I was 19 when I got married, and I have to admit, I was not that great at sharing our home. I wanted to keep it all to ourselves so it could always be tidy, clean and ours. I didn’t like the thought of someone sleeping on our brand new sofa or sharing the bathroom. Even watching people load my dishwasher was enough to make me lose it!
How time has changed things – and praise God for that! I’ll admit it, hospitality was not my favourite word when I first got married. But now it’s become part of who we are as a couple. It’s a way we share and show love to those around us and it’s at the heart of our passion to serve Christ.
While my parents have been on an extended trip to the US we have opened our doors to as many people as we possibly can – and we’re loving it. Who knew! Some dinners have been planned others have been spontaneous, we’ve had games nights, girls nights, home groups and leaders meetings, but I’ve learned to love it whichever way it comes. God has helped me to love to serve in whichever capacity I can and to focus on the people and not my domestic capabilities.
Sometimes planning can mean stressing! Putting too much thought into creating the perfect meal, with perfectly matching tableware can make things a lot harder than they need to be and can even stop us from having people over. I’ve found spontaneously having people over has helped me so much to be a more enjoyable hostess. You know why? Because I actually enjoy my time with our guests rather than slaving away in the kitchen all day and then moaning about all the tidying up after.
I used to become paranoid at the thought of someone sleeping over. I just couldn’t handle it, but now I don’t want the fun to stop and offer our spare bedrooms and even couches to whole families to make the fun last as long as possible. My kids also love having guests round the house and enjoy a sleepover even more. And that is something I am very proud of. Seeing my kids excited about sharing their home, rooms and beds with others and loving it.
Doing life together is always more fun and we can share, laugh and love on a whole new level when we open up our homes without hesitation. And if God could take this uptight perfectionist and use me to share love through hospitality than I know he can use you too!