The Heart of Entertaining
Entertaining is a part of my bloodline. I remember as a little girl, my mama would have couples over every Friday night to play cards. She would set out a whole buffet of appetizers and would think of everything to help make her guests more comfortable.
My grandmother was also the hostess with the mostess. She told me stories of how they would push the couches back in the living room, turn on some music with a beat, and dance with her friends. The dresses that she had were so beautiful!
Entertaining seems to come easy to me as I love to welcome people into my home. However, I know it doesn’t always come easy for everyone. This month, I want to guide you through some entertaining basics as we see how we can show hospitality in practical ways through entertaining friends and family.
Read Philippians 2:3
One of the greatest ways to connect with someone is to invite her over to your home. As you host others, I have a simple checklist for you to prepare your heart for having someone in your home. The whole goal is to be a reflection of Christ and show love to the person who is in your home.
1. Pray for the person that you will be hosting.
Pray for the person by name. Pray every day, pray multiple times per day for this person. God will reveal hidden mysteries to you. He will show you how to best serve this person. Prepare your heart by praying over your couch and your kitchen table where your guest may sit. Let the Lord be your focus of entertaining and not your own agenda.
2. Prepare your home well for your guest.
When I was little, my mom asked me to clean the bathroom. She handed me all of the cleaning supplies and I would begin. I pretended that I was preparing the bathroom for Queen Elizabeth. She was going to stop by our home and I wanted it just perfect.
I do not prepare my home as if Queen Elizabeth is coming! But, I want to make sure that the basics are taken care of. Give the floor a sweep, the table a good wipe, and make sure the bathroom is in good condition. Always check to make sure the toilet paper is not empty and that there is enough soap in the soap dispenser. Tidy up around the main arteries of the house. One trick we use is to throw the loose items into a laundry basket to sort through after the guest has left. It works well!
3. Be considerate of your guest’s dietary restrictions or preferences.
Due to the food sensitivities and allergies that are more prevalent these days, it is essential to ask your guest if she has any dietary restrictions or food preferences. You may want to share what you plan on serving to make sure the guest is able to eat the food. Do not be offended if there are dietary restrictions. Consider this a wonderful challenge to research recipes and ingredients that you may have never tried before! If my guest has a severe allergy or has a lot of dietary restrictions, I try to share the ingredients in the recipe in case I am including an ingredient that she is allergic or sensitive to.
4. Prepare the environment for your time together.
Consider the reason for entertaining. Are you getting to know a neighbor in the neighborhood? Consider sipping lemonade on the front porch together. Are you inviting a family over for church who you know very well? Set up some backyard games and light up the grill. Enjoy the dinner on the patio with some fun music on in the background. Are you hosting a young couple that you met? Set the tone by having a nice dinner and sitting on the couches to enjoy dessert. Have a fire going in the fireplace.
5. Remember why you are entertaining.
This is the most important point. As you entertain others, the whole purpose behind entertaining is to show the love of Jesus to others. It is a place to welcome people and give them a safe place to just be. Hospitality can open up doors of spiritual conversations or it can simply be a way for you to connect on a deeper level with others you care about.
Let Homemaking be about God and not about you.
Let homemaking be about God and not about you. Let His will be done. Let He be given glory through you and the love that you pour out onto your guests. Let everything be done in humility with not an ounce of selfish ambition or conceit. May God be your incredible focus as you entertain.
Katie White is a Christian modern-day homemaker who shares ideas on organizing, entertaining, raising little ones, and motherhood over on her website, Grace and Thanks. She has a love for hospitality and homemaking, but her greatest love is for her heavenly Father. God continues to be faithful and full of grace as she raises five beautiful children with her husband.