Sunday, June 28, 2009

Table Talk - Part One

One one my favorite things to do as a family is eat dinner together. With our crazy schedule, we rarely have breakfast or lunch as a family but dinner is different. We make it an absolute priority to be together around 6:00 p.m. every evening. It's become a wonderful tradition in our home that everyone looks forward too. In fact, even when Keith is traveling, the boys will ask just to make sure, "we are going to have dinner together, right?"

This dinner tradition is so important to us that when sports season rolls around, we often delay dinner until practice is over with. Many times this means eating at 8:00 or even 9:00 at night. My kids don't mind. They like staying up later on school nights. They think that's really cool. Now that we're in summer mode, I don't mind either.

There is just something special about sitting around the dinner table and talking about what everyone did that day. The most amazing conversations can be stirred by a simple question such as "What was the best part of your day?" or "What part of the day didn't you like?".

As parents, Keith and I have found ourselves in unexpected yet thankful moments when one of those questions will burst open a conversation where our children express their hidden dreams, secret hurts and even lingering fears about a particular topic. All this via a simple dinner conversation.

I once read a statistic which stated that families that ate together on a regular basis had better relationships and their children were more likely to stay out of trouble. This is not the reason why we have dinner together as a family every night but it sure is very encouraging.

When we've finished eating, most of the time we pull out a book which I purchased from Focus on the Family years ago. It kid friendly questions about the bible. Our boys take turns reading a question and then ask everyone at the table what they think the answer is. After everyone has gotten a chance to share their answer, one of our boys reads the correct answer and corresponding bible verse.

This produces even more question like "Well, what about this..." or "That's not what so-and-so thinks!" or "I thought the bible said this...?"

It's a lot of fun and we consider this our family devotion time. After all, we're all together, enjoying food and each others' company. I think it's the perfect setting for teaching God's principles to our children.

When we've completed our discussion on that particular question, one our boys put the date next to it as a reminder that we already covered it for future reference. One day this book will be completely filled with dates. Now that will be awesome!

There are some things I LOVE about our dinners together or what I like to call table talk. Tomorrow I'll share with you what I don't like about it.

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