It used to be that I didn't really feel like my house was nice enough, new enough, pretty enough or big enough to invite friends over. Now I am in a newer, prettier place (although still on the small side compared to most homes being built today) and it's never clean enough to have people over.
I didn't grow up in a home where my parents had people over much and practicing hospitality or seeing that modeled rarely ever happened. So, I'm learning. I'm trusting God to continue to show me how to be all the things he desires me to be. Even though I have been married nearly 18 years I am still learning all about this thing called "hospitality". What it is and what it is not. One thing I am beginning to understand (finally) is that having a super clean home that is always tidy really has nothing to do with practicing hospitality.
I am not saying you shouldn't worry about keeping your home clean, because as a Titus 2 and Proverbs 31 Woman that is one of the tasks we are called to do in order to be a blessing to our family. What I am saying is that while your house may never be spotless or perfect, we still should be using our homes for the Glory of God and to reach out to the lost and hurting around us. We should be inviting people over even when things aren't perfect just so they can experience a little of God's peace that resides in our home for themselves.
It doesn't matter if everything is perfectly clean and decorated, what matters is the love and attention you are giving someone who needs it. Being hospitable is not about you at all. It's about opening your heart and focusing in on the needs of someone else then ministering to those needs. In Karen Ehman's book "A Life That Says Welcome" she states that there is a huge difference in entertaining and offering hospitality. Entertaining puts emphasis on you and how you can impress others while hospitality puts the emphasis on others and how you can meet their physical and spiritual needs so that they feel refreshed when leaving your home.
I really like that statement. And it makes me think, do people feel refreshed when they leave my home? What about you? Do you have people over? Do they feel refreshed when they leave your home? If you don't normally have people over, it's never too late to start. Think of someone that you could minister to by opening up your home and showing them some love and then invite them. Let me know how it goes.