Do you like to host people in your home? I do! I love that feeling of having people over to watch a game or movie and the opportunity to whip up my Nkwobi special or Cocktail/Mock-tail mixes. In fact, having people over is one of my To Dos! Why, just the other day, I made home made burgers using homemade mini bread rolls I got from Hegemonquickeats just for myself, M.I and Mum. Someone dropped by and I turned it into a mini get together. I served the burgers with potato wedges, my home made dipping and my special cock/mock-tail. Everyone loved it.
But, sometimes I wish some people will get that there are unspoken rules on the etiquette on visiting friends, neighbours or family.If you are doing this, it’s no wonder some of your friends avoid your calls at certain times or say they are not around for you to drop by. However, these post shares rules tailored for visiting Neighbours, Acquaintances and People you are generally not close to. Here are 5 of my Etiquette Rules on visiting and they are scripture based.
DO call before you visit.
Whoever greets his neighbor (visits) in a loud voice at dawn (at the wrong time)
might just as well have cursed him . Prov.27:14(CJB. Paraphrase mine)
If you are not a close member of the family, a beloved Uncle or Aunt, Do call before you visit. You can get away with showing up uninvited or without notice once, twice or multiple times but eventually, your “Visitee” or host will get tired on your antics.
I had a visitor that always dropped by my house without notice just as I and my friend, Grace were headed to work or just when we returned from work. Imagine leaving your house by 6.00am and someone greets you at the door on your way out. Most times, those visits are meant to “obtain” something from you. At some point, I stopped answering the door and would rather go to work late than attend to the Visitor. When the visitor got that I had begun to avoid him or I was leaving way earlier, he got the message. Or perhaps you always visit when the family is about to have dinner…what timing. If you are doing this, please stop.
2. Do Bring a Gift when you visit.
A gift gets attention… Prov.18:16(MSG)
Scripture says a man’s gift makes room for him. I don’t know if this is based on the training I got from home but people who know me know I barely visit empty handed especially for the first time. I believe extending a gift shows thoughtfulness and goodwill to your host. And people are more willing to accommodate you when you show such thoughtfulness.
When we first moved to our apartments, a neighbour had decided to share our parking space with us, putting their stuff just in front of living quarters. Now, even though we had every right to tell them to move their stuff, I simply took a bottle of wine next door, introduced myself as their new neighbour and we had a great conversation. The next day, I got out to find they had moved their things. See?
3. DO take off your Shoes.
“…Remove your sandals from your feet,
for the place on which you are standing is holy ground.” Ex.3:5(MSG)
Except where otherwise instructed or in a different setting, please take off your shoes when you get into your host’s house; think about the effort used in brushing that carpet/rug; that is your host’s sanctuary. It grates on my nerves every time a visitor drops by and steps on my carpet with his shoes. My mind starts running with the image of those shoes stepping on urine soaked soil, spittle or what not. If you are not comfortable walking barefooted, please wear socks and make sure they do not stink. A Pastor came earlier to visit and I had to tell him to take off his shoes. Yes, he had stepped on mud. Be humble so you can be honoured.
The only exception to this rule is in exceptionally dirty houses. I once visited a house that was so dirty, even the household wore slippers. The walls and floors of the house were dirt infested. Urgghhh!
4. DO Compliment the Host.
Everyone enjoys a fitting reply;
it is wonderful to say the right thing at the right time!Prov.15:23(NLT)
That wasn’t me. That was straight from the Bible. Whether it’s the house, furniture, the drink or food, give a compliment. It goes a long way and it may just be what your host needs after a long day.
5. DO know when to visit and when to leave.
And when you find a friend, don’t outwear your welcome;
show up at all hours and he’ll soon get fed up. Prov.25:17(MSG)
Let me take you through a scenario: You get home at about 8.00pm after a long day; tomorrow is a working day. You don’t feel well but there is a knock on the door. You open it;it’s your acquaintance two compounds away. He came to visit and you welcome him or her. And your visitor stays with you until 10.00pm. Tell me how you would feel? Try to be considerate with your host. I have come home by 9.30pm after spending two hours in traffic only to hear a knock on the door barely 10 minutes after kicking off my shoes. I have also had visitors who dropped by two or three times a week, every week- that’s like visiting all the time. Even King Solomon said you need to withdraw such frequent visits lest your host be weary of thee, and so hate thee.
No matter how noble your intentions, such repeated visits will not be appreciated. When your Host just got back from work, seems tired, is speaking in monosyllables, don’t try to stay longer. Allow them to reboot for the next day’s work. Of course, this depends on how tight you are with your hosts. I have my girlfriends that can drop in anytime and we may not say anything but we still had a conversation.
Those are my 5 Dos. Visiting and being Visited is an Art;Fine Art.
Please share your Dos so we can all learn.