The family is the domestic church. As a part of the larger Church, we too are called to evangelize. Yet often families do not feel like they have the time nor the energy to evangelize. However, there is an easy way to evangelize without leaving the comforts of home: invite a single friend over for dinner. Specifically, here are three ways families can reach out to singles from their home.
Christ calls us to “give food to the hungry”. In the United States, most of us do not go to bed physically hungry. However, how many of us go to bed hungry for conversation, or belonging? Why not invite a friend over for a delicious home-cooked meal? Ask them what their favorite meal is and make it for them. Chances are, they may not cook this meal for themselves due to time restraints.
Food always taste better in the company of others. Cooking a meal for someone shows that you care about them and allows them to relax for an evening and not worry about what they have to cook after a long day of work.
Sitting down for a meal opens the door to genuine conversation. Often the best discussions take place over a dinner among friends. Ask them about what’s going on in their life and share with them about what’s going on in your life.
By sharing the meal, you are giving your guest a taste of family life. This is especially important for those discerning marriage because they get to see first-hand what family life is like, especially the messiness and joy that comes with having young children. Be willing to share the joys and struggles of married life.
If you have had some good discussion over dinner, your friend may have brought up a situation in which they need prayer, whether that be a career change, a tough relationship decision, or vocational discernment. Offer to pray for them right then and there.
Depending upon how well you know the person, prayer could be as simple as offering up a few Our Fathers and Hail Marys for their intentions at the end of the meal or a personal spontaneous prayer for their well-being.
No matter how you pray, the most important thing to do is pray with them and let them know you support them. In our family we often talk about God at the meal but something is always missing from the evening if we don’t pray with the guest at some point of the night. Prayer invites God into our lives. There is something powerful about a husband and wife praying together for the needs of another person. Recall Jesus’s words that “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them” (Matthew 18:20).
Families have a great opportunity to share Christ’s love with singles by welcoming them for a dinner, conversation, and prayer. With the festivities of Christmas wrapping up and the cold long nights of January upon us, this would be an opportune time to invite a single friend over for a meal. Don’t let this month go by without opening up your home and evangelizing through life in the domestic church.