Opening our Homes
One of the hallmarks of the early Church was hospitality. Throughout the New Testament, we see many examples of Christians receiving one another warmly and generously by opening their homes for fellowship, meals, teaching, or a place to rest.
Being hospitable means that we are open to having guests, and it is something all of us can practice. Whether it’s serving a meal or sharing a cup of tea, welcoming people into our homes is a great way to show love.
Here are some easy ideas:
- Invite a family over for an evening of board games and popcorn.
- Reach out to neighbors by asking them over for coffee.
- Host an “ice-cream sundae night” where everyone brings a topping.
- Plan a simple after-church lunch or potluck dinner.
And remember—it doesn’t have to be about food. Sitting around the fireplace or kitchen table enjoying hot chocolate with friends can be a wonderful way to extend hospitality.
MaryAnn Gaver and her husband, Jay, have been homeschooling their twin sons for eight years.
Hospitality at Home
Transparency—allowing guests to see the “real” us—makes our homes inviting and comfortable. It starts with Mom and Dad allowing the children to see their “real” selves, and continuing as these “real” people when company comes. If we display hospitality in order to show off our “perfect” household, eventually the facade cracks. Practicing hospitality on a daily basis toward family members makes welcoming guests come naturally.
Yes, children need to learn proper manners, the “company first” rule, how to pick up the house and set out the nice dishes to honor guests, but a home with open hearts toward God, each other, and their guests creates a time for fun and fellowship that honors God.
Pursue the practice of hospitality. (Romans 12:13b)
by Pam C. / Dallas, TX
A Warm Welcome
Teaching our children to be hospitable is no different than teaching them other virtues. Children learn by example. My husband and I focus on being attentive hosts at our family gatherings.
Part of teaching hospitality to our 14-year-old daughter, Claire, begins before guests arrive. She takes an active part in cleaning the house, setting the table, and preparing food. When the first car comes down our driveway, she is
the first of our “welcoming committee,” running outside to greet each guest.
Seeing our guests enjoying themselves makes her proud that she played a part
in making it all happen. When bidding farewell after customary handshakes
and hugs, we stand in our yard or on our porch, waving good-bye until the last car disappears.
The result of Claire’s warm hospitality is our guests’ eagerness to return.
by Susan G. / Fries, VA
Make Training More Memorable
Four years ago, we embarked on hosting a weeklong Home Ec Day Camp for homeschooled girls ages 11–19 in our home. The day camp has grown from 8 to 15 girls.
Our day starts at 8:45 a.m. with devotions, a mother’s or guest’s testimony, and singing hymns. The day ends after 30 minutes of clean-up at 4:00 p.m.
Each year, we select a sewing project that can be completed in one week at camp. These projects are often entered in the county fair for competition and evaluation.
We eat sack lunches outside, which contributes to making friends and reduces work in the kitchen. Each afternoon
brings special features such as cake
decorating, floral centerpieces, women’s health, home-based businesses, etc. The week culminates in a formal tea party with a special speaker. That day, we focus on manners, entertaining, and hospitality.
A week devoted to mother-daughter bonding, friendship, learning,
and fun makes lasting memories for all and fulfills the biblical mandate to “teach the younger women.”
by Rachel J. / Happy Valley, OR
Share Your Tips
This column is designed to feature teaching tips, encouragement, and advice from homeschooling parents.
Our topic for the March/April 2010 issue is “keep going!” After months of homeschooling and the kids antsy with spring fever, some of us could use encouragement to continue with our original momentum. Tell us how you “hang in there” in 150 words or less. Submissions may be edited for space. Mail submissions to:
Attn: Parent to Parent, HSLDA
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, VA 20134
Or email us (include “Parent to Parent” in the subject line) at ComDept@hslda.org
Please include your name and address. Submission deadline is 1/8/10.