Thursday, October 20, 2011


I'd like to issue a challenge to you. Yes you. The one sitting there thinking this probably won't apply to you since, be honest, that's what most of us think when we hear an opening line like that.

We need to reclaim the home as the social hub of our lives. Inviting people into your home is not just for people who live in 2000 sq ft or more. It's not just for married people. It's not just for good cooks. Almost* all of us can open our door and let people chill with us.

The home lends itself to personal warmth and depth. There is safety. There is family. There is relationship in the home. How much of that can you say about the movie theater or Chili's?

As a young adults in the DC area, my friends and I face two main hurdles in opening our homes. One is the idea that as younger people, we just aren't ready to be the hosts. Our home is too small. Our furniture doesn't match. We can't layout a food spread as good as mom used to do. That's just plain baloney. No one cares if your stuff doesn't match or if you pour salsa from a jar into a cereal bowl as your only snack (but we would like some chips too). And small spaces? We all have them. In reality, it kinda makes things more cozy. So pile people into your little home!

If you live in other areas, tell me if this applies to you. In the DC area there is a strong tenancy to keep things only so deep. People come and go from your life so much. Your friends are also your job connection on the The Hill. You think you fall pretty low on the cool big city scale. That last one is baloney, but the others are real issues to contend with around here. This is where we need to be intentional. If I want my life to be rich and focused than I must take my relationships deeper.

When I open my door and let people into my home, I'm also letting them into my life. They see how I live. They see my books and photos and a peek into my soul. It's an intentional step to let them know me. It breaks down the formality we might not know even exists in our relationships.

Oh, and it's a lot of fun too! You kick back, leave the shoes by the door and just be you. Tell random stories. Laugh the way you really wouldn't out in public. You relax.

So just do it. Run the vacuum cleaner and have some people over. Next time the movie lets out, tell everyone to come back to your place for some ice cream. Everyone can serve ice cream. Or call up some friends, order take-out and sit around your coffee table and watch friendships grow.

The Challenge: Have people over to your house between now and Thanksgiving. As long as they come in and stay long enough to sit down, it counts. I'll be asking how it went!

*I say almost since I will admit that there are some situations where you can't. I once had a 400 sq ft apartment with a bad layout that meant I really did just live in a bedroom. But oh yes! I DID have two close girlfriends over a couple times for movie night. I just wasn't hosting much else.


  1. I put so much pressure on myself when I have company, and I know I shouldn't. This past Sunday, we had two couples with 2 kids each come over and we had soft tacos. The tortillas were hard as corn chips because we had the bright idea to put them on the grill (!) to warm them. Not so bright. Anyway, our guests were good friends (and gracious) and we all laughed about it...luckily I had extra tortillas. I'm a pastor's be more hospitable, but honestly it doesn't come that easy for me. This is good encouragement. You really can get to know people a lot better in your home than anywhere else.

  2. Next time, put those tortillas in some foil ;-) But this way they were ready to make mexican pizzas! LOL

    It can be fun/hard to go all out and make sure it's the perfect dinner party. But people love it just as much when you're spontaneous and/or simple. (((hugs)))

  3. Biff, you got me. We never have people over because we think our house is too small and too cluttered. Or because we don't have a guest bathroom. Or a formal dining room. Or [insert reason here]. But this weekend I am hosting four moms and their babies for a playdate (mom's playdate). Our house did not suddenly grow extra rooms, and the clutter is now out of control with all the toys, but I'm doing it anyway!

    I think our reasoning was that we don't love our house. We bought at the absolute peak of the market, so our friends who bought a few years later have houses twice as big and twice as new as we do. When we go visit them, it makes us embarrassed to reciprocate. I know we have to get over it.

  4. My wife and I live in a 1,000 sq ft home, and we actually have a church group that meets with us each week. It's super crowded, but that's part of the fun. She loves hosting, and even though our living room is half-painted (for another week or so) and our snacks come pre-packaged it's still an awesome experience. Great challenge and great thoughts.

  5. Be sure to read the follow up post:


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