The Dinner Table

Life is busy.

Work. Clubs. Friends. Golfing. Baseball.

Whatever else an adult chooses to do outside of work makes life busier than it needs to be.

Life with kids is even busier.

School, sporting events, birthday parties, doctor appointments, sleepovers, etc.

With all the busyness that envelopes our lives, family time tends to get lost in the jumble.

How do we rectify that? How do we teach the importance of family? How can a family spend some quality time together, learning about one another, discussing their days, teaching the values of family…in essence, just have some quality communication time?

In today’s society, with all the busy, the family is a lost art. Yes, there are married couples with children all over the world. Mothers and fathers working while kids roam the streets. Many caught up in their lives, many without direction. Many without goals. Many without a thought for anyone else but themselves.

Over time, beliefs have changed about the meaning behind family dinner. In days gone by, parents sat down with their children, for every meal, to a table dressed with table linens set out for each person in the family. Food was prepared and placed on the table to be passed from one person the next.

Boy, what a way to teach sharing? But that’s not all it taught. Life lessons could be taught at the family dinner table. Discussion with the children over a hearty meal tends to open their minds and their hearts about the world around them. However, it also focuses on their place in this life, their family, the population.

Sound a little too much like Leave It to Beaver?

Probably so.

But, families of the past stood a little taller, parents had strong values and taught these to their children, deep ties with their church (for the most part), and mothers that were able to stay home to influence the lives of the people in their charge.

Reasons to value the family dinner table

  • brings families closer in a world full of chaos: at this moment, everyone is present. everyone is there to enjoy the company of their family members.
  • teaches kids the importance of a diverse plate (meat, vegetable, bread, starch, and fruit): most often, the cook will offer a variety of different foods that fulfill the healthy diet.
  • opens up family communication leading to trust, love, and respect (discern the differences between roles: mother, father, child): communication in a family sets boundaries, allows children to build trust in their parents which leads to a sharing of fears, concerns, dreams, etc.
  • healthy meals equal healthier kids: through a variety of foods, children can learn what helps their bodies to stay healthy
  • smoking, drinking, and drugs are less likely to interfere in a child’s life: during adolescence, children are growing and changing, wanting to try different things
  • it’s cheaper, especially if you have a big family: for our family to eat out, it costs upwards of $100 per meal. We can buy and prepare our own meal for less cost.

In our family, we do love, forgiveness, laughter, chores, and family dinners. As God tells us,

And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts….. ~Acts 2:46

My husband and I sit down with our children every night for dinner. Each of the children make a contribution to the setting of the table after I have cooked the meal, and afterwards we all contribute to clean-up.

Pray together, eat together, grow together ♥

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