Welcome to my table! Grab your favorite cozy drink and pull up a chair…let’s talk…
I Love my table. No, not because it is my dream farm table from Restoration Hardware or because it was passed down from my ancestors. It is the heart of my home because it is where we connect, where we laugh, where we encourage and where we of course share a meal. It is the place I go early in the morning to journal and pray about the day. My children are teenagers now, but when they were little we used to play a little game, we would go around the table and everyone would share the best part of their day and the hardest part of the day. At the end of the meal when the dishes were done and the kids were in bed I would think about our time together and often say to my husband, ” I’m so glad we ask those questions, if we didn’t do that I would have no idea that our son had to go through what he did in the lunch room or how amazing our daughter felt when her teacher told her she was smart, or how the best part of our other son’s day was that he got to have pizza for lunch. Now that my three kids are teenagers it is definitely a place to connect. They are involved in activities at their schools and they are all athletic so we are always at a game, or running to a function at school. Every night family dinners are just not practical, but we realize how important they are so, we do this: two mornings a week we have family breakfast and two nights a week we make family dinners happen. To some that may be a lot and to others, like me, it is not enough! As a mom of 3 busy teenagers I will take what I can get especially during fall sport season!
I heard a teaching at a women’s conference about 13 years ago and it made such an impact on my life, not only as a mom, but as a wife and as a friend. So, today as you are reading this I would like to invite you to my table, grab your coffee and your own journal and I’d love to share what I learned about life around the table & spiritual significance of sitting together …
Why is sitting around the table so important? We have all heard the research that has been done by the American Psychological Association where their studies found that adjusted teens ( teens that were well adjusted, had better peer and adult relationships, did better and school and of course are less prone to depression and drug use) ate dinner around the table an average of 5 days a week! So, how is it that the “table” is so important? Why is it so important?
GOD DESIGNED THE FIRST TABLE
No kidding!? it’s true. God even instructed Moses to make plates an dishes of pure gold, as well as pitchers and bowls. We still use the same dimensions for our tables today. Now for my favorite part, the part of the story that totally changed me as a mom and a wife and a friend. God then said, ” Put the bread of the Presence on this table to be before me at all times”. The “bread of the presence”, what is that? Well, in the New Testament Jesus called himself the “bread of life”… Stick with me for a few more minutes, we are going to put this all together in a minute… Even if you are not familiar with church, we have all heard about the last supper and know what communion is. During Jesus’ last meal on earth he said as often as you eat…remember me. Jesus did not mean that we were only to remember him once a month at a church communion event, he meant every time we sit to eat that we should remember what Jesus did for us on the cross. In Proverbs it says “She has prepared her meat and mixed her wine; she has also set the table”. It this verse “she” is actually “wisdom”. It is wisdom to think ahead and to plan what your family will eat and to set a table, why? Because when gather friends and family around the table and say a prayer ( thanking Jesus for what he did for us) something supernatural happens. God’s presence fills the table and he helps to strengthen the relationships around the table.
Practically speaking here are a few tips:
- 5 times around the table for dinner every week is not practical for our family. So, we have breakfast around the table some mornings and lunch on the weekends.
- You do not have to set your table with fine china (although put it out sometimes for your family not just for special guests, make your family feel the most honored by letting them have the best ), but if you have little kids plastic will do, even paper plates!
- You do not have to be a good cook. If you have never had dinner around the table , get take-out, order in, make a frozen pizza. The point is the planning, the praying and actually spending time together around the table.
- Do not make the table a place of discipline, make it fun and light. The Bible uses many illustrations of restored relationships that happen around the table, so if you are having an issue with one of your teens sit them at the table, pray, then talk. If you would like a friendship restored invite them to dinner, and watch as something supernatural begins to take place. The simple act of inviting someone to your table is an act of restoration, it goes a lot deeper than simply “I’m sorry”
I love nothing more than planning a meal for my family and friends. Setting an inviting table with candles, sitting back and watching conversations happen, respect grow, appreciation expressed and most of all laughter & love expressed.
You don’t even need a big table. I have had some of my best times with my family and friends around a coffee table, when I have just made us a treat and some coffee. Even my tiny table in my kitchen: