In the third lesson of this series, I gave some ideas of how you and your family can work together to be hospitable. Often, it can be difficult to have people in your home regularly due simply to family finances. What if your husband does not make much money and you are trying to be a good steward for him? Those are reasonable concerns because in order to be a good helpmeet, we do not want to cause our husband harm. Proverbs 31:10-12 says, “Who can find a virtuous wife? For her worth is far above rubies. The heart of her husband safely trusts her; So he will have no lack of gain. She does him good and not evil All the days of her life.”
Yet, we have learned that hospitality is a commandment (click here for article). It is clear from scripture that if we love the Lord, we will obey His commandments (John 14:15, 14:21, 14:24, 1 John 5:2). Also, clearly the Lord desires that we show others our love and in turn, His love will be perfected in us. 1 John 4:11-12 says, “Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. No one has seen God at any time; if we love one another, God abides in us, and His love is perfected in us.” There surely must be a way to be hospitable without hurting our family financially.
I am here to tell you that you can be creative and you can be frugal and I believe that the Lord will bless your efforts. We have almost always had to stretch our pennies. My husband has always been a hard worker, but having nine children, Jon could have brought home a fortune and we would still have had to find ways to be frugal! So hopefully I will be able to offer some suggestions that will give you some hope and encourage you to find more ways to bring people who need love and spiritual nourishment into your homes.
This list will just be a list to get your creative juices going. Hopefully you will notice that if you start thinking, you can come up with many more ways to include others in your lives and make them feel like they are a part of your family without it costing you very much at all.
- Popcorn, Popcorn and more Popcorn!! This is one of our favorite, inexpensive treats and one of the best things about this is you do not have to plan ahead; just fix as much or as little as you need whenever a group is hungry.
- Iced Tea- If you cannot afford a lot of soda, make some good old fashioned iced tea. Kool-Aid is a good choice for little ones, too! And water is certainly acceptable.
- “Impromptu Sunday Night Sandwiches At Our House”-Just start inviting folks from church, ask them to pick up whatever they want to add to sandwiches and sides. We’ve never ceased to be amazed at all the food that showed up, Nothing was ever missing, tell people to come even if they can’t bring anything!
- Mexican Stack Up- Provide rice and seasoned beef and ask the guests to bring a topping. There is a list of several toppings that the guests can choose from such as cheese, tomatoes, pecans, Chinese crunchy noodles, coconut, craisins, sour cream, salsa, etc.
- Game Night- Of course this could be any kind of game night. Pull out the cards, the board games, look on the internet for fun new games, and your guests will probably teach you many new games too.
- Ice Cream Sundaes- Provide the ice cream, ask guests to pick up different toppings. Variation- Banana Splits, Root Beer Floats, Ice Cream Cones, Ice Cream shakes.
- Have relay races or mazes in your back yard or set up treasure hunts to do in teams. Make sure the adults participate in all of this and put people who do not have families into an adopted family!
- Potato Bar- Provide the baked potatoes, ask the guests to bring toppings.
- “Soup and Singing”- Soup is always inexpensive. I make a big pot of it and invite a huge group of young people over, usually students from Bear Valley who could use a full belly and some lovin’. I ask the guests to bring dessert and drinks. Inevitably, others show up with a pot or two of soup to add to mine. Then we sing songs all evening. It usually lasts pretty late into a Friday night.
- Water Balloon Party-You provide the water balloons, God provides the warm summer day
- Old Movie Marathon
- Share hospitality with a friend- Two or three families make portions of Sunday dinner and each family invites guests. This way each family gets to take turns making the main dish on a different Sunday.
Can you think of more? Ask your kids and husband to help you! Plan some of these at home and some of these together with your church to include a whole lot more people. Being creative in hospitality can be so much fun! Serving together as a family will help your family bond with each other and with the church. Hospitality can actually be one of the easier commandments from God. You will end up being rewarded more than those you are trying to bless.
Editor’s note: What are your favorite frugal entertaining ideas? Share in the comments!
By Laura Warnes
Laura Warnes and her husband Jon serve with the Miller Street church of Christ. Jon works at the Bear Valley Bible Institute where he serves as Alumni Director. Laura is a homeschooling mom to their seven children still at home, (two have flown the coup) and is also a proud grandma to three beautiful grandchildren with one on the way in February.