Is Etiquette out of date? Is it a Biblical Word? Is it a cultural word? What is it other than what the dictionary tells us? Where do we gather our Etiquette from in our personal and professional lives? Let’s grass-root our behavior in real life situations. Starting with some ID’s we can all identify with?

When we enter a home where we have been invited as guest, do we obey the rules of the home or do we give them our guidelines before arriving? Does the inviter give the ground rules or do they change to meet the happiness of the guest?

Does family, ie, grown children, laws, or in-laws, friend or guest of any ink make a difference in Etiquette?

Do we reciprocate after being invited to a gathering, home, wedding, party, lunch, coffee, etc. If so, how do we determine the way and means to reciprocate?

I would really like to hear your story, failure or success. What you did, how it worked? How you have adjusted? How you just chopped Etiquette up to firewood? Or, do you have a chair without a guest?

16 thoughts on “Etiquette

  1. “Is Etiquette out of date?” I would say no as it involves conduct and behavior towards others.
    “Is it a Biblical Word?” The Bible does have many references to our conduct and sets the bar high such as this portion from Philippians 1:27 ” Only be sure as citizens so to conduct yourselves [that] your manner of life [will be] worthy of the good news (the Gospel) of Christ…” (AMP) I struggle with communicating the Truth of the gospel that would be relevant to the other person.
    “When we enter a home where we have been invited as guest, do we obey the rules of the home or do we give them our guidelines before arriving? Better obey the rules and eat what thy serve you or don’t go. “If someone who isn’t a believer asks you home for dinner, accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you without raising questions of conscience.” I Cor 1:27
    “Does the inviter give the ground rules or do they change to meet the happiness of the guest?”I would say the Inviter should set the ground rules on their territory because it can give others a clear picture of who that person really is.

  2. The Scriptures, some of which Debi quoted above, are full of godly counsel on how to be a good host/hostess and a courteous guest.

    For example, when Jesus went to the pharisees’ house for supper in the story of the Alabaster box of perfume in Luke 7:36-50, Jesus tells His host that He was not given water to wash His feet nor a welcome kiss nor oil to anoint His head. I take it from these Scriptures that that’s how a proper host would have welcomed his guests.

    Depending on who the guest(s) is, I think it is necessary to be clear about the rules of one’s household. Is a person entertaining his/her adult children & grandchildren? Then the adults should know the rules of the household they were raised in….how their parents expected them to act in the home…concerning manners, courtesy, respect, etc. Shouldn’t they then admonish & counsel their own little ones? Yes. It is important that the little ones start to learn what is expected of them when they are in someone else’s home even if it is Grandmother’s & Grandfather’s house. If our adult children do not show courtesy and good manners & respect then we may have to look at our own inadequacies in raising our children to be courteous and well-mannered and they can expect the same behavior of their own children.

    The trickier question is how does the host/hostess let the guest who is not of the family know what is expected in the household? I think the graciousness of the home and host will be a big clue to a guest as to how to conduct oneself in that home.

    Should there be reciprocation? I don’t know. Jesus said when you fix a banquet or a feast don’t invite those whom you know will invite you back but be host to the less privileged, the poor, the less desirable and those whom society shuns. You know they can never pay you back in this life. But your Heavenly Father will pay you back when you come into His kingdom.

    1. MG’s take on the feast or banquet Jesus spoke of might be like a chicken bone lodged in the throat! Let me look around and see how many on that guest list are sitting around my table or anyone’s table that I might know.

  3. My story(ies) are running into many roadblocks. No invites to speak of. So I don’t have to worry about table manners or proper wear, etc. I no longer have reason or opportunity to invite. Maybe seasons of life and change of vocation, partially. I had a long conversation with a friend the other day about class reunions and the like. They said; ” why bother with travel, hotels, expense, etc when we have social networking. We find out more info and have much better times online.” I am having a great time with social netwoking and sharing photos, having chats, and doing it daily vs. once every few years. Or, trying to work out when and where to meet with busy schedules. Therefore, I need to chop my etiquette into firewood when I have no place to use what I learned over so many years. Recreate into a new design that will guide me into new ways to form strong relationships.

  4. When I visit another’s home I feel highly honored to be a guest. I was taught to obey all rules of the home. (unless of course it was against my morals, faith or could adversely affect health). Hopefully, we would know those things before we go. I expect likewise from my guest.

    I love etiquette, rules, guidelines, honesty and integrity. It makes for freedom to share, love and learn as we gather with family and friends. I believe the highest etiquette should apply to family as well as friends. It is another word for respect showing love in my rule book. I always try to wrap my arms around etiquette the minute I receive a birth announcement, wedding invitation, shower, graduation, or other.

    I cut my social teeth on Anne Landers! We would not leave home without her. There were even learning, growth and change in her columns and writings over years. Just as I’m searching for improved skills now.

