Keeping It Real While Practicing Hospitality

When I have guests over, I typically try to make things nice. I do my best to get the house in tip-top shape, I cook my best meals, I use formal serving dishes, and I smile and act cheerfully (even if I’m having a rough day).

Everything does not have to be perfect when you have guests over! Leave things as they are because you can all benefit from authenticity.

I’m beginning to realize that this nice façade may not be beneficial when practicing hospitality. Instead, my guests and I may both benefit from greater authenticity or what is colloquially termed “keepin’ it real.”

Reasons to keep it real while practicing hospitality

  • So true fellowship can happen. We often equate fellowship with laughter and fun-filled activities. These certainly are part of fellowship, but so are things like sorrow, tears, debates, and even confession of sin. The proverbial putting on a happy face prevents genuine connection and fellowship, so let’s bring our joys and burdens to the table alongside our entrees and desserts to fully live out Acts 2:42-46.
  • So our guests will be blessed. How much of our preparations are spent creating a pleasant, comfortable environment for our guests and how much is spent trying to do things that will impress them or make us look good? Let’s get comfortable with our homes and our cooking abilities and put our time and effort into blessing our guests. Let’s spend less time searching Pinterest for meal ideas and more time praying for our guests before their arrival. Let’s worry less about our mismatched dishes and focus more on asking engaging questions that show our interest in their lives.
  • So our guests can relate to us. If we give the impression of “having it all together” or being perfect, then our guests may not be able to relate to us. After all, it’s intimidating to interact with someone who appears to be without flaws! Our imperfections make us knowable. Let’s be honest about these so we can develop deep, meaningful friendships.

What things do you do to maintain authenticity and keep the focus on your guests when you host others in your home?

Shared on the following link-ups:

Saturday Soiree, Growing in Grace, From House to Home, Capture Your Journey, WholeHearted Wednesday, Coffee and Conversation, Titus 2sday, Titus 2 Tuesday & Monday’s Musings.


  1. I used to hate having people over to my house and unfortunately, I think they sensed that. It was mainly because I thought my house needed to be perfectly clean, which it never was. Since I have let go of that perfection and started hosting our life group every other week, that has really changed. I’m able to enjoy having people in my home much more. I love your point about “so our guests can relate to us.” I completely agree!

    • Hi Candace,
      It’s nice to know I’m not the only one who has struggled with these concerns!
      Having a group over regularly helps, I believe, because these guests come whether you feel ready or not. It can sort of break you of your concerns!

  2. So true! I recently dropped in on my sister and she said, “your house is never messy like this.” I assured her that if she came over without notice, my house would probably look worse. And, I don’t have a 1 year old like she does. It got me thinking about the same thing as you. Does my house make people feel badly that they don’t keep their house as clean? Because certainly, I don’t keep it spotless every day!

    • I’m sure there are some individuals who can keep their homes clean all the time…but most of us can’t! It’s nice to know we’re not alone in this. 🙂

  3. I love that you bring up the importance of our guests relating to us. How can we make true friends without sharing the mess? Life is messy and though I like to know people care enough to clean their home and prepare something nice when I come over, I LOVE it when they feel comfortable enough to let me see their mess, and trust me not to judge but love.

    • “…trust me not to judge but love.” Great way to state it!
      I want my friends to feel this level of comfort, too.

  4. I don’t think anyone assumes I have it all together 🙂
    You are so right-we want to build relationships, not make people intimidated.

  5. I’m guilty of running around cleaning up before guests come over and then they usually don’t go in half the places I was worried about. Posts like these are always good reminders and encouragement for me! #saturdaysoiree

  6. I tend to stress when I have guests over and I think they sense my tension. This post is a great reminder to let go and have fun, regardless of how things look. You are being featured this week at the Sat. Soiree!

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