According to Western standards, we live in a small home. Often, when first-time guests walk into our home, they glance around with a look of you do realize you have three children, right?
Yes, we are aware of that fact. We know it’s crowded. Although it’s a tight squeeze, we rather like our little house and think staying here is best for our family at the moment.
Whether by choice or necessity, many of us live in small[ish] homes.
Hospitality is still a Scriptural command. No matter how small your home is, you can still show hospitality.
Maybe you can’t lay a spread like Martha Stewart. Maybe your guests, like mine, will be eating on the couch with barely enough room on the coffee table for plates, much less a centerpiece.
Maybe, despite constant scrubbing, your cracked old linoleum never looks quite clean.
Maybe you can’t prepare a gourmet dinner with less than two feet of counter space.
There are many challenges we women face in being hospitable. Worry and pride are special challenges when working from a small home.
But hospitality is not about impressing guests with incredible decorating or cooking skills or a large beautiful home. Hospitality is about sharing and fellowship and friendship and love.
Webster defined hospitality as “The act or practice of receiving and entertaining strangers or guests without reward, or with kind and generous liberality.” Kindness and generosity can be shown in the tiniest of places.
Those with large homes can more easily host a large Christmas crowd, but if your house is as small as (or smaller than) mine, there are still ways you can bless others by opening up your home.
You can still invite a friend over for lunch to fellowship over a hot bowl of soup, provide a college student with a home-cooked meal or turn your living room into a somewhat comfortable campground for friends passing through.
You can still bless a friend. A very hospitable friend (and amazing cook) said she sees it as part of her ministry to give other busy moms a break by cooking dinner for them. As a recipient of her hospitality, I know just what a blessing enjoying someone else’s [simply amazing] cooking can be.
Opening your home to friends and strangers is a command and a privilege.
Come back tomorrow as I share practical ideas (and a few things not to do!) when showing hospitality, especially if you live in a small home.
photo by agamamedia