Day 4 - Dinner Time
What is your family schedule like? Does it ever seem like all the family members are going in different directions all the time? One way to fight that trend is to make dinner time a priority.
As husbands and fathers, dinner time is one of the best ways to reconnect with your family.
Is there anything magical about having a meal together? There could be. In fact, throughout Scripture we see significant moments happen over meals. (Feeding of the 5,000, The Last Supper). And studies show that when families make it a habit of eating dinner together, teenagers are less likely to use drugs or alcohol and are less likely to have high stress. Kids of all ages do better in school. Eating together isn’t the only thing that makes families strong, but it is a good indicator that family members are making time together a priority.
We can’t let our families drift apart because of busy schedules because there’s something on TV or someone calls on the phone. Once you start allowing distractions in, keeping them out becomes much more difficult. Dinner time is one tangible way to take back time as a family, although the commitment also needs to apply beyond the dinner table. We have to set boundaries for “together time” and protect it. And when the kids complain—“Family dinner … Why?”— don’t lose your positive attitude or get drawn into an argument. Just smile and say, “Thanks for being here. I appreciate it.”
One sobering exercise is to calculate how many days you have left with your children before they leave home. If your child were born today, you would have just over 6,500 days and dinner opportunities left to influence and connect with him or her at home. If your child is nine, cut that number in half. If your child is twelve, you have just under 2,200 days left with him or her. One father of a high school senior says that every time his son suggests that they do something together, he finds a way to make it work because he knows those opportunities are almost gone.
Sharing of Scripture at Dinner: One of the few times you will have the full attention of your family is at the dinner table. Take that opportunity to share a Bible verse and then talk about what that verse means, or for your children to share what their day was like.
Dinner Time Challenge: How can you lead your family spiritually at meals? What’s a question you can ask at the dinner table to engage your family?
Acts 2:42–46 42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers. 43 And awe came upon every soul, and many wonders and signs were being done through the apostles. 44 And all who believed were together and had all things in common. 45 And they were selling their possessions and belongings and distributing the proceeds to all, as any had need. 46 And day by day, attending the temple together and breaking bread in their homes, they received their food with glad and generous hearts.
Psalm 30:5 For His anger is but for a moment, His favor is for a lifetime; Weeping may last for the night, But a shout of joy comes in the morning.