I never learned hospitality. When I was a kid, other people weren’t really allowed in our house. No sleepovers, no people from church coming by for dinner, no movie nights with friends. So I never learned how to do it – how to be comfortable having people in my space. It’s not that I don’t WANT people there…I just don’t know what to do with them when they GET there.
Do I ask them to sit at the table or in the living room? Or are they more comfortable in the kitchen? I read that somewhere. But there’s nowhere to sit in the kitchen, so maybe that’s just awkward. Do I offer them just a drink? Or a drink plus food? What if they surprise me and I have no food? What if I’m in my pajamas? Oh my gosh, I’m mortified that it’s 6:30pm & I’m already in my pj’s and there’s no food in the house and…and…and…
I’m not good at it. My family & my best friend and her husband, other close friends…that’s different. My house *is* their house. But with other people I don’t know well, I feel weird. And if you feel weird, they feel weird.
In my daydreams I have a big family with kids & friends running in and out all the time. Actually, I’m not sure if life even works that way anymore, for anyone. Maybe we’re all too busy and distracted nowadays. Maybe I just don’t get invites because I’m not half of a couple? I have no idea.
The Bible encourages hospitality, like it’s obligatory. To be honest, I’m not sure I understand the benefit of it. I know a couple who planned a dinner party in their home for about twelve. No one showed up the night of. Half didn’t even say yes they’d be there or no they wouldn’t. There they were dressed up, house clean & pretty, kitchen full of food…and no one even bothered to come. How humiliating & hurtful! That’d make me hesitant to try again, if I were them. It makes ME hesitant to try at all.
This is the time of year for entertaining…so for those of you who know how to do it, have fun! I’ll be in my pj’s at 6:30pm, wondering how you know what you’re doing.