The most difficult, most important part, of getting ready to have guests in your home is preparing your mind and heart to minister to them. Once you open your home to people, your responsibility only starts at feeding them and offering a comfortable place to rest. The real goal is to offer Hospitality. And that seems to be really difficult for most women at one time or other in their lives.
True hospitality is so much more than making dinner, cleaning your house and having people over. True hospitality means investing yourself in your guests, reaching out to them and showing them the love of Jesus that is a part of you.
While you’re chopping and cooking and cleaning in the coming days here are some ways you can prepare your heart and mind to reach out to your guests. Its not just for them though, this preparation will help to put your mind in a place where you can be blessed by reaching out to others.
Pray for them – Pray for each guest by name. If you have difficulties with a particular person, pray all the more for peace and understanding.
Think of some good conversation starters that will build up your guests. Don’t bring up controversial things that you are likely to strongly disagree on but interesting, wholesome things.
Give thought to the needs that your guests may have and prepare to talk about or fulfill those needs. Everyone needs something. See if you can be a loving hostess who is willing to talk about the hard things in your guests lives if they want to talk. There may be something that God wants you to do in the life of one or more of your guests, be open to that and have your heart ready for the prompting of the Holy Spirit.
Find some games or activities for teens and children. Adults may be happy to sit for hours and talk or watch football, but most children and teens need something else to occupy them. If you have video games, see if you can hook them up to a separate TV than the main TV. That way everyone who wants to use the TV can do so. Bring out coloring books and crayons for the little folk. Some older folk like to color as well! See if you can find a few things for the age groups that will be visiting you, they will be grateful and so will their parents.
Be prepared to encourage your guests who are Christians in their Christian walk by spending time with the Lord in prayer.
Be prepared to share the Gospel to those who are not Christians.
Finally, pray for the peace of Christ to fill you and your home this Thanksgiving. His peace and purpose in your life can’t help but effect the whole atmosphere of your gathering.