  5. One of my quiet moment thoughts, do you think it means keep your etiquette mojo on?:
    Revelation 16:15 ESV “Behold, I am coming like a thief! Blessed is the one who stays awake, keeping his garments on, that he may not go about naked and be seen exposed!”

    1. Sara, Jesus told the parable of the wedding guest, who was not wearing proper attire for such a feast, and being discovered by his host was literally “bounced out’ of the celebration. When I first read this story, I was indignant before the Lord and questioned this, for that particular guest was one of the lame, halt and blind that the host had ordered his servants to bring in from the streets. I couldn’t understand why he was treated so since his poverty precluded him from obtaining such a garment. But later in my walk with the Lord I heard a commentary by a preacher that said…’.It was the custom in those days that the wedding garments for the guests were distributed at the door’…thus being provided for each of the people attending the wedding Feast.
      Then I understood from this story that proper attire was expected from each guest who entered into the feast and was so important that it was provided for them.
      I can take from this story into the pragmatic,[ besides the spiritual implications], and gather that our demeanor and attitude enters with us into the door of our host’s home. We are expected to have a courteous and respectful demeanor. Jesus said that the guest did not have on the proper attire indicating that we are expected to “put on” propriety and etiquette especially when we enter into someone’s home. And practice begins at our “home”.

  6. Regarding Sara’s question concerning Revelation 16:15…I would say yes. If clothing represents good behavior, character, morals, how we consider others, etc and we are asleep, no one benefits. Falling asleep at the wrong time around others says I don’t care about you and that doesn’t say much for the inward person, the real self.

    1. Whoa Debi, falling asleep while others are speaking! Family, friend or meeting sure is a recipe for failure I would think. Maybe once and learn your lesson. Or, if sick and unable to care for self. Maybe, our private space would be a better place to care for our sleep. Maybe that is the reason I give my husband coffee and chocolate before our talks! lol

  7. Thanks to all for the Biblical help you have shared. I guess I am the only one with this struggle. At least I sought answers and you have given. I must try and figure out how to live the answers you have given me for my problems.

  8. It seems to me that you, personally, do not have a problem at all in your demeanor as a guest in someone’s home. The problem seems to lie with the “changing of the old guard” and whether we like it or not, no matter how astounded we are at the modern behavior of others
    we might just have to bite the bullet. Jesus, Ann Landers and Dear Abby all gave the rubric for how to present oneself as a proper guest. Unfortunately, many have not read their “columns” of late.

  9. No, Tammy, you are correct in your answer to Sara’s question. You have not forgotten the rules of etiquette and are raising courteous, respectful, well-mannered lovely young men right in your household…a tribute to you and your hubby Chris. Proverbs says, “train up a child in the way he should go…that is spiritual and temporal life…. and when he/she is old will not depart from the faith, and the Way, the Truth and the Life, Jesus Christ.

  10. Sometimes I think that with family members we sometimes get a little sloppy with our manners – or perhaps it is with some families as I know families which honor each other and respect each other. As I prepare for guest I love it so, so much that I clean and prepare so that there is beauty everywhere and a story to tell is found everywhere.
    Food is prepared for the guest and even JD is thrilled by the visitors on the doorstep.

    Sometimes questions arise which catch you off guard distracting from the delightful moment of the visit. Questions that should not have been asked which seem as a hammer coming down on a beautifully decorated table. Kindness of heart is sometimes withheld and prayers are lifted to ask God to be in your guest life as He/She must make their own journey with the Lord and answer like I will to the Lord for my equiette flaws for surely there have been many. Perhaps like family I fail to see my own flaws but may Jesus continue to change my character so I will be more like HIM and enjoy and love each guest with WORDS that will encourage them on their path as they leave my home to continue on their journey of life with JESUS.

  11. I can relate to Rena’s experience on family/friend as host love. When I lived at the ocean for years I had many people that would visit me that I would not see before or after. But, I must say when summer approached, home ready, beach, sun, surf and fun started family budded like at no other time in life.

    Once my sister, flew in from Chicago and I worked so hard to make every meal look like a first class restaurant. A table that looked like heaven to me. Not really sure now what the food was like. 🙂 But, I can still see/fell the emotion of love as I recall the story. Well, my sister tolerated me for a couple of days out of what was and ended up being a week. One night she had one of her own cocktails (which I did not serve) and she used a nice slang word that preference her thoughts on my behavior. She did not see that I was loving her and honoring her and wanted things to be lovely for her. “She saw that I was a good for nothing show-off.” I had lot of material things and she had plenty but not lots. Even thought she was my guest she thought I should of thought of her needs and not my frills.

    I didn’t understand then and still don’t. But, I sure know there is some evil that flows in the air and manipulates us at times to feel and say things that probably are not from God. I just know that I need to watch what I sign on to.

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