Eating Together as a Family – Part One

One of the most important corporate times of the day for a family is the mealtime, especially dinner. When kids are young, families should endeavor to eat dinner together most evenings. As the kids grow up and school activities mount, having dinner together as often as possible is a wise thing to do.

Eventually, as the children approach adulthood, having a scheduled family meal once a week might be in order. Finally, when the kids are out of the house, but live in close proximity, perhaps coming together for dinner once a week, once a month or once a quarter would be a blessing for all.

In the Bible, dining together was a big deal. Eating together meant fellowshipping with one another. You didn’t do it lightly or without purpose.

I believe that part of the reason that the Lord put dietary restrictions on the people of Israel was to keep them from fellowshipping at the same table with those who did not know God. The Lord knew how important the mealtime was in influencing relationships between people.

Here is the first of three simple guidelines for the mealtime.

Guideline #1: Eliminate distractions.

During a mealtime, keep the main thing, the main thing.

The main thing isn’t the food being served, but the fellowship around the table. For most people, food tastes better when eaten with people you love. Often times, adults remember mom’s cooking fondly. Hardly anyone cooks or bakes as well as mom.

Perhaps part of the reason why we remember mom’s cooking so warmheartedly is because, not only was it prepared with excellence, but it was eaten in an environment of love and security. Ever eaten a meal with your spouse during the aftermath of an argument? You probably don’t even remember what the food tasted like.

So to enhance the fellowship and conversation, eliminate distractions and make the mealtime semi-sacred.

Turn off the television, don’t answer the telephone and don’t bring reading materials to the dinner table.

I remember purchasing our first answering machine when the kids were young. One of the main reasons for its presence in our home was so we could eat dinner together without being interrupted by answering the telephone while still considering phone calls from others as being important.

So remember, keep the main thing, the main thing during mealtimes. Protect it as best as you can.

Something to think about