Dinner use to be almost like an event. The whole family gathers together around a beautifully set table, dinner fresh out of the oven sizzling with heat in elegant serving dishes, the aroma filling the air bringing a smile to everyone’s face and causing mouths to water and tummies to growl with anticipation. The father sits at the head of the table, smiling at his lovely wife, admiring her for cooking such a wonderful meal, then turning to his children, feeling so proud of all they do. They bow their heads as their father says grace, then begin to eat the amazing meal in front of them. They discuss their day, discuss current news events, and enjoy spending time together as a family.
They are brought together by this meal. They bond and share because of this meal. They spend time together uninterrupted because of this meal. One meal can mean and do so much.
And now it seems that is lost. How many families do you know that sit down together at the dining table to eat a home cooked meal? How many families have a meal without their cell phones next to their plates or the tv on? It seems hardly any. The wonders of dinner are lost.
One thing that has contributed to this is technology. As a society, we are consumed by it. We can’t have our cell phones more than a foot away from us, or a tv on because we can’t bare to miss our favorite shows. Or an ipad to keep the little ones occupied. Technology has taken over our lives and ruined family meals.
Another thing is the increased amount of women working outside the home. Mothers are working 40+ hour weeks and still trying to manage their homes and families. The last thing they want to do is go home after work and picking up the kids and try to figure out a delicious meal to make from scratch. It’s much easier to stop at a drive thru or heat something in the microwave. By the time these women get home all they want to do is relax, and I can’t say that I blame them.
So, what do we do about this? How do we bring back the sacred family dinner?
If meals are planned ahead of time, it is possible to make a delicious meal even if you are a working mother. We have so many resources to find quick and easy or gourmet meals to prepare for our families. Whether you use pinterest, allrecipes.com, or just a google search you can find just about anything! I would suggest that working mothers plan their meals for the entire week. It will help eliminate stress and also make it easy to prepare a grocery list for the week. If you are fortunate enough to be a housewife or stay at home mom, you can plan as late as the night before. I go to the grocery store everyday for fresh ingredients, so planning my meals the night before works very well. I think a lot of it is just figuring out what works best for you and your situation.
Along with meal planning, you can also make a lot of food ahead. My sister and her friend do this and it seems to work very well for them. They prepare several meals ahead of time and keep them in the freezer. They then just need to be defrosted and heated up, cooked, or put in the crock pot. Speaking of crock pots, crock pot meals are great! You can make many wonderful meals using the crock pot, put your ingredients in the crock pot in the morning and everything is ready by dinner time. I love making my pot roast in my crock pot, the delicious aroma filling the whole house! When my family gets home they can’t wait to eat dinner!
Turn Off Electronics
Family dinner should be just that, focus on family. TV’s and cell phones should not be present at the table. All distractions should be turned off or put away. Having some nice music playing in the background is nice, but that should be the only thing on. Outside of spending this time eating it is a time for sharing and enjoying time together. It’s not a time for updating a Facebook status or checking twitter. It’s important to show your children how important this time is together.
At the end of the day, it’s about making the effort, making this a priority, realizing how important this meal is together. Taking the easy road out doesn’t benefit anyone. Fast food is bad for your health and that precious time together is lost. I challenge you this week to bring your family together for dinner if you don’t already!
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.