Extending Grace When You’re the Guest!

When I’m a guest in someone’s home, I take to heart the hard work that a hostess puts into her meal. I don’t expect perfection and I try to make light of a situation that may not be perfect.

Like if her kids are acting up, I know exactly what that is like, because I entertained when my children were little. I actually never want to forget those feelings, so I find myself extending grace to the hostess and offering to help. I’ll be the first one to grab the baby and just might not give it back :)

– It could be that the hostess is fairly new to cooking, and a few mistakes are made. Again, I’d never want to embarrass the hostess, so finding the right, comforting words to say, assuring that everything is going to be okay, is another way to extend grace.

– I’ve found myself saying, ” Oh, don’t worry that the bread is overdone. We love crunchy bread anyway.” Or, “Let’s just grab some ice cream and chocolate sauce and no one will have a clue that the brownies are burnt.”

Sometimes entertaining just doesn’t come naturally.

I often think about motives. When I’m invited over to another home, my motives are to sit back and enjoy someone else’s cooking, to relax and find out more about their family, and to engage in meaningful conversation. It is not to judge or critique the hostess. In fact, if I find myself doing that … I immediately take charge of my thought process and say something positive.

The fact that we all try is what makes hostessing beautiful and rewarding.

Do you extend grace when invited to dinner in another’s home?

12 comments on “Extending Grace When You’re the Guest!”

  1. I’ve NEEDED that grace a few times myself, despite best laid plans. The stress of cooking for someone else seems to breed distaster, so I definitely try to be lighthearted with others and not expect perfection.

    Probably the worst hostess moment I’ve had to date was the Thanksgiving that I had to drop everything in the kitchen and run after a neighbor’s dog that was killing my chickens. I would like to think that it would be evident that action was necessary on my part, but my grandmother was very unpleasant about it. Suffice to say, she’s not invited to my house for dinner anymore!

  2. Great post, Sandy! We all need more tips on how to be a gracious guest!

  3. Oh how I wish my friend would read this. I have stopped inviting her over because of how late she is – not the usually 15-20 min late, we are talking 2 hours!! Last time I had her I asked her to come at 5:00 and asked the others to come at 6:00…hoping they would all arrive at once. Well, at 6:55 I was still waiting for her. When she arrived she strolled in like nothing was amiss. This has happened several times. I love her company, but I am pretty irritated by the time she shows up. Sadly, I have decided not to invite her any longer – we eat out (where she is till perpetually late but at least the food isn’t ruined).
    In my book, part of being a good guest is coming on time.

  4. This is a wonderful post, Sandy! We all need grace–both to receive it and to give it. Thank you for these reminders of how we can be gracious.

    Hope you’re having a great week. Here in Durham we surely are sorry to say good-bye to Kyle Singler!!

  5. So true- we all need understanding no matter our skills in the cooking department.
    Great advice.

  6. I find that I am not comfortable unless I am helping out. If the person that is hostess is not comfortable with me helping I feel out of place and have to look for something to do.

  7. I always do! Just trying to treat others how I want to be treated. Also, I’d much rather be getting together with friends than not. Not every meal or dessert can be a home run and I think people recognize that.

  8. Thank you for writing about this too! I recently wrote a post about being a gracious guest, and think it’s so important to remind people about the art of being someone who is a delight to host! http://living-graciously.blogspot.com/2011/02/are-you-gracious-guest.html

  9. Definitely!!! I know plenty of times something I’ve prepared hasn’t quite turned out right…Like the time my yummy chocolate bundt cake collapsed..It was cooked, it was good, but not pretty..we saved it though…I also make a point of jumping in and asking if I can help with anything, I think this helps the hostess to relax, not feel rushed and free to ask for advice or help.

  10. Absolutely. Hello, it’s not about how “right” they do it…but, about the time we get to spend with the host/hostess. I use to try and make all of my dinners and meals flawless, but find now, people are more at ease when there is a bit of imperfection. :) It takes the pressure off of our guests and puts them at ease when we can laugh at ourselves and keep rolling even if the main part of the meal is overdone.

  11. If we all backed up and thought about our first couple of attempts at hosting, we would instantly sympathize with someone that may be struggling with it. In fact just the other day I had a huge BBQ and forgot forks. I quickly had to call someone who wasn’t here yet and ask them to stop and pick some up. LOL!
    As long as the end result was good fellowship and fun, the food is just a bonus.
    Oh BTW I finally ordered your book. I can’t wait for it to get here. Yay!

  12. I try! I know that I make cooking mistakes quite often, so I’m very accepting, and I sometimes have some helpful suggestions to cover it up :)

    I’m not always understanding when kids are acting up, probably because I haven’t had any yet, so I compare them to how I remember my family growing up. That’s not really fair, is it?

    Thanks for this post Sandy!

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