I can come up with every excuse in the book not to invite people to my home for a meal: my table is too small and we won’t all fit, my house is too small and too cluttered, my kids are too loud and messy, my life is too busy and we just can’t find the time. Lies! It’s not about the house or the size of the table, but who is around the table. Being hospitable means creating a warm, welcoming place and having a loving and open home. This is not everyone’s spiritual gift. 1 Peter 4:9-10 tells us to Show hospitality to one another without grumbling. As each has received a gift, use it to serve one another, as good stewards of God’s varied grace. I struggle with this a lot since it doesn’t come naturally to me. For years I avoided having people over (other than extended family), and when I did, I cleaned and planned for weeks. It was just exhausting! I have finally come to realize that my friends and others who I have invited into my home don’t care how orderly my house is, but are here for the company my family provides. While I don’t usually plan and clean for weeks anymore, I do still prepare to have people over by wiping down the bathrooms and trying to have a clean(ish) kitchen.
What are your excuses? What’s preventing you from having people in your home? What can you do to overcome these obstacles? God calls us to be hospitable and we should try our best to obey that command. Romans 12:13b says seek to show hospitality. Having been to many different homes over the years for dinners and get-togethers, I know there are many people I can ask for advice in this area. A friend once told me that she would never have people over if she waited to clean up her piles of stuff. Are your piles of stuff holding you back? They shouldn’t.