We all know that we should be showing hospitality on a regular basis, even to strangers. God has told us in His word to do it (Heb. 13:2), and we know that we will be blessed as we obey Him in this service. But have you ever stopped to consider some of the other perks that come along with having people into your home on a regular basis? Here, in no order of importance, is my Short List of Selfish Reasons to Show Hospitality.
1) Maid Service
Seriously, if I didn’t know that guests were arriving at my doorstep on a regular basis, I would not clean my toilets nearly as often as I do. Showing hospitality is just the impetus this lazy housekeeper needs to stay on top of cleaning. Most of the women I talk to dread the thought of cleaning more than the actual time it takes to do it. Showing regular hospitality is a proven cure for the problem of procrastination! I consider it a real blessing that I have this weekly motivation to do the chores I would otherwise ignore until they became an unpleasant burden nagging on my mind. Without it, I must admit, I would not be intrinsically motivated enough to keep up with the cleaning. Just to be clear, I could never pass a white glove inspection. I probably wouldn’t pass a brown glove inspection! But regular hospitality is a great help in forcing me to keep up with the bare minimum. So if you are ignoring a very messy house, call a family up right now and invite them over this week. I guarantee you’ll have a clean house in no time!
I love having a weekly excuse to bake dessert. While we don’t usually serve anything really fancy for guests, it’s fun to do the little extras: dessert, hot dinner rolls, etc. Yes, I do need to spend extra time in the kitchen cooking for guests. But that means that I also get to eat more! In fact, having people over on Sunday in particular is a great time to feast in celebration of the Lord’s Day. And I certainly do like to feast. Let me be perfectly honest here; if I didn’t have people at my table regularly, that would be fewer opportunities for me to bake and eat brownies. And that, my friends, would be sad for me.
3) Nanny 911
Nothing serves to train our children in manners better than having to put it into practice every Sunday at the dinner table with our guests. We can teach the rules of etiquette to them during the week, but the rubber meets the road when their Sunday school teacher is observing how they eat soup. Of course, the fact that my husband throws dinner rolls to me across the table might be a slight detriment, but our guests have never complained. They’ve also never been hit in the face with a dinner roll. Yet.
4) Home Entertainment System
We all like to be entertained. Some people are entertained by watching other people’s lives on TV. Some people spend lots of money going places to be entertained. Some of us invite entertainment to come over and have dinner with us. Right in our dining room we’ve been able to meet the most interesting people, hear the best stories, and watch the greatest party tricks. And unlike the TV, we get to interact with our entertainment, to ask them questions, or to beg them to tell just one more joke. We may feed their bellies, but they feed our imaginations and our minds as they talk about the experiences God has brought them through.
So that’s my Short List. What would you add?