So why do it? Why invite people into your home and share your food, your space, your life?
In my experience, time spent in each others’ homes fosters authentic relationships. You see more layers of a person when you spend time in their home. You see someone’s bookshelf and find that they also love A Severe Mercy. You learn that other people’s kids throw food at dinner, too.
And there’s a level of comfort and openness that can come just by being in a home versus a public space.
Beyond all of this, the stage of life I’m currently in (mom to a toddler and a preschooler) simply lends itself to making friends at someone’s kitchen table or in their backyard.
Gone are the days of going out with other couples multiple times a week. Nowadays, friendships are forged over cups of coffee and bouncing babies and in between melt-downs and nap-times. And all of this is more easily done in someone’s home.
You Get Over Stuff
Having people in my home on a regular basis forces me to decide which is more important—keeping my stuff in perfect condition or having a house full of friends. So far, I’m choosing a full house.
The carpet will wear, the chairs will need repair, and someone will spill something somewhere. But things are made to be used and shared.
It Relieves the Pressure to Impress
The more I invite folks over, the more I realize how cute or big or well decorated my home is doesn’t matter as much as I might have thought. Especially when people come over in the midst of imperfection and still seem to have a good time.
I love pretty spaces as much (or more than) the next person, but beauty isn’t all that fills people’s souls. People want to be loved, listened to, and cared for in practical ways. Which is basically hospitality.
It Fills Your Home with Warmth and Life
I am never happier than when my house is full of friends. I love the sharing of stories and hearts over meals. I love playing games and discovering people’s funny quirks.
I love the joy that comes with taking care of others. I love when other people hold my baby so I can eat.
Yes, it takes effort, time, and resources. But investing in people’s lives via hospitality is totally worth it.