We Do Family Different: Meals and Missed Opportunities

There is hidden treasure in mealtimes. The sit-down-at-a-table, family meal is usually the first to go in a busy life. But the sit-down, family meal holds a wealth of opportunity. From homemade feasts to easy takeout the act of sharing a meal brings people together. No shows. No phones. No iPads. No tablets. Just the faces you love most in the world.

A family meal two to three times a week does wonders to connect and reconcile family members.  All families have arguments and the ability to set each other on fire. Overcoming that anger and choosing to sit beside each other to share a meal plants the seeds for reconciliation.

Family meals teach us to value others and the effort that went into making the meal. It teaches us to honor others and develop an attitude of thankfulness. We may not always prefer the food in front of us, but we are called to honor the one who provided it and be thankful for the food. Hunger is not a thing of the past and provision should never be taken for granted.

If food is a source of anxiety for someone in your family, be sensitive to the Holy Spirit here. Walk in love, but do not throw out this rich opportunity to bring your family together. From value, honor and gratitude to social and emotional intelligence, a family’s character is shaped around a dinner table.

Questions:

  1. If someone came to you and said, “Over the next 18 years you can have 2,000 hours of time to teach, train, support, connect, refresh, relax, reconcile and laugh together as a family,” would you take it? Why or why not?
  2. If you spent 18 years of your life in 2,000 hours of conversation and connection with the same group of people, would you be invested and committed to those relationships? Would those relationships be more or less likely to weather life’s trials?
  3. What are some ways you can shift your family’s habits to allow for everyone in your household to come together for two or three 45-minute meals a week? Or, if your family is now grown can you set aside time to meet for a weekly meal with those who are close?

Read Hebrews 10:24-25, Matthew 6: 25-34 and pray Acts 2:42.

Acts 2:42

Father, help me organize our time to include family meals as a place where we can devote ourselves to your “teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.”

Share your ideas with us! How often do you meet with your family for a meal? What are some of your favorite go-to’s for a family meal?

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