{Parenting} Teaching our children to be a good hostess

By: Cindy Morrone

I had opportunity lately to host several occasions in our home and I was so excited. I absolutely love to have people over and desperately want them to feel welcome, appreciated, loved and cared about. It is my heart’s desire to open our home to others; open our lives to others.

But this is where the challenge comes in. This is where my heart motive can be tormented by my flesh. I start to make my lists and preparations. The cleaning begins and the menus planned. I proceed to give my best intentions to warmly welcome and entertain our guests. However, I have to be on guard because my best efforts can be threatened by wrong motives.

Somewhere along the way, I perceived an ideal of perfection. An idea that unless my house is immaculate, I have all the right cutlery, press the linens, and offer a smorgasbord of hors d’oeuvre my guests will be disappointed. And/or perhaps will think less of me and my family.

If I succumb to this ideal, then I can get caught in a whirlwind of lists and bring everyone else in my family into my tornado of tasks. I can become short in my responses, and irritated by the inevitable mess of living. My family cannot meet this standard either. And if I let this thinking prevail, it will only serve to keep our door closed and we will miss the chance to live life with those God has placed in our midst; mess and all.

This is not what I want to teach my daughters.

They love a good party too and are always looking for the next social event. I do not want to pass on this learned false idea of perfection.

Instead…

I hope that they learn to open their doors, to their own homes someday, wide and present to those God has placed in their lives, their best offerings.

I pray, that they will not be caught up in or distracted by what they don’t have to give but rely on their holy God to turn their, “…five loaves and two fish…” (Luke 9:13) into a magnificent feast, that feeds in abundance.

There is no better time than our present to lead by example. Let my example be like Christ’s, Who,”..got up from the meal, took off his outer clothing, and wrapped a towel around his waist. After that, he poured water into a basin and began to wash his disciples’ feet, drying them with the towel that was wrapped around him.” (John 13:4 & 5)

Dear Heavenly and Gracious Father,

Thank You Lord, God for the privilege to serve. God help us to not be caught up in or distracted by what we do not have to offer. Instead help us to use and give whatever we have, knowing that You will provide all the rest. It’s in the limited possibilities that we can see water come from a rock! Above all help us to love on and serve those very precious ones You have placed in our lives. Help us to teach and be an example for our children. We pray all these things in Your Son’s holy name. Amen.

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