Thursday, September 1, 2016

Now THAT's Entertaining!

I've already confessed here that I enjoy watching HGTV, especially the episodes where they take a run down house and make it look amazing. When the prospective owners talk about what they want, I've noticed that one thing everyone wants is a "gourmet kitchen" and an "open concept" house. Why? "So we can entertain in here."

I have a pet peeve about the word entertain when it refers to having people into your home. When I think of "entertaining" I think of a song and dance routine or at least a desire to show off and get compliments. 

I think it's great that people want to invite others into their homes. That is one of the best ways to make friends, encourage others, share of our blessings, perhaps learn of needs and help, maybe be helped, know how to pray for others, bring people together to form friendships, and to obey the Biblical command to be hospitable. That's where the word "hospitality" comes in. Hospitality is thinking about how you can give to others. In other words, are you trying to impress, or bless?

But it isn't necessary to have a chef's kitchen or a model home to invite people over. The goal is to have fellowship with others and to generously share what God has given you. That can be done even in these circumstances:

  • Around a table that seats four so only two guests can be invited at a time
  • In an apartment with only an kitchen bar, so everyone sits in the living room area, even on the floor
  • When the dishes have all been bought at Goodwill and they don't match in color, style, or era
  • Where the kitchen only has one functioning burner and the rice has to be made ahead and then a one pot stove-top dinner served
  • With eight people squeezed around a table meant for four to six
  • On a back patio because the house is just too small
I have been invited into homes like these. And when the hosts are welcoming, everyone has a great time!

When my parents were first married they lived in an eight by twenty-nine foot trailer. It was in Texas, so they could bring their table outside, place a large homemade plywood top on it to extend it, cover that with a tablecloth and invite people over for a meal under their awning on a regular basis.

In South America we have been in people's homes so humble they had to borrow extra plates from the neighbors in order to serve us all at once. Do you get the idea? It's not what you have, it's what you offer.

I recognize that in today's American English, "entertain" is the word people use to talk about having others into their home and "hospitality" is an industry of hotels and restaurants. (Please don't get me talking about that pet peeve. How can they call it hospitality when they expect you to pay big bucks for it??

In the end, it doesn't really matter what term you use, 
as long as your attitude is right.

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1 comment:

  1. What an awesome post and so true. I am always hung up on that part they really even have any company, I like your philosophy on this.



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