A friend and I were washing dishes in the kitchen when her husband arrived home from work. I expected her to call out, "Hi, hon. Glad you're home." But after a brief silence, I realized his coming was insignificant to her. If no one welcomes us, we feel as if we're not worth welcoming.
In fact, we feel like non-people when we're not welcomed. This is true in the business world as well as in our homes. J.T. Molloy wrote of the executive board meeting in progress into which walked the cleaning lady. She was not acknowledged because she was not considered of enough value.
The welcome we extend indicates our feelings. If we throw open our arms, our homes, and our hearts, we say, "You're important to me, and therefore, you are important."
Courtesy, someone once said, is the capacity to treat all others as though they were kings. Even a small act such as the ritual of extending a gracious welcome can do much to give your family a sense of importance.
Ruth Graham said her greatest joy was anticipating one of her children coming home. She wondered if God feels that way when one of His children is about to come home. How we greet our family after being apart during the day may help set the atmosphere for the remainder of the evening.
To make home a prepared place is Christlike. "No eye has seen, no ear has heard, no mind has conceived what God has prepared for those who love him" (1 Corinthians 2:9).
John 14:2 states, "I go to prepare a place for you." Our Lord is making our heavenly home a prepared place, a place that says, "I've been expecting you!" Failure to prepare for homecomings can indicate disinterest. A college girl returned home for vacation and found an ironing board in her room and no linens on her bed. No one had prepared for her, and years later she still recalled her disappointment.
"Whoever welcomes this little child in my name welcomes me" (Luke 9:48).
"You will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ" (2 Peter 1:11).