She rises also while it is still night and gives food to her household. PROVERBS 31:15
R. V. Brown was the sixteenth of 17 children. As he and his siblings arrived at the dinner table, he never understood why his mother stood in the corner with a bowed head. When he was older, he learned that she was praying that the butter beans and cornbread would make it to one end of the table and back without running out!
Of all the rich memories forged in his childhood home, this was the best: dinnertime. Everybody gathered around. Talking, listening and enjoying the laughter and noise of family togetherness.
He can still hear the older kids talking about the work they’d been doing that day. Or about what had happened at school. Another might tell a story he remembered from his stint in the army. And before they finished, R.V.’s daddy, who couldn’t read or write, would lean back in his chair and begin sharing from his heart in that soft, arresting voice of his. Little bits of wisdom. Nuggets about how to treat people. Pearls about how to always give your best, settling little problems by using some patience and understanding and not hurting anybody.
I hate to think what the pace of life in today’s families has done to memories like these. How many kids, when they grow up and look back on their childhood, will reflect on how much it meant for them to wolf down a fast-food hamburger in the car between ball practice and youth group? I think that what we stand to lose by consistently eating on the run may be a generation that has learned to value activity over relationship . . . and continues to feed self when they could be feasting together.
Give your children something they’ll always remember: Give them dinnertime.
Be honest about your dinnertime habits. Are they what they should be? What’s one thing you want to do differently about your dinnertime?
Ask God to help you place more value on being together than on doing it all.