Being hospitable by serving others
***This is something that I have learned is such lacking in our society, especially among younger women. When you invite someone over to your home or to an event with you, make sure that you are constantly checking to see if they need anything or talk with them so they don’t feel left out. I noticed this so much more from talking with my teenage daughter and moving to a new state, how hospitality is not always at the top of people’s lists. We don’t teach to make people feel included. We teach to think about ourselves. When you notice a new person in your church, make sure to go up to the immediately and introduce yourself. Learn to carry on a conversation by asking THEM questions. Find out something new about them. INCLUDE them! When you invite them over to your home, put your cell phone AWAY. Do not even pick it up. Spend that time talking with your new friend.
Being hospitable is making others feel welcomed by you serving them. If you complain that your house is dirty or that the food is less than perfect, it makes your guests feel that you put more value on your home or food prep instead of them. When you invite others over, don’t dwell about the condition of your home or how the food turned out. Focus on serving them and visiting with them.
When you have guests and you focus on keeping the kitchen cleaned up, and having things stay neat and tidy, you are going to miss out on the blessing of just having them there. Remember Mary and Martha in the Bible?? Martha ran around doing tasks and staying so busy that she was complaining that Mary was just sitting at the feet of Jesus. Jesus said, “Mary has chosen the right thing to do, and it shall not be taken from her.” We want to take that mentality.
Yes, you should straighten the home and try and make a nice meal. But don’t fret over mismatched dishware, or a home that isn’t as nice as you “wish” it would be. Do all that you can do before and then enjoy the fellowship with one another.
Don’t focus on yourself by talking about everything that is going on in your life, focus on your guests. Ask them questions, get to know what is going on in their life. You want to be a servant. A servant, listens more than she speaks.
Make sure you pay attention to the needs of them. Do they need more drink? More food? Maybe the person you invited over isn’t much of a talker, that can get awkward. This is a good time to share things about yourself that might help them open up a bit. I usually take this time to get up and show them things around my home. Since my home is filled with lots of photos, I usually do that. I then can relate a funny story or one that God has worked things out. Make the stories uplifting and encouraging to each other. This is NOT a bragging time. It is engaging in conversation time.
If you catch yourself talking negatively or gossiping, immediately STOP!!! That is not a trap that you want to get wrapped up in. Try and steer the conversation towards a positive topic. If your guest continues in that conversation, just politely smile and say that you don’t want to discuss that any more. Then quickly move to something else.
If you are more shy when it comes to talking to people, prepare beforehand. Have a list of questions that you can ask to find out more about them. These questions should work on any age of a person, that way you won’t be afraid to talk with someone who is 16 or 60!
- Do you attend a church?
- Do you play music or sports?
- Have you lived here long?
- What types of things do you enjoy doing?
- Do you have any siblings?
These are just basic beginners. Always begin with “Hi, I am Amy, it is nice to meet you. What is your name?” Then repeat that person’s name, and immediately put the name with an image to remember in your brain. When you say, “Sarah, it is very nice to meet you.” In my head I would remember Sarah from the Bible and put that as a connection. Most people forget a person’s name almost immediately after they say it. By repeating it and then putting an image with it, will help you better remember.
Then ask a basic question. Usually off of that one, you can ask multiple questions, being more specific. When you leave that conversation, remember something specific that the person told you. The next time you see them, you can reiterate what they said to you. They will be astonished that you remembered!
Most people will enjoy talking about themselves, so conversations should not be hard. You want to focus on getting to know them and serving them. That is the greatest example of Jesus, serving others.
This week, make sure that you reach out to someone to get to know them better. Ask your parents if it is okay to invite a family over for fellowship. Help your mother by preparing the home for them to come. Focus on being a servant, rather than being served.