The Evening Meal

Read: Deuteronomy 31:9-13

When was the last time you and your children sat down for an evening meal together?  Do you try to make that a regular practice?  In our hurried culture today, it is becoming much too common for families to eat on the go or eat in front of the television.  When evening meals around the table are missed, we miss out on life-changing conversations with each other.
Jan Peterson (wife of retired pastor and author Eugene Peterson) shares the story of a time that she was invited to speak at a parenting conference about this subject.  Of the 38 women in one of the meetings not one mother raised her hand to say that their family ate dinner together.  Jan was shocked, and when asked if she had any pearls of wisdom to give for the raising of children her answer was, “Have a family meal every evening.”
In Deuteronomy 31 Moses had the Israelites gather together to hear the words of the Lord.  In verse 13 it stresses that the children must hear these things so that they know them and can apply them to their lives.  The evening meal has many of these same benefits; it allows us to talk with children about their day, discuss how to handle the things of life, and convey wisdom, counsel, and instruction. It is also a great time to tell them how much you love them and care for them.  P.S. You will also need to restrict cell phones from the dinner table.
Jan Peterson said this to those women, “I know it might be difficult, but it should be possible to get everyone away from the T.V. in their rooms with their microwaved meal on a T.V. tray to eat together. A time to gather the events of the day into conversation, listen to one another, and receive a blessing.”  How often are we passing up this opportunity of a blessing?
Make it Personal:  Things like this only happen when we make them a priority.  The importance of the evening meal and evening conversations with the family is so vital in the building of relationships and sharing Godly wisdom.  This is true for married couples even when the children are grown up and out of the house as well.  Be sure to find time to talk with each other.
Have a blessed week, Pastor Glen Rhodes
Arthur Mennonite Church, 710 E. Park St.