Jami Balmet

Showing Hospitality in an Apartment

Living in an apartment and trying to practice hospitality can be a challenge and presents unique opportunities for ministering to others.

Hospitality in an apartment can be tough and poses challenges that those living in a house do not always share. I hope to provide some encouragement that it is possible to practice hospitality in an apartment - you just have to get creative sometimes! 

Practical Tips on Showing Hospitality While Living in an Apartment

1) Remember why you are serving

Sometimes, it seems like families avoid going to your apartment. You offer your place for Bible study and someone with a house offers theirs instead. 

Usually (if not always) the families who ask instead to have the dinner, lunch or get together at their house are doing it because they are uncomfortable in some way or don’t want to be a burden.

2) Many families are not used to hospitality: be patient!

Hospitality is mostly a lost practice in our culture today. Families within and outside the church are often not familiar and may not be comfortable with hospitality. When you invite a family over for dinner this may be the first time they have been invited to someone’s house in a very long time. We get used to having friends and family over in our culture, but we are not used to inviting total or near strangers over to share a meal.

3) Families with children can be difficult sometimes

Families with children, especially young children, can be very conscious of the mess their children might make, the room they take up and the noise level. Again, families may not want to burden you with this. 

Often, it can be embarrassing to the parent's when their children are out of control and don't want to put themselves in that situation. It's often far easier to put their kids to bed in their own beds than to be at a stranger's house.

Families may be declining your invitation due to embarrassment at how their children might act at someone else’s house or apartment. Keep this mind and watch when you go to their house how they deal with their children as dinner time and how early they go to bed.

4) Give GOOD directions and make it easy

Living in an apartment, we get used to where you are to park and how to find your apartment. But an apartment complex can be so confusing to a new comer! 

Some may feel that it is easier just to invite you to their house where you can pull up into the driveway and walk right in the house. So always make it easy for the family you are inviting over. 

Our apartment complex can be confusing so we have done things such as open up our patio door and turn the light on. As soon as we see them coming down the side walk we head to the patio and point them in the right direction. Or be prepared with a complex map that you can email to them along with the address and what they can bring.

5) Let them help!

Sometimes families can feel like a burden either of time or finances to a young couple. If they offer to bring something then let them! 

Do not assume that the family will or even can bring something but if you know this family wants to contribute then let them! Being able to bring something such as a salad, dessert, or drinks helps the family to feel more at ease and helps them feel like they are contributing.

6) Make your apartment kid-friendly

The more we practice hospitality the more we realize that we need to have a game plan for when kids come over to our apartment. Since we don’t have kids we often make plans without them in mind. Some families will require that their children sit quietly during dinner and while we talk and other children will freely roam your apartment.

Be ready for kids being in your apartment. Grab a couple cheap toys at Goodwill {and wash them thoroughly} or find Veggie Tales on Netflix and offer to put a movie on for the kids.


7) Practice, practice, practice! 

Some families may never feel comfortable enough to come to your apartment, but that’s okay! Don’t take it personal and be thankful for any opportunity you get.

We have taken the initiative to invite a family over. I’m already planning on what to cook and I have game ideas ready and then they invite you to their house instead. I know that I can get hurt feelings but at the end of the day you never know why the family wants it at their house.

Keep practicing hospitality and always continue learning. If you are known for practicing hospitality within the church and word spreads that you have had families in your apartment, more families will feel comfortable going to your apartment. Make it as easy for the families as possible and kid friendly!

And always remember that the goal of hospitality is to share Christ with those in our church and our neighborhoods! You can get to know a new family from church just as well at their house so be thankful for this season in life and remember this for when you have a house and family and a young married couple in an apartment invites you over.

Setting the Atmosphere in the Home

As Homemaker's who wishes to bring glory and honor to God, an important step is to set the atmosphere in the home. As a Christian wife and mother I have the ability to make my own in such a way that either draws my family closer to God or pushes them away!

“The wife and mother in a family often ‘sets the tone’ in the home. The ‘tone’ God wants her to set is one of joy, optimism, and a delight in the Lord and in her family.” ~ Martha Peace, The Excellent Wife {Page 77}

Setting a Bad Atmosphere

We will never have perfectly clean houses with sparkeling kitchens, folded laundry in their drawers, and dinner hot and ready on the table every single night at 6am sharp. While there are good ways to manage our households, there will aslo be dirty dishes in the sink on some days and toys littering the ground on others. Dinner may not be ready at 6 o’clock and a pizza might be ordered...again.

But those things - the cooking, the cleaning, the superficial acts - shouldn't be the goal of our homemaking! Those things don’t mean you are failing at homemaking or not bringing glory to God. Cleanliness is not next to godliness.

