If you have children I’m sure you know what it’s like to have the phone ringing constantly and the doorbell buzzing with questions about who can play
We loved having the neighbor children play at our home when our children were young. We knew what they were doing, we always kept an eye or ear on what was happening, and we enjoyed having them nearby.
We kept it simple. We had swings and a slide in our back yard, there were plenty of Duplos and Legos around, they ran through the sprinkler when it was hot, but the all-time favorite was dress-up. There were many days that I served lemonade and cookies to princes and queens out on our big front porch.
What do you do when there doesn’t seem to be any space between visits? Or when home school starts? Or when the mom walks the child over to play and then stays to talk for several hours and even though you are enjoying yourself you know your work isn’t getting done?
One reason this happens is that we are often the only Christian family on the block and our light or lifestyle is interesting to others so they want to find out why you are so peaceful, or happy, or whatever part of Jesus they’ve noticed about you.
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This will be part of our outreach to the neighborhood, which for now is our “all the world” where we will preach the Gospel by the way we live and be prepared to answer the questions we will undoubtedly get.
“And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.” Mark 16:15 KJV
How we interact with the moms and children isn’t the only way we will be witnessing. We are to be managers of our homes and that will tell a great deal about our walk with the Lord. It’s also the answer when there are too many visitors. It’s a way for us to share that we have the greatest job in the world – caring for our husbands, children and home.
“[To be] discreet, chaste, keepers at home, good, obedient to their own husbands, that the word of God be not blasphemed. “Titus 2:5 KJV
We can be at home and still not be keepers of our homes if we allow visiting with others to take over the time we should be training our children or caring for our home.
There will be emergencies when we drop everything to help someone in distress, as in the example I gave in How To Do Hospitality.
Otherwise we need to set boundaries so that we do not neglect our first responsibility of caring for our husband, training our children, and managing our home. We’ve all heard about letting the answering machine pick up during school time. We can be listening to see if there is something urgent, but otherwise we should return calls at a more opportune time.
But what can we do about people at the door?
- Talking with the women you know ahead of time is a good start. Perhaps over coffee you could mention that school is starting next week and you won’t be able to chat with anyone until after 3 PM unless it’s an emergency.
- This will witness to them that you take teaching your children seriously and are making it a priority.
- I know one mom who taped a piece of paper and pen to her door. It said something like; we are doing school right now. If you have an emergency please ring the doorbell, otherwise leave your name and I’ll call you back as soon as possible.
- You could also set up a time monthly when you can get together with two or three of the neighbor women.
Obedient, well trained children speak loudly to other moms. Read this article to see how training our daughter to ask if there was anything else she could do for me opened the door to share with an unbelieving family. Hospitality, Caught more than Taught
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