Are You House Insecure? Three Questions to Ask

Last week you read here how I struggled to practice hospitality because I compared my home to the homes of others. Comparison is the thief of joy! It’s true! Today I’m going to get to the tough stuff, revealing our root struggles with hospitality. If we know God desires us to welcome guests, love others with our houses and our time, and give grace by entertaining strangers and friends how do we get there when we are too scared to step out? Are YOU house insecure?


Are You Willing to Be Real?

Let’s unpack some fears. Again, Heather wrote a brilliant post on the fears behind why we clean like a mad woman before guests come over. Her main point was: Are you willing to be real?

You’ve got to ask yourself this question first. You’ve got to be willing to be transparent. That is how true friends are made, in knee deep vulnerability. I mean that’s what I really wanted to know when I invited that new friend over to my house for the first time. We all want to know this same thing as we invite people into our homes,

“Here I am. Here are my messes. Will you still be my friend?”

It’s like a test. How will they handle my not-so-perfect house? But therein is the lie: I have to be perfect so they will like me. IT’S NOT TRUE!

Who walks around with a running list, evaluating new friends with a criteria of a perfectly clean house? Nobody! It’s all in our heads. It’s our fear of inadequacy. Somehow we believe that how we clean speaks to our own personal worth. But where does our worth really come from? It is bestowed on us by our Creator Father who gave his Son for us so that we could be made heirs with Christ. Psalms 8 show us this, “what are mere mortals that you should think about them…yet you make them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor.”

Being REAL means inviting someone into your home without the facade of perfection that’s driven by inadequacy. And we can do that because God has already won all the perfection we needed on the cross. Deep down, if I know I am accepted and that God’s glory is displayed in my weakness, my cluttered mess, my inability to be perfect, then bring it on! YOU are welcome in my home.

cool chair in house insecureHow is comparison robbing you?

Now, for the real challenge. What if we invited someone over who DOES live in a huge mansion? Four car garage, a personal assistant, offshore bank accounts, drowning in Jimmy Choo heels. Would you compare yourself to her? In my flesh, I probably would. And would I let that stop me from being hospitable? No more!

Comparing has robbed me of possible friendships, tribe members, villag-ites. That makes me so sad! Heather sent me home with a Body Image prayer once, here’s one line from it,

“Remind me that my purpose for today is far greater than figuring out how I compare to her…or her…or her. Help me to aspire only to look and be more like you. I need your strength, dear God. Please fill me with your spirit and empower me to fight this battle well today.” Can I get an Amen!? Let’s meditate on that prayer and let God change our hearts, empower us to focus on the Truth-that we are all the same way deep down, all created in the image of God and the outer trappings don’t matter at all. Human to human, mother to mother, we reach out when we open up the front door of our house. Let’s not miss out on any more friendships!

You can be hospitable in other ways too…

You can have a trendy friend host Mom’s Night In and you bring all the food-tag team approach. You can bring a new mom a meal in disposable tupperware, (please, so she is free from worrying who’s glass dish is this and to whom shall I return it to, those questions are annoying in your 4th trimester). You can hang out with someone who’s sick or having a down day. You can drop flowers off on their doorstep, drop a sweet note in their mailbox. Offer to watch their kids for an afternoon, I mean why not add a few more wild, whooping hoodlums to your crew? This is how we carry each other’s burdens, a great gift if you are finding yourself friendless or new in town or struggling in your marriage or faith walk. We NEED to bear one another’s burdens.house insecure coffee and Bible

What does your home say about you?

What does it say about your family, about your relationship with God? Are you putting your treasure where your heart is? Are you investing in things to make your home shiny? Watch your intentions.

I have a tendency to see shiny things on TV/Facebook/Pinterest and want those THINGS! But here is what I’ve learned after being convicted for desiring earthly things that will rot and rust: My home may not be brightly painted the way I want. I may not have an eye for design and definitely don’t have the money to overhaul the house with modern renovations. But you will always be greeted with a plate of yummy snacks, we have plenty of toys to entertain the kids, we will laugh and have fun.

Or cry, maybe we’ll cry!

