heart toward serving others and the next steps to take in opening your door.
- Put it on the calendar. Sometimes the one thing standing in the way of a shared meal between a neighbor or friend is a delayed invitation. There will always be something that keeps life busy. Be intentional and build time in your schedule to practice hospitality. Set aside days throughout the week or month that you can commit to sharing a meal with a friend. Being proactive in inviting will help you get in the habit of serving others regularly.
- Start small with a forgiving audience. If hosting for the first time sounds intimidating, your small group is the perfect environment to practice Christian hospitality. Not only is it great training ground for the self-conscious to loosen their grip of perfection, but also serves as an excellent way to cater to the needs of others in a non-threatening environment. Perhaps your next step is to consider offering your home as a meeting place for your small group on occasion.
Wherever you are on the hospitality spectrum, remember we are called to steward well all we have been given, and that includes our homes. Practicing hospitality is not necessarily decked out living spaces and elaborate dinner parties. When we are generous with our time and homes, we are given the opportunity to display God’s love to that neighbor or friend seeking relationship, not perfection.
Written by Shay Epps, volunteer writer for the Summit Stewardship and Generosity Ministry.
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