Be Our Guest
by Marti Pieper
“Be our guest” held new meaning for 100 of my closest friends and me after one long night at Disney World. As extras in a commercial, our not-so-starring role consisted of dancing in front of the famous Cinderella castle and singing this phrase again and again.
But what about when someone invites you to “be our guest”? How can you avoid becoming a pain, a problem, or a person no one wants to host? A few quick tips will help you become a houseguest to remember in all the best ways.
Communicate: Share the details of your trip as soon as you know them, including the dates you intend to stay, the meals you’ll require and any special needs such as food allergies. Keep the lines of communication open during your stay, too, so your hosts know when to expect (or not expect) you. Make sure to clean up any messes you make, and if possible, offer to help with housecleaning or cooking, too.
Accommodate: Fit in with your hosts’ home and schedule as best you can. If the family eats breakfast at 8:00 a.m., join them, even though you prefer to sleep until 9. And don’t stay so busy visiting others that you spend little time with your hosts. That can leave them feeling more like the unwilling proprietors of a B&B and less like people who have opened their home in kindness.
Appreciate: Express gratitude for the hospitality you receive. Yes, bringing along a small gift makes a great start, but remember to offer words of encouragement and appreciation, too. If your mattress feels lumpy, be grateful it’s not a cot, and thank your hosts. If the meals are less than stellar, be grateful you have something to eat, and thank your hosts. Also, consider a bonus blessing: as your budget allows, treat them to a restaurant meal, movie, or local event you know they’ll enjoy.
Hebrews 12:2 gives some familiar instructions to potential hosts: “Do not neglect to show hospitality to strangers, for thereby some have entertained angels unawares.” Follow these simple suggestions, and your hosts will think you’re an angel. Not only that, but no one will hesitate to give you another invitation to “be our guest.”
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