In today’s busy culture, I have come to realise that most families, especially in Africa, do not get together for meals and if at all they do, they do not eat at the table. Well, it could be that we lead very busy lives and come home late when most people have had their meals or that we do not have a set apart area for eating meals. Conversely, some families do have the dinning area but they do not use it for what it is intended for.
Beggining of this year I started my Bible year study plan and to date I have come across so many instances where people ate together at one table. Infact people were encouraged to always share their meals and meal times were filled with so much joy. It was at meal times that people had heart to heart conversations, preached and prayed with one another. One other thing to note is that in those times people preapeared a variety of meals that were rich in essential nutrients. They ate with careful consideration what was important for their bodies.
Acts 2:42 And they devoted themselves to the apostles’ teaching and the fellowship, to the breaking of bread and the prayers.
ISAIAH 25:6 On this mountain the Lord of hosts will make for all peoples a feast of rich food, a feast of well-aged wine, of rich food full of marrow, of aged wine well refined.
As creatures made in God’s image, we were created for relationships, both with God and with other people. By God’s design, therefore, genuine relationships are the basis for all human flourishing. We learn in the Bible that sharing a meal together is one of the primary ways relationships are established, deepened, and enjoyed both with God and with others. Think of the covenant meal the elders of Israel enjoyed with God on Mount Sinai. Moses records the spellbinding experience in Exodus 2
Gathering your family around the table means that your focus is on one another. This is a platform that opens up opportunities for heart felt conversations. As a parent, this is a great time to instill important character traits and spiritual truths in the lives of your children. Just as the disciples walked away from that meal with new knowledge of their faith, your children will glean wisdom from your dinner table conversations. If we do not take the time to gather together as a family consistently, setting aside distractions, we miss the opportunity to invest in their lives. We need to deliberatile make time for eating together and it will help our children to learn what we cannot teach them from the back seat of the car. They need that face-to-face time with us!
I also believe eating wholesome meals around the dinner table is an opportunity to grow and mold little hearts and souls. Family meal times should be great tradition that we pass along to our children. Understanding the biblical importance of family meals can help us make dinner a priority. And by making it a priority and planning ahead, we can plan ahead and look forward to dinner as an integral part of our family lives.
It is vital that we teach ourselves to enjoy sharing a meal because of the rich biblical symbolism; because it is a tangible expression of service, love, and unity; and because of the opportunity it affords for true fellowship and genuine community. Practically, sharing a meal nourishes our need to know and be known because it facilitates face-to-face conversation.
Today, we live in a digital world, we share a tremendous amount of information through social media platforms,texts and e-mails, however, because a significant amount of communication is nonverbal, precious little communication actually occurs digitally. Seeing someone’s facial expression, hearing the tone of his voice, and looking into his eyes are all vital elements of real communication. Ideally, sharing a meal would put us face-to-face with real people.
So, in conclusion, I encourage you to extend an invitation to somebody and begin to develop the kind of rich relationships we were designed to enjoy at our tables. Want to come over for dinner?