This post is an installment in my May Homemaking series. In this post, we are going to learn how homemaking can not only be a ministry to our families, but also to our communities.
When we hear the word homemaking, we usually first think of the tasks that involve managing our own homes, for the benefit of ourselves and our families. But homemaking can also be a ministry that extends outside our homes and into the lives of our friends and neighbors. We can do this by opening our homes up and welcoming others in.
Now, I don’t know about you, but I really like to keep to myself when I am at home with the kids. Inviting other people over isn’t easy, because there is a lot of work involved, and I am already really busy. It takes a lot of focus just to complete my regular housekeeping tasks, because of being constantly interrupted by little people. Plus my furniture isn’t that pretty, and I am not that great of a cook, and my kids don’t always behave.
Like all of us, I am a work in progress. I have slowly started hosting people at my house for dinner occasionally, I’ve had moms over for coffee, and I have had some overnight guests stay in our guest room upstairs. I think that if hospitality is one of our goals, we have to start somewhere. Also, with practice, we become better hostesses.
One reason that showing hospitality to others is so important to me, is that hospitality was such a meaningful act of ministry that was done for me countless times when I was single. I went to a church where I was surrounded by many wonderful, mature, godly families, who had me over to eat with them, or who hosted our small group at their house, all the time. There were even families that allowed me to live with them. The organic discipleship that happened in their homes was more effective in my life than any church program. I never forgot their kindness, and now that is something that I want to pay forward to the people God has placed in my life.
Before we have people over, it is a good idea to go ahead and have some routines established as far as keeping your house clean, because it is so much less work to do it this way than to try to do all of your cleaning at once. Also, this is helpful if you have unexpected guests, at least you know that your house is somewhat tidy because you have been keeping it that way. It’s also a good idea to have a go-to meal that you feel very confident about when you cook.
The most important thing, however, is not how clean your home is or how good the food tastes (although these things are important.) But the MOST important thing is how you treat your guests. You want to give them your undivided attention and do everything that you can to make them feel at home when they are in your home. This will go farther than anything else that you will do.
I also want to add that hospitality is not about having a home that could be featured in a magazine. You could be sharing a dorm room with someone and still show hospitality to your guests. It might take a little more creativity, but if you have the right attitude, you can indeed minister in that way.
How do you show hospitality to your guests? Leave your reply in the comments!