Five great questions of life: Life * Love * Learning * Labor * Leadership
Guest Room: Who Will Be Our Friends?By Evan Nehring
The only real guest room we've had was in Mosinee. It was fun to have a dedicated room for special guests. Guest rooms raise a couple of questions about marriages.
Who are our close friends and family we’d have stay over?
Having overnight guests is a very vulnerable thing. There’s the late night relaxing where you chat about life in a way that doesn't happen in the entryway. You learn some of each other’s eating habits. You hear the snoring and see the morning hair. There’s a trust that runs both ways. The guest trusts the hospitality of the host. The host trusts the considerateness of the guest.
Most of the people we've hosted and most of the homes where we've been guests have remained connected to us long-term. Not that there’s any rule about that. In fact, hospitality with no long-term strings is a good thing. But the guest room helps answer the question, who will be our friends?
How Will We Set Boundaries in Our Relationship?
I spent overnights on a work trip for a couple of weeks with a pastor’s family across the state. I offered a modest room rent. It was amazing to me how open their home was. They lived next to the church and people streamed in and out of the home all day and into the night. They rolled with it beautifully, but I could never have a home-without-boundaries like that.
The marriage relationship is worth guarding. It’s a skilled person that can set down the boundaries without pushing everyone away and isolating. If you don’t draw your lines, people will kindly or unkindly walk all over your life. The preciousness of who you are together will be lost. Screen your phone calls. Leave the house. Leave town. Say no. Do what you have to do to respectfully say, “We need this time for us.”