You fail at homemaking and set an unglorifying atmosphere in your home by what is in your heart. You, as the wife and mother, set the tone in your house. Your husband and children would rather a happy and loving mother and wife and a messy house then a spotless house with a grumpy and nagging wife.

“It is better to live in a corner of the housetop than in a house shared with a quarrelsome wife.” ~ Proverbs 21:9 {ESV}

“The wife and mother who views life as a “cross to bear” influences the others in the home to think the same way. She easily robs everyone else of joy and like the yeast in the bread she bakes, her ungodly attitudes spread to everyone else.” ~ Martha Peace, The Excellent Wife {Page 77}

Steps to Creating an Atmosphere in Your Home That Glorifies God

Creating a God glorifying atmosphere starts with YOU. You can set the atmosphere and the tone in your house by what you do and how you react.

1) Make Your Home a Place of Rest

Make your house that place that your husband and children can't wait to come home too! Let your husband come home to a happy and cheerful wife - even if that means the dishes are not done yet!

2) Focus on the Gospel

You can glorify God by making your home a place where your family is constatnly surrouned by reminders of the Gospel and God. Here are a few practical ideas:

  • Put on hymns of worship and praise when you are cleaning.
  • Study God's word daily and let your children see this pattern develop in you.
  • Invite your children to ask questions and participate in Bible reading and praise.
  • Create places in your home that are quiet and restful that your family can retreat to to study God's word.
  • Initiate family reading times when each family member reads quietly to themselves.
  • As a couple and as a family make a habit of reading scripture and good books together.

Conduct yourself and your home in a way that your family is constantly thinking about God and how they can serve Him!


3) Cast Aside Pride and Be Motivated by Humility 

Homemaking can be a point of pride for many women. I know that when I enter someone’s beautiful house it’s easy to let envy and pride take over my heart. I think that decorating your house can be for God’s glory but it all depends on your heart attitude.

Be motivated by humility to serve those who come into your house rather than pridefully showing it off. Try and cultivate humility in your thoughts and actions and this will come out in your homemaking.

As a family decide what your priorites are and create an atmopshere that the whole family wants to come home to and find rest and peace in! 

Make your home a place that the Gospel can flourish. Your home should be a jumping off point for the Gospel. Teach your children how to share the Gospel, encourage your family to read scripture, minister to those who come into your house through Hospitality and you will be glorifying God in your homemaking.

In what ways do YOU set the tone and atmosphere in your home? Do you have any simple steps?

Decorating My Home...for God's Glory!

As a homemaker, I love to decorate my home. I don't spend a lot of time or resources on decorating my home but I do like making my home an inviting place. And I think if done correctly, decorating can be for God's glory. 

It all comes down to your heart. What is your purpose in decorating your home? 

Is deorating a waste of money? Do we really need this new painting for the living room? Should I be spending valuable resources and time on decorating?

The answer I have come to: Yes and No. It all depends on my frame of mind. Decorating can be prideful for me, or it can be out of a desire for my family.

When Decorating can be for God's Glory

This is a familiar scene in my home as we strive to practice Biblical Hospitality. A new family or couple comes to our house for dinner for the first time. The table is set, worship music plays softly in the background, the food is cooking, th candles are lit, and the decorations are all in place. We open up the door and lovingly welcome a new family int our home. 

I could have two very different motives going on in my heart for this show of hospitality. The first is that I could be motivated by pride. I want to show off my homemaking abilities. I want them to taste my perfect dinner and dessert and gaze at my decorating skills. I want them to perceive that I am the best homemaker and that my house is perfect. The decorations are just so beautiful, and it’s all about me. {And trust me…it’s very easy to fall into this!}

OR, my motivation could be that I want to a warm inviting home where we can share the Gospel. I want that new family to enter my home and feel welcome! I want them to see that I put effort into having them over to show that our family cares about them. I want to create a safe atmosphere where we can share testimonies and the Gospel. I want the family to feel welcomed and invited. 

And believe me, I have had both motivations. As homemakers (or maybe it’s just me?), it’s easy to become prideful about our domain. We take pride in our home, and can easily be motivated to show it off.

So pray that the Lord would convict your heart as to what is right for your family! If you are in a season of living off a tight budget, then know the decorating can be left undone or minimal! Decorating your home doesn't equal Biblical Hospitality or serving. But if done in the correct way, then decorating your home can be for God's glory. 

Having a hard time getting started with showing hospitality? Here is a beginner's guide to hospitality as well as some resources to get you started. Also, are you trying to practice hospitality in an apartment and are feeling frusterated? Here are 7 practical tips for practicing hospitality in an apartment or within small spaces. Now go spread God's love and practicing the Biblical mandate of hospitality!