02 03 Gallimaufry Grove: Entertaining Vs. Hospitality 04 05 15 16 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 31 32 33

Entertaining Vs. Hospitality


There is a world of difference between entertaining and showing hospitality.  Did you ever think much about it?

By definition, entertaining implies being able to impress your guests.  One definition for entertaining is "to hold attention by something amusing or diverting."  I don't know about you, but my pot roast isn't very amusing or diverting.  Maybe if I juggle it....

Of necessity, you will need an impressive house, perfectly matching tableware, impeccable food, and well metered conversation.  Everything will need to run smoothly (you probably want a baby sitter for the kids, because nothing ever runs as planned with a brood in tow.)

When you are preparing to entertain, tensions run high.  Everything must be perfect.  By the time the guests begin to arrive, there have been arguments, kids have been shooed away, you are near tears and you have probably spent too much money (I have known people who actually bought new furniture or completely remodeled before a party).  Nothing like a little (high-stress) atmosphere, huh?  Better play some mood music.

Don't know what I'm talking about?  Just think about the last time you had the in-laws over for Thanksgiving or Christmas dinner.  Oh, now you know, don't you?

Hospitality is very different.   Webster's Dictionary says it is the "generous and friendly treatment of visitors and guests."  You don't need an immaculate house or matching silverware to pull this one off.   All you need is a willing heart that thinks more of others than it thinks of itself.  We can all develop a servant's heart no matter what our income or circumstances.

No one is truly comfortable in a home that emphasizes entertaining.  Everyone is at least a little on edge from the hostess to the guests.  The hostess is generally more focused on making sure everything goes correctly than she is on the guests.  The guests are focused on minding their manners and not spilling anything on the pretty white carpet.

The hospitable home, however, puts everyone at ease.  The hostess is concerned for the guests and treating them with generosity and friendliness.  It doesn't matter whether the glasses match or not, because what she pours into them is made with love.  A hospitable hostess will make sure things are clean and comfortable for her guests, not to impress them, but to be a blessing to them.  She will do the best she can with what she has to work with rather than spending money unwisely to impress others.  She will spend more time praying for her guests than stressing over what isn't perfect.  She will be more focused on people than she is on perfection.  Guests will automatically pick up on the beautiful atmosphere of this home.  In fact, they will probably find they stayed much longer than they intended.

Anyone can be hospitable, if we will focus on the right things.  It isn't about impressing anyone.  It is about showing the love of Christ to the people in our homes.  Which means I won't have to learn how to juggle a pot roast after all.

Have fun with your guests,

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