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10 Ways to be More Hospitable

Do you consider yourself hospitable? Or are you afraid of having people over to your home? Do you fear that they might see your less than perfect home? Or is it just that you worry about how to handle having people over?

My husband and I feel we have the gift of hospitality, but it's a "gift" that took us time to learn how to use. It takes practice and letting go of the idea that it's supposed to look a certain way and feel another way. Yes, we're pretty good at it now - but only because we've got a rhythm between the two of us - and now our kids know just what to do. We've had everything from a single person for dinner to a hundred guests for a big party in our yard. And, we handle it just the same every time - we look forward to the fellowship. 

Was I ever a wreck or crazy about having others over? You bet! My husband would tell me to stop being so wound up, and relax. Once I did that, I enjoyed it more. I realized that the "not so perfect bathroom" {or whatever area I was focused on} didn't even get noticed by anyone. I began focusing on our guests and not what our home was supposed to look like. 

I'm going to give you some tips for keeping yourself organized to help you be more hospitable. It's a command in the Scripture {I Timothy 3:2, Titus 1:8,  I Peter 4:9}! We must do it. This summer is a perfect opportunity to take advantage of being hospitable. Here are ten ways to be more hospitable:

1.  Give up the idea that your house has to be perfect or spotless. If we all had to have a perfect, spotless house no one would ever come over. {Try faking it, like I have}

2.  Never invite others over to then apologize for the condition of your home. It's rude and it says that you're more focused on your home rather than on your guests. Most guests won't even notice the areas unless you point them out.

3.  It's not true that you have to spend a lot on dinner. You don't have to have a lot of money to invite people over. Almost every time I invite someone over for dinner/lunch, they ask if they can bring something. So, I usually say yes! Other times I say "no" but it's never been a problem for us. 

4. Make something simple for your guests. I know the Food Channel wants you to believe it's all about the food, but it's not. Make a simple dinner and your conversation and fellowship will stand above anything else that evening/afternoon. Yes, if you make a frozen lasagna, it's fine! We have a couple of different things we make every time we have guests. It's just easy - and even when we have the same guests several times and have had the same thing, no one complains!

5. It doesn't have to be formal. Mismatch dishes, paper plates, or no linens are OK. We've done it all.

6.  Ask your guests to help. I purposely don't have everything ready when my guests arrive because they LIKE to help you with the preparation. I ask them to come in the kitchen and help with different small tasks. It provides good conversation and they feel like they've really helped you. If it's a big group, my hubby will ask the men to help set up more tables and chairs.

7. Do it, and do it often. The only way to be good at having people over is to do it often. Practice makes "fairly" perfect!

8. No space is too small. You may not be able to have a huge crowd, but you can have somebody over. 

9. Don't limit yourself to inviting only people you know. Invite a widowed man/woman, a single that your family doesn't know well, a newlywed couple, some college students, or a bunch of families. 

10. Make your guests know how much you enjoy having them there. You're not trying to invite them so you get invited back. If that were the case, we'd be in trouble - we rarely get asked over to other's homes. We just keep inviting people here because we love it, not because we get something in return.

I challenge those of you who struggle in this area - have people over. Invite your neighbor, call some church friends, offer to use your home for a high school group, open your doors whenever needed. Then, show hospitality by fellowshipping with others. Talk about the Lord and how good He is. Find out when your guests came to know Him. Ask about their life'll be amazed at what a good time of fellowship you will have. 


Becky, Organizing Made Fun

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