Getting Back to the Family Table, Eating Together

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The Family Table

 

The more I counsel and coach married couples and families the more I find out that many families have pushed away from the family dinner table. However, they have not done this for health purposes as much as for the relationally unhealthy purpose of busyness.

 

Is it Biblical to Eat Together as a Family?

 
Family Table
 

It is interesting to see that the Bible does not command families to eat together as much as it is assumed. To be frank, there is a great message in this in that there are somethings that should be so obvious to a society that the Bible does not go out of its way to provide a command. That said, this should show us how far we have strayed as a society. In other words, when the Bible assumes that something as natural as eating together is present in a society yet we have to encourage people to do so, then we may be in bigger trouble than we realize.

 

Biblical References

 

Here are a few biblical references that should encourage us to get back to the family table:

 

1. Revelation 3:20 – When Christ wanted to relay to the church (His bride) his desire for more fellowship, He likened his time with them to sitting down and eating together.

 

“Behold, I stand at the door, and knock: if any man hear my voice, and open the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he with me.”

 

2. Acts 2:42 – It was one of the first things the early church did together

 

“And they continued stedfastly in the apostles’ doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in prayers.”

 

3. John 13:4 – It was what Christ did with his apostles during his last night with them.

 

“He riseth from supper, and laid aside his garments; and took a towel, and girded himself.”

 

4. Genesis 18:3-4 – When the Lord visited Abraham, he ate with them.

 

“Let a little water, I pray you, be fetched, and wash your feet, and rest yourselves under the tree: And I will fetch a morsel of bread, and comfort ye your hearts; after that ye shall pass on: for therefore are ye come to your servant. And they said, So do, as thou hast said.”

 

A Few Practical Hints

 

The family table is a sacred time for our family. Though we are not able to eat together every evening, I would say that we eat together almost every night of the week. In fact, when we are not able to commune together around the supper table, I feel like something is greatly missing in our day.

Here are a few things that should be said about the family table:

 

1. It should be a place of safety

 

If you keep having rebuking sessions at the family table, check up on your parenting style or your timing. It should be a place of laughter and sharing of God’s blessings throughout the day rather than a place of judgement.

 

2. Turn the television off

 

Enough said.

 

3. No excessive phone usage at the table

 

If you don’t have the authority to make this rule, then you may have to regain your authority back in the home.

 

4. Laugh, laugh, and when you have finished laughing, laugh some more

 

Laughter is what binds us together as a family. Though we have the Spirit and the scriptures also, I would have to say that laugher is certainly one of the best medicines for family issues.

I know some really uptight parents that could use a good roll on the floor laughing session. It’s a great stress reliever.

 

5. Take advantage of those teachable moments

 

Jesus was always utilizing what I call teachable moments with His disciples. We see this in the parable of the fig tree (Mark 11), His encounter with the woman at the well (John 4), and the last supper (John 13).

Deuteronomy tells fathers to speak of the things of God on a consistent basis. Deuteronomy 11:18-19 words it as such:

 

“Therefore shall ye lay up these my words in your heart and in your soul, and bind them for a sign upon your hand, that they may be as frontlets between your eyes. And ye shall teach them your children, speaking of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, when thou liest down, and when thou risest up.”

 

Use the family table as a teaching time to relate the scriptures to real life. Take the real life stories of your family and incorporate them into biblical teaching. You don’t have to have a theology degree, just a simple understanding of the scriptures as well as a willingness to promote that wisdom is the principal thing.

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One comment on “Getting Back to the Family Table, Eating Together
  1. Geri says:

    Wow! This is so true! I just did my end of the school year essay on why we should study the bible, and wouldn’t you know this is where it lead me. Way to much to list but Jesus is the Bread of Life, Bread was a staple in those times, and sharing a meal and breaking bread was a priority as seen with the Last Supper, his last night with his disciples was over a meal and then partaking of communion. As we study the word we are in essence breaking bread and chosing to commune with the Godhead in unity with the body growing in knowledge and revelation as well as more like Christ. The husband and wife are in covenant with God and represent Christ and his bride the Church. Submitting one to another with a sacrificial love putting the others needs above your own. So the sharing of the meal, the Breaking of Bread, coming into unity and chosing to be a living and continual replica of the Lord’s Supper brings forth a Rembrance of Christ and the covenant we have through him is continually reminding the enemy that our family is covered by the blood and offers a level of protection that he has to pass over. Side note-20 years or so ago there was a radio show discussing the soaring number of addicts, kids quiting school, rising arrests and crimes committed, etc they compared all the data and they said the one commin factor in the kids thag didnt not get into trouble at alarming rates grew up in homes with intact families who sat down everyday around the table together as a family and ate dinner together with freedom to share and have conversation in a relational manner. This is amazing!!!

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