"Mom, have you seen my athletic shoes?" my son Chris frantically called as he raced to catch the school bus. "I gotta have them for practice tonight at 6:30!"
"Don't forget, I have gymnastics at 5:00," chimed Allison.
"Aren't you supposed to bring the refreshments for Scouts tonight?" asked John.
"Oh, no," I groaned, "I forgot—but I'll think of something."
Clutching my notes for a meeting I was already late to, I gave my kids quick hugs as we each headed out the door for a busy day. I knew my husband, John, would be late that night because of an office meeting. I guess we'll just grab supper on the run, I thought, sighing.
We'd been doing a lot of that lately. In fact, I couldn't remember the last time we'd sat down to a relaxed family meal together. We'd fallen into the '90s method of "grab it, zap it, and run" family dinners. I knew things had to change.
Today, too many homes are at risk of becoming more like fast-food restaurants than refuges of security. When we're merely passing our kids at the front door, it's difficult to build a sense of family identity. And especially during the holiday season, it's all too easy to unintentionally slip into the dangerous pattern of rarely being together as a family. How can we recapture the unity and art of family meals?
Set Your Priorities
Family mealtime provides a great opportunity to build a family team, to forge relationships as you communicate over the dinner table, and to thank the Lord together for providing food and other blessings. But if you neglect it, it's more likely your children won't appreciate the importance of this "together time," or even know how to prepare a family meal for their own children one day!1