Overall, my desire is to encourage all who come through my home. If you are frustrated about something, let’s talk, let me carry your burden alongside you. If you are hurting, let me offer some kind words of encouragement and let me commit to praying for you. If you are having a hard time with your kids or are just plain tired, let my boys run them around for you! I’ll watch the kids, you sit here and have a cup of tea. Now sometimes I fail, sometimes we end up complaining all afternoon but I’m through with that. I’ve done that for years. I’m ready to let God be glorified through my home. After all, God gave us that home! He has purposes for you and I to accomplish in the neighborhood in which we’ve been planted.


Esther V PhotoEsther is a recovering perfectionist who lives in Dallas, TX with her husband of four years, Riqui, their two boys, preschooler Emory and baby Elio. She revels in God’s grace and attempts to dish it out to everyone in her life. And she loves to cook and grocery shop. Read Esther’s posts here.

 

 

5 Comments
  • Tricia
    August 7, 2016

    These two posts on home insecurity have been such a blessing to me! I have been avoiding sending out my oldest son’s birthday party invites because I am so tired being 6 months pregnant and can’t even think about having to clean my home top to bottom for people to come over. Isn’t that awful?! I’m so relieved to know other people feel that way too! Thank you for sharing!

  • Marlene
    September 22, 2016

    I have suffered from home insecurity. We are a home-educating family of 5 pack rats and I have a book addiction. I have been to people’s immaculate homes and actually said to myself “Not inviting them to my place. I’d be embarrassed”.
    But then I know there’s no such thing as a perfect time to have someone over. I’ve had friends over who have said they like coming to my place as it makes them feel better about their home and they like to have me over as it doesn’t bother me if their house is messy.
    We’ve hosted a few large home-schooler parties(pot luck) with my children helping with cleaning, organizing and keeping the 17 children busy while moms visited. It was exhausting but everyone said they had a great time.
    My mom was an awesome hostess and we had a lot of company over the years. She told me to serve whatever you have even if it’s only crackers or some fruit. One of my favourite childhood memories is visiting my relatives and having toast and jam.
    I do have a sense of humour which is appreciated by some friends when they need a visit and a laugh. They go home feeling better than when they arrived.
    Even having all these experiences perfectionism strikes more often than not and stops me from being as hospitable as I could be.

    • Heather Creekmore
      September 22, 2016

      I know you aren’t alone in that Marlene! We live in an HGTV world where “no one” can “keep up!” But, it sounds like you are remembering all the wonderful advantages to being hospitable. . .laughter, friendships, and camaraderie. Praying the Holy Spirit will continue to help you mute that sense of perfectionism and encourage you to keep opening your home! Thanks for chiming in!

  • Rhonda Wingerter
    October 5, 2016

    Gosh what a great article. I have struggled for YEARS with being too embarrassed of my home. The only time I had people over was when it was a must (1st communion, graduation, etc.) I obsessed with cleaning,and thinking of other homes I had been in where their home looked like it was in a Better Homes and Garden magazine. I was like that with my sister-in-laws too, because they had several parties and they spent more money than I could, etc. blah, blah, your overthinking just doesn’t quit when the enemy is telling you how unorganized and boring you and your home décor is
    . I really never knew other women had this issue. I wish I found you when I was younger, but I still struggle so its still good. I often think people are too busy to come over to my house, or maybe they won’t like me so if they don’t I will be hurt, its easy then not to open ourselves up to people. My husband ask me over and over throughout the years to have couples over but I just couldn’t get over my issues. Thank goodness my husband is very forgiving. I really hate that part of me. Thanks for being open with your thoughts so that I can start working on my issues.

  • Esther
    October 13, 2016

    Oh Rhonda, yes yes yes to everything you shared above. Makes me remember how paralyzing it is when I compare my story or my home to anyone else’s. So many other women share these thoughts and feelings! You and I aren’t alone Personally after a few days of worrying and anxiety-cleaning I give up. I surrender to the fact that my guests are going to come over to my semi-clean home and have amazing snacks because I love to cook. That’s my gift, that is how I am hospitable, that helps me to welcome people into my home. Find your thing girl! Thanks SO much for sharing

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