We went to church in Troy, MO at Covenant Family Church again this Sunday. One of the families there generously let us spend the night with them. We left from their house to go to IL on Monday morning (to see my parents). It was such a blessing to spend time with like-minded believers.
I hovered over the Dear Mother as she cooked, trying to glean anything I could (while shifting a shy Joshua from one hip to the other). I learn SO much when we go to other people's homes! It is so sad that churches these days (for the most part) are short on breaking of bread within each others' homes! How can we (the whole body of Christ) really be Titus 2 Christians, teaching the younger/learning from the older, if we only see each other one day a week. Plus, many of us wear a "game face" on Sunday morning! We need to be in other people's homes learning how other Christians handle various situations. I learned a lot of practical things about feeding 13 people!
I fear that many people don't want to have guests over for really superficial reasons. You may think: my house is such a mess, they won't like my dog, I don't know how to cook, my house isn't as nice as theirs... these are not good enough reasons to rob yourself from fellowship with other believers! You are doing your friends a real disservice of thought if you assume that they will judge you by your disheveled or out-of-date home! Would you want them to think the same of you? And, if it isn't about what your friends will think - then it is about your own pride!
Right now, Paul and I live in a small house that has a lot of problems (both structural and cosmetic). Still, we have already had people over for dinner and childcare. As we were leaving our guest's home the other day, I said "Our home is too small to put you up for the night, but if you come through the area I would love to feed you dinner!" She answered, "We can bring a tent." Wow!, what precious new friends!