Come and Dine
"Only be careful, and watch yourselves closely so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen or let them slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and to their children after them. Remember the day you stood before the LORD your God at Horeb, when he said to me, 'Assemble the people before me to hear my words so that they may learn to revere me as long as they live in the land and may teach them to their children.'"1
Mark Early in BreakPoint shares "why Miriam Weinstein's new book, The Surprising Power of Family Meals, is so valuable" for family health and quality living—especially for the children.
"As other authors have done, Weinstein tells us fewer and fewer families are taking the time to eat dinner together. Then she delves into the reasons why we should eat with our families, looking at various studies on the benefits of family dinners. Believe it or not, researchers have carefully studied dinnertime—from the kind of conversation that goes on around the table, to the lifelong effect that regular mealtimes have on children's eating habits.
"The research indicates that many young adults with eating disorders never had a regular dinnertime when they were growing up. They literally never learned how to eat a proper meal.
"Weinstein tells us that when the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse studied ways to keep kids from destructive behaviors, family dinners were 'more important than church attendance, more important even than grades at school.' The Center has repeated that study several times since then, 'and every year, eating supper [dinner] together regularly as a family tops the list of variables that are within our control.'
"The point is family meals aren't just about food. As Weinstein puts it, 'Supper is about nourishment of all kinds.' That includes physical, emotional, intellectual, and spiritual nourishment."2
Suggested prayer: "Dear God, please help us to make eating time in our home a time that will always produce warm memories for all our children, and by all who dine with us. Please help us to make our home a house of blessing to all who enter therein. Thank you for hearing and answering my prayer. Gratefully, in Jesus' name, amen."
1. Deuteronomy 4:9-10 (NIV).
2. Mark Earley in BreakPoint, November 22, 2005. www.BreakPoint.org.