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Turning the Hearts... Dinnertime!

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Turning the Hearts... Dinnertime!

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In our busy, pell-mell world, it is very easy to miss each other in our families. We rush out the door after a swig of orange juice with a piece of toast in one hand and a to-go cup of coffee in the other. The children hastily eat their packaged waffles or a granola bar and possibly juice, and they are off to school. Mom may eat alone if she is a stay-at-home mom. And so the morning goes with little contact for the family.

Lunchtime is usually spent separately with packed or cafeteria lunches. Dinnertime, then, affords the one major opportunity to interact with one another as a family. Yet many still grab a TV dinner and sit in front of the television or go to their rooms to do their "own thing." Our "instant this" and "instant that" should give us more time, but we actually end up spending less time with each other.

I took a survey in the 1990s of college-age students about what they remembered positively about their growing up experiences in the Church. Overwhelmingly, they responded that Friday evening dinners were so special because of the extra care given to the meal and the time spent together.

The Bible gives us a few examples to add emphasis to my point that we ought to make time to at least be together at the evening meal. Jesus was able to use mealtime to offer instruction to Martha and Mary. The only problem was Martha became too bothered with the physical preparation. Nevertheless, the time spent over a meal allowed some very important discussions to take place (Luke 10:38-42).

Deuteronomy 6:7 instructs us to teach our children when "you sit in your house, when you walk by the way, when you lie down, and when you rise up." The sitting part would certainly include dinnertime! Regarding the Passover observance in Exodus 12:3-8, 26-27, the Israelites were to have a meal and then the children would ask what the meaning was and the parents would explain the Passover.

Dinnertime can be a relaxing, enjoyable time to spend with each other. Because it is relaxing, family members may feel free to share with each other what's been going on in their lives. Regular meals together allow for the free exchange of ideas and issues of concern.

Please apply the adage, "the family that eats together, meets together," and see the difference it makes in the quality of your family.

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