When I wrote my first post sixteen days ago, one of the most common concerns among those of you that are reading was that you weren’t really sure how to be an inviter when kids are involved. How can we open up our hearts when our kids are likely to interrupt our conversations? How can we open up our homes when our kids are likely to fight or meltdown or spill something?
So, let’s just get a couple of things straight right at the beginning. There are no perfect children. And there are no perfect parents. If I had to sit here and think of the most well-behaved children I’ve ever been around? I could still tell you a time when I saw them misbehave. (Not because I’m keeping tabs, but because they are normal children.)
When we invite friends over, and usually friends that we’ve never invited over before, I know that they’re going to get to know my sweet kids quickly. It’s never going to go perfectly. My kids are allowed to be as flawed as I am. And they are a very important part of our family.
Why is it so important for us to continue showing hospitality when we have kids? Because our kids need to see what it means to invite. My boys need to learn what it means to share what we have. Our hearts, our space, our things, because they are the Lord’s and we are doing our best to be obedient and be good stewards of what He has given us.
Our family has been extremely blessed through family to family community. We’ve loved getting to know many other families that are in the same life stage. And while our kids may not be sitting around the table while we open up our hearts to each other, they’re off somewhere else playing with the other members of those families. My kids know that these other adults and families have their backs. They recognize these adults and kids as people that their parents love and trust, and the accountability and mutual love that comes from that fills me with so much hope.
For our family, there is a lot of freedom in welcoming other kiddos into our home. Our kids are navigating these waters of sharing and it helps us, as their parents, become even more vulnerable.