It’s no wonder so many people are afraid to "entertain." Wouldn’t you like to offer a place for others to heal instead?


  • Hospitality is not only a gift I have but a gift I give. Be passionate about it!
  • Organization and planning ahead: Know Thy Recipe! Have a plan! Makes lists! Experience the power of delegation!
  • Set the mood with your specific style of music, lighting or candles. When in doubt, ask your guests to bring their favorite music.
  • Perfectionism is a robber. Lower your expectations. Your guests do not expect perfection and neither should you.
  • Ignite conversation by planning ahead of time 2 or 3 specific questions and topics of conversation for your guests.
  • Transform your home or meal with thrifty ways and low-cost ideas. Make garage sales and thrift or dollar stores part of your errand ritual.
  • Apologizing for a perceived error in your meal just draws attention to you and pulls away from the enjoyment of the meal.
  • Be yourself. Don’t compare yourself to others, but create your own style.
  • Learning - always be willing to try new things. Use the Internet or library, along with your favorite cookbooks, for recipes and unique ideas. Try new recipes on your family first.
  • Expect life-changing impact! Those who feed people lead people.

One final thought: People won’t always remember the meal that you cooked but they will remember the mood that was set.

Sandy Coughlin is a wife and mother of 3. She loves her family and loves blessing other people's lives by entertaining in her home. Sandy’s husband, Paul, (who used to be the reluctant entertainer) has come on board, and they often offer hospitality together. Sandy and Paul co-authored a book called Married but Not Engaged (Bethany House, Aug. 2006). It's written to women who are married to "checked out" or emotionally absent men and who want to create a more satisfying, intimate relationship. This article was adapted from Sandy’s regularly updated blog “4 Reluctant Entertainers,” which you can visit at  Get more information on Married but Not Engaged by clicking here.