March 23, 2018

Growing up, my parents had an open door policy (they still do). We always had people at our house and people staying with us. My mom is the epitome of hospitality and serving others in her home is her love language. I loved it growing up because our home was the hang out place. I had friends over all the time and they would stay until the early hours of the morning hanging out. Not only that, my mom’s cooking is the best, so not only did everyone have a place to hang out, but she made sure everyone was fed. All the while, being a working mother (she’s a nurse), she definitely has multi-tasking down. And sometimes, when my friends had problems, my parents were their listening ears too. It’s something Ben and I have admired about my parents, but have never been able to adopt ourselves.

Part of it is that Ben and I are much more introverted than my parents. We are also much more routine. My parents are spontaneous people and rules and schedules confine them, whereas I can’t thrive without a plan or schedule. Also, it’s typically a cultural thing for Filipinos to be so open and community minded, and this is where we have a bit of culture clash.

I was at a party the other day, with my parents and friends, and one friend told my mom, “Auntie Lolet, anytime you want to invite me over, I’m free.”

My mom replied, “You know we have an open door policy, just come over.”

Laughing, my friend said, “What happened to Ruby? She didn’t get that.”

Lovingly, my mom responded, “She’s getting there.”

And it’s true. I’m slowly getting there. It looks a little different from how my parents practiced it, but Ben and I are getting there. About a year ago, Ben and I shared the load with some others in our church family and we rotated hosting a family of 4, who did not have a home, in our homes for a couple months. In the fall, my parents came to live with us a several weeks while their house was getting remodeled. Then, this past winter, we were so encouraged by another family that took in an elderly gentleman battling cancer, who we used to go to church with, and had him over for a couple weekends. Most recently, we took in a friend of a friend, who was struggling with some things, and they’re currently living with us. You might not be able to pop in our home and hang out until the wee hours, but God’s been slowly breaking down our walls and teaching us how to love others with what He’s given us (and ultimately all of what we have belongs to Him). We certainly can be generous because God’s been generous with us.

I share this not to boast (far from it), but to encourage that if you hospitality is an area you want to grow in (but are scared or don’t know what to do), don’t lose hope! Keep being open to what it really means to love others and let God do the work in your heart. I still wish I had my mom’s natural giftedness in this area, but I’m thankful that God keeps molding and growing me and Ben. I love this article “Would You Let a Stranger Live With You?” and its call to live out our faith with Christ as our prize.

Did you grow up with an open door policy? Do you have one now?

7 comments on “OPEN DOOR POLICY”

  • Ariel H says:

    Love to see people working toward hospitality in different ways! We strive to have an open door policy but it seems like people now are very hesitant to actually take us up on it! Maybe our culture has gotten too structured and careful, not wanting to impose by just popping in?! I hope we all as the Church can move back toward truly living our lives with one another (and in each other’s homes!).

    • Rubyellen says:

      Our church fam, especially our pastor, really encourages and models what sharing life looks like. We can disciple best not by structured meetings, but growing each other through natural daily interactions. There’s a lot of that built into our church family life that has really stretched and grown us.

  • iralee barnett says:

    awww!!! this is amazing! my parents did NOT have an open door policy, complete opposite in fact. I wanted to be different than that. I don’t host families, or friends with hard circumstances, but I do always love to have kids friends spend the night. the noise and mess and raided pantry can be stressful at times ( to put it mildly) but I hear those bouts of laughter and it makes it all worth it! we also have a space issue at the moment, which will hopefully be fixed in coming months. but it looks like you truly are getting there!!!!

    • Salwels says:

      So… I have read your blog a handful of times! Commenting for the first time because I know who the people/families are in regards to the examples of hospitality, but the person that told your mom “what happened to ruby?”, was that me? Because I don’t remember you being within ears distance when I had that conversation with her 🙂

      Sanctification and God’s plan for us is something we can’t see up close. We get so caught up in complaining, being disappointed, wanting other things, trying to please our idols. When we let the spirit lead us into other peoples lives, miraculous things occur and our hearts get to transform. It’s such a blessing Ruby to actually witness this process in you, Ben, and even your girls. Just like any God given gift, it takes time to nurture and and grow us. Even though certain situations are difficult, we still have to obey with a happy heart! Thanks for writing this Ruby Ellen Bratcher!

    • Rubyellen says:

      How often did your parents have people over? I love seeing my kids play with their friends in our home too!

  • Loni says:

    Thank you for the encouragement! this is something I would love to do but have yet to undertake. It’s always wonderful to hear other people’s stories and experiences and show us true Christian living! Blessings!

Comments are closed.

Design by Blog Milk