There’s something about sitting around the dinner table that bonds us together. I’m downtown at Starbucks writing this blog right now, and people are everywhere, connecting around a table.
It can be said the family that eats dinner together is bonded together!
Sadly, the average family dinner in America is about fifteen to twenty minutes. Studies show that more and more families are eating alone in a room while they watch a device and zone out away from each other instead of connecting.
This trend harms our families by promoting isolation and connection with a device versus a person.
I believe our families are at their best when we are talking, laughing, honest, connecting, and more. This is what we want, and this is where we thrive. This is a recipe for strong, growing families that build over time.
I also believe our families suffer when we don’t talk, don’t laugh, don’t open up and don’t connect in a meaningful way. This is a recipe for being disconnected and vulnerable to wrong connections.
But to have healthy and robust families, we must be intentional so that what we want happens.
Being around the dinner table helps facilitate the bonds that lead us to talk, laugh, open up, and connect. This is where we fortify each other and fortify our family.
In the scriptures, God references being around the table and the health that can come with it.
“Your wife will be like a fruitful grapevine, flourishing within your home. Your children will be like vigorous young olive trees as they sit around your table. 4. That is the Lord’s blessing for those who fear him.”Psalms 128:3-4
Notice the location of this promise around the table.
This speaks of a family built on Jesus and takes time to be together.
This also speaks of the possibilities we can have in our homes. A robust growing marriage and children that are growing in a healthy way.
This doesn’t mean we’re a perfect family or won’t have challenges. It means we’re a family built on Jesus, and we can grow and get better in healthy ways.
Here are some things that we do to facilitate being around the table.
First, we sit down and eat dinner together as much as possible. This is big for me and I value us all being together, eating, talking, and having time together.
We plan for it, so it happens. I encourage you to prepare for it too. If it’s Chick-fil-A, Chinese takeout, or you’re out to eat, take time and be around the table together.
Second, we have conversations that are directed. Everyone shares about their day regarding what was good and not good. Then, whatever day it is (meaning I take them to get a treat somewhere), they decide the conversation topic, and we talk about it. This gives them ownership and empowers them to talk confidently to others.
I believe directed conversations are more accessible to happen than leaving it to chance. Having a plan doesn’t mean we have to control everything; it helps guide it productively.
Third, phones are off by 7:30 PM for us this works. We encourage them to read books or play cards together and hang out. This always is a great time and we end up laughing and enjoying the moment.
Everyone is different, but if we don’t have limits to our technology, it will run our lives away from each other.
Fourth, we have family communion every week. We do this on Sunday nights, pray for each other, talk about the upcoming week, and have a spiritual moment together.
This is huge and it’s helped us have a greater spiritual connection as a family. Most of this happens around the dinner table.
So, I encourage you to move forward and gather around the dinner table. Give God a chance to move in your family and give your family a chance to grow together.
It won’t always feel great or that it worked, but we’re not going for the sensational; we’re going for the consistent growth over time that leads to bonds that impact generations.
Great things happen, and God, things happen around the dinner table!
Have a great week and the best is yet to come,