The Family Sit Down Dinner
Last night after our youth meeting our teaching team was discussing how the night went and what we were going to do the next week. One of the leaders (who had led the Jr. High group) shared that during their discussion one of the students said their family never sits down together for a meal. I asked a student that is on our teaching team how often his family sits down for a meal together, and his response was “we did at Thanksgiving, and we might at Christmas.”
The family dinner was something my family did growing up as regularly as possible. Every other meal was scattered and rushed, but dinner was every night and if someone missed it was strange. I realize now how many of my family memories and significant conversations happened around our dinner table.
Now, that I have my own family, we also eat dinner together as much as possible. Our evenings are crazy, and I think we are just as busy as most other families with 3 kids and all the church commitments and sports and… I look forward to that time with my wife and kids every day, but we have consciously made it a priority.
We also have people join us for dinner on a regular basis. Youth leaders, students, friends, it changes often. And everyone that joins us for dinner seems to really enjoy the time around the table, especially youth students. Perhaps this is why – because it is not something they do on a regular basis.
Having kids over for dinner is a pretty big part of our ministry to teenagers. Some of the most beneficial times at camps or retreats is at meals. How do you use meal times as a part of your ministry? Does your family sit down for a regular family meal? If so how has it helped your family? If not what keeps you from doing it?