The Family Dinner Table

The Importance Of Eating Together As A Family Around The Table

As we approach Thanksgiving in America, we plan a meal with family and friends around the table.  The conversation around the Thanksgiving table is usually about what we are thankful for.  Most of the time, we all say that we are thankful for our families, but we are too busy to take the time to really get to know our children or our spouse.  Eating around the table is a great way to open up communication with each member of the family.  Our example of eating around the table goes back to Jesus.  He ate with the disciples often around the table.  When He had something really important to say, He did it around the table.

Matthew 26:20-21 “When evening came, Jesus was reclining at the table with the Twelve.  And while they were eating, he said, I tell you the truth, one of you will betray me.”  Jesus taught us why we should take the Lord’s Supper (communion) while eating around the table with his disciples.  Matthew 26:26  “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to his disciples, saying, Take and eat; this is my body.”

Below are some ideas to try while eating with your family around the table. 

Turn the television off!


 Never forget to thank God for your meal.  Take turns saying Grace.  You can find out your family members’ true hearts when you listen to them pray.

Try serving your dinner family style.  You can use this time to teach your children how to pass food around the table, how to cut their meat, how to use manners around the table. Be careful to make this time a fun time that children will want to do over and over.  Do not criticize them.  Set a good example for them.  When they do something wrong, you do something even worse to make a point.  Hopefully, everyone will get a good laugh. 

The table is a wonderful place to find out what is on the heart of each  person.  Try asking each person, “What was the best thing that happened to you today?”  And “What was the worst thing that happened to you today?”  These questions will open up conversation to help you find out   what is on each person’s heart.  You will get to know your family better. Research shows that eating and having conversation around the table helps kids stay out of trouble.  The benefits are truly endless. 

 Get family members more involved in the preparation of the meal.  Try to fix at least one thing your children really enjoy eating. Teach them how to cook it.  Even the youngest member of the family could help.  Give them a plastic knife and let them practice cutting. They may eat more vegetables if they help prepare them.  Allow them to measure the ingredients and stir the dish together.  For less confusion in the kitchen, plan ahead.  You could also take turns cooking with each child on different days.  Make sure you make a special effort to cook with your teens, especially your sons.  They need to know how to cook.  Cooking in the kitchen is also a great way to open up communication with them.  You can talk about your relatives who really enjoyed cooking or a particular dish they liked.  You can teach them in a non-threatening way about the Word of God.  My prayer is that