Hebrews 13:1-2 says (Message paraphrase), "Stay on good terms with each other, held together by love. Be ready with a meal or a bed when it's needed. Why, some have extended hospitality to angels without ever knowing it!"
I feel a little series coming on! As I've been thinking about being hospitable, I've thought of so many things to share with you!
Today, I am going to tell you reasons you shouldn't wait to start opening your home.
So, you would like to invite some couples over to your house. . .but, you're going to wait until you have a nicer house? until your house is clean? until you have nicer furniture? until you have carpet without juice stains? until when?
I used to be that way. I used to want nicer everything before we entertained in our house. I wanted a nice collection of Southern Living at Home wares before I started having people over. I needed to learn how to cook fancy meals.
Thankfully, my husband just wanted to get to know people. He didn't care that some of them had to sit on the floor or that we had a 7 foot bright yellow courdoroy couch, or that his new wife's famous dish was three cheese hamburger helper!
Somewhere along the way I figured out that it was okay to keep things simple. . .I didn't even have to cook every time. I just needed to open my home. I had to change my mentality from "entertaining" to hosting or opening our home. I think it's something that's lost in our lives today...opening our homes to minister to others, fellowship with others, and form and strengthen friendships.
I want to offer some ideas to you to try to help you become more comfortable opening your home to friends...old and new...and enjoy the time!
One handy hint is to always have something in your freezer or pantry that you can pull out and prepare easily if you have unplanned company.
Our former neighbors were a perfect example of how this came in handy for me. These neighbors were wonderful...instant friend kind of people. The husband in the family had to travel from time to time for his job. Several times I was able to tell her and her son to please stay and have dinner with our family. Normally I have a spaghetti casserole in our freezer that can be thawed and baked within an hour. Simple, filling, and yummy!
I would challenge you to have a meal in your freezer, or the ingredients to make something simple when the opportunity presents itsself. It may not even be used for company, but for the lady at church or up the street who has just come home from having a baby, or for the family who has someone recovering from a hospital visit, or perhaps you talk to your friend across town and she's had a bad day. You can tell your friend that you'll have dinner for her so that's something she doesn't have to think about today. In our church, we've delivered meals to men taking care of their families while their wives are out of town. We generally have meals prepared for new moms.
Tomorrow, we'll talk about things you can do to make it easy and fun to have people in your home!