Opening Homes and Opening Hearts: Why Hosting Matters
Growing up in a small town of 2,000 people or less, participating in sports, attending a small Baptist Church all gave me a sense of community in my life. Honestly, I don’t know where I’d be if I hadn’t had such an amazing community around me as I grew up. Even though I now live in the fourth largest city in the country, I still have community all around me. I have an incredible work family, church friends, and the girls in The Sassy Club. All of this has been such a blessing, and even if I were to be an introvert, there would still be a need for community as that is how God intended it to be.
Regardless of what you believe, I think we can all agree that community is an important part in our lives. We crave and need a sense of community, no matter how big or small - we NEED it! Without it, we would go insane. Think about it, at war if your enemy captures you what do they do? They put you off all by yourself because they know you will eventually break. Even Jesus had community with His disciples, so for us to think we can do it alone is human error and letting our egos get in the way.
I should clarify that when I use the term “community” I am referring to surrounding yourself with people who will impact you in a positive way. It’s important to note that not all community is good. and we should use the discernment to steer clear of anything that doesn’t serve the Lord or us in a positive way.
So, how exactly can we build community? In my opinion, I don’t think it has to be difficult – in fact, it could even be…fun?! I know – my inner perfectionist just panicked, too! I think one of my favorite ways to build community is by inviting friends over, making a home-cooked meal, or ordering takeout, whatever your thing is. New friends, old friends – it doesn’t matter! By extending the invite to bring people into your home, which is a very personal space for most of us, you’re already on the way to builder stronger relationships.
Wondering who you should invite to your humble abode? If you’re thinking with a servant heart, like Jesus, then you should invite the poor in spirit, the brokenhearted, the needy, the lost. Honestly, some days I meet every single one of those categories so it shouldn’t be too hard for you to find someone in one of those seasons of life either! Have a friend who just went through a breakup? Ask her over! Know of someone who just lost their job? Send that invite, sister! Are you picking up what I’m putting down yet?
Serve them and love them just like they are family. Make them feel comfy, bring them a glass of sweet tea, or wine if it’s been a rough day. The thing I want you to note is that it’s okay to be yourself when you have guests over. Your house doesn’t have to be spotless, drinks don’t have to be in fancy glasses, and it’s not the worse thing if blankets aren’t folded on the sofa. Don’t hear what I’m not saying – I don’t recommend making your guests step over dirty socks or letting your trash can stink up the kitchen haha! But while it’s definitely nice to make an effort, it’s equally important to keep it real and be yourself because we’re all a little broken. Don’t wait until your home is PERFECT before you open it up as a safe space for others. Authenticity is what we all crave, so let’s share that!
At the end of the day, we’re not that different from one another. We all need love, a little extra help, and we all want to be heard. If you have a space to share, you were given it to share it! So send those invites, put the kettle on, and be the difference makers in this world, shall we?