Being a “good guest”

This week, I was blessed to visit family and friends and to be a house guest. I have two favorite “good guest” stories that I thought you might enjoy!

One night John and I were dinner guests in a friend’s home. I should start by saying that the two of us have conservative religious, financial and political views. And, if we are engaged in conversation about one of those topics, we don’t mind participating in a discussion.  But, we rarely initiate a conversation that will cause controversy.

Before attending this particular dinner party, our hostess contacted us and asked that we not discuss our views; she was concerned that perhaps one of her guests or family members would not agree with us and might be offended by any comments we might make. We were a bit surprised at the call, but assured her that we would honor her request. And, we had a wonderful time in her home and so appreciated her hospitality.

But, it happened. One of the other guests began to share loudly their political views that were very different from ours. John and I remained quiet and smiled as our hostess kept nervously watching our reactions; clearly she was scared. After we had said our goodbyes that evening and were safely secluded in our car, we laughed out loud that SOMEONE had NOT gotten the word about no discussion of religion, finances or politics or maybe WE WERE the only ones who were asked to be quiet.

As we laughed about being “good” or “not good” guests, I recalled one of my other favorite family stories.

An older woman (one with lots of “breakable” things in her home) insisted that a young mother with three little ones come to coffee. The younger woman tried to say “no” but was overwhelmed by the sweet “little old lady.” The day came and it went badly. The kids behaved like kids; they tried to get into everything. Breakable items were bumped, glass front cabinets were smudged, body fluids dampened antique area rugs, and tension filled the air.

After an appropriate amount of visit time, the young mother thanked her friend and packed up her children and things. She had made it to her car when she realized that a diaper bag had been left behind; the young mother walked back to the front door.

older womanIt was then that she noticed what was going on inside the house. The older woman was walking around, her hands lifted into the air and her face bright with a smile. She kept singing out loudly to no one in particular: “Heaven below! Heaven below!”

So every time I am getting ready to leave a family member’s home, I remind them. “It’s time to start shouting: ‘Heaven below! Heaven below.’” (And, I am pretty sure that they do!!)

My points? Maybe being a good guest means that we refrain from sharing ALL of our views and that it is good for us to say goodbye while everyone is still having a good time!

Want to read some great tips from Jesus about how to be a great guest? Enjoy His words at:


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