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Thursday, October 16, 2014

The Importance of Family Mealtime & Worship

I know I say this often, but "one of my favorite episodes of Andy Griffith is" when Aunt Bea is out of town and Andy and Opie are bachelors.  The chicken burns to a crisp, filling the kitchen with smoke.  Just when everything is at its worst, Peggy (single, attractive Peg) drops in.  Andy's afraid she's trying to wedge her way into their lives to become his wife, so he is reluctant to accept her offer to cook them something decent for supper.

Andy - "Oh, we wouldn't want to impose."
Peggy - "You're not imposing!  It would be fun for me."
Opie - "Let Miss Peggy have some fun, Pa."

The episode ends with a lovely meal fixed by Peggy in an atmosphere that creates a desire for talking and music - unlike the bachelors had had before she stepped into her apron in their home.

This episode reminds me how much our presence does for our home.  We create an atmosphere there.  That atmosphere is what most homes need, and it happens just because you and I are present.  A man can light a candle or cook a meal, but it's usually the woman who sets the tone and setting at mealtimes. If she's not there it's just food.  If mom's there, it's an event.  

Mealtimes - it's our way of managing, keeping, building and watching over our families.  We listen to our family's tones when they talk.  We read between the lines when they share their hearts at supper.  We can detect a burden when they pray for the meal, then we're able to act on what we detect from their hearts.  We pull them aside.  We pray with them.  We leave a Bible verse for them to find.  We call the next day in the middle of the day to check on the situations.  We're watching over them.

We teach and instruct at mealtimes. It's then that we:
This is the place where:
·         Prayer is offered for the meal before eating.  Let the husband take charge.  Sit and wait.  Don’t open your lips. If at last he doesn’t pray or appoint, then you may.
·         Manners are taught – Mother takes the first bite. Napkins in laps. Teach how to properly hold the silverware and pick up the glass and not shovel in the food.  Teach how to pass the food that is in front of you.  Offer seconds – develop thoughtfulness, concern for others. No one leaves the table before mother does.  If they must, they ask her if they may be excused.
·         Conversation is made.  Eat slowly.  Mealtime is about fellowship as well as the food.
·         Plates aren’t cleared until all are finished.  If you’re feeling fancy, no stacking plates at the table. Go here for conversation starters at the table.
·         We have fun!  Don't take yourself too seriously.  Learn to laugh!

Mealtime is a family event.  Use it to build and watch over your family!

The other important ingredient in creating a home that is loving and caring is spending time together each day in worship.    We can’t just give our family physical food for their bodies and not give them spiritual food of the Word, prayer and fellowship or they’ll get a terribly wrong impression! When we reward our children for physical or intellectual or social accomplishments and not for Christian accomplishments, they’re getting a system of false values.

If you’ve not started having time in the word and prayer yet and your children are older can you recover the lost?  Yes, you can start today.  It’s never too late! Start reading and praying with your family every day.  Apologize for your delay, roll up your sleeves and use all your strength, and snatch them out of their current mind-set and lead them in the opposite direction  - for Christ!
  • Short children at home mean short devotions.  Longer children, longer devotions.  Usually their age in minutes.
  • Keys for Kids, Leading Little ones to God, Ergermeier’s Bible storybook for children,
  • Short passages of Scripture
  • Sing a song – Action songs that require moving about
  • Have prayer
If you're the only parent, or the only one who desires to pull the family together around God's Word, do it.  You'll be saying in essence, "Here I am, Lord and the children you've given me!"

       Eating together and worshiping together will show (better than a perfectly decorated house) that you have a heart for your home.  It's at those times that you are best able to build, manage, and keep your home!

    God made us a family.
    We need one another.  
    We love one another.
    We forgive one another.
    We work together.
    We play together.
    We worship together.
    Together we use God’s Word.
    Together we grow in Christ.
    Together we love all men.
    Together we serve our God.
    Together we hope for heaven.
    These are our hopes and ideals;
    Help us to attain them, O God;
    Through Jesus Christ our lord, Amen.

       How are you doing at pulling your family around the table to share a meal?  How are you doing at spending time with them in worship?  You can start today!

With love,


Stef Grennek said...

I love this, Mrs. C! This was great encouragement this morning to keep on keeping on, knowing it is worthwhile. My 5 year old has recently started remembering independently to ask to be excused from the table, and my 5 and 3 year old are already placing personal importance on prayer and singing to Jesus. These are precious days.

Whitney Pendell said...

I always loved how they ate breakfast at the kitchen table, on that pretty set of dishes. "Want some coffee, Barn?" :)

Denise said...

Yay for you,Stef! It's so worth it to build godly character into their young lives. They will have memories they'll always cherish because of your efforts. Keep up the good work!

Denise said...

You're a trained noticer, Whitney!

brmjhiggins said...

Sometimes as a busy mom, I have thought, "is this whole meal thing worth it?"... Planning ahead, shopping, cooking, clean-up. Thanks for the reminder that it truly is worth it! Our family table can never be replaced by a restaurant table! Just the four of us eating, laughing, learning, and making memories :) ~R

Denise said...

Yes, Rachel, keep it up! Your kids might not express appreciation for it now, but will "in time to come!"
Prov 31:25.