A comfortable and relaxing extra room makes it easy to invite guests to stay over for a night. Practice biblical graciousness by welcoming family, friends or maybe someone in need. True hospitality is about being willing to share what you have and making room for others in your home and your heart.
Scripture calls us to practice this, but it doesn’t say you need to be a fancy chef or have a huge house to do it. All you need is a cheerful heart and a spirit of generosity.
The Apostle Paul wrote, “Share with the Lord’s people who are in need. Practice hospitality,” Romans 12:13 NIV.
Your guests’ immediate needs may be physical, but there is also a spiritual side to hospitality. When you invite others into your home, you show Christ’s love in a tangible way. Spending time with people in your home fosters fellowship and communion.
Whether your guest book is full or you only have company during holidays, get in touch with your inner hostess and prepare a warm space that guests will remember long after they are gone.
The Lord was sometimes a guest Himself. “As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him,” Luke 10:38 NIV.
Just because your house doesn’t look like it belongs in a magazine, doesn’t mean you shouldn’t have people over. It doesn’t need to be perfectly decorated to be inviting. The important thing is that guests feel welcome. Have the bed made and the room ready before they arrive. If they are getting in around mealtime, let them know you will have something ready. If it’s an in-between hour, a snack or a pot of tea may be enough. Your time and attention will do much more to make them feel at home than would a house full of the latest decor and accessories.
If these are first-time visitors to your home, give a quick tour when they arrive. Show them where they will be staying, which bathroom they can use, where to find glasses in the kitchen and anything else they might need right away.
Set guests at ease by leaving a card, above, in the guest room noting such details as security codes for the home, a password to connect to the Internet, the family schedule, pet names and anything else they may need to know. Download a card template here to make your own.
Be Our Guest
Who doesn’t love to indulge in a little pampering? Give guests the royal treatment and have on hand toiletries they may have forgotten. Arrange items such as individual soaps, shampoo, toothbrushes, lotions and razors on a tray or in a basket. Don’t forget to provide plenty of fresh towels and washcloths.
Create a relaxing and inviting space with cozy bedding. Put extra pillows and blankets on the bed to help guests sleep in complete comfort. Fold down the covers in case someone needs an afternoon nap. If your house is drafty in the winter, consider putting a down comforter on the bed. If it is stuffy in the summer, you may want to put a fan in the room.
Set out magazines, favorite books and a Bible. This lets guests know they are free to spend time in the room. It is also a good idea to provide crackers, nuts or dried fruit for a late-night snack. Guests may need bottled water or a carafe of water and a glass. Also place a dish in a convenient spot as a place to collect jewelry, coins and keys.
Room to Spare
Whether you have a dedicated guest room or are setting up a temporary space, make it a relaxing home away from home, above. Clear away clutter so guests don’t feel like they’re intruding on your space. Depending on how long your guests will stay, empty a dresser drawer or provide hanging space in the closet. Make sure there is a lamp by the bed for reading and easy navigation in the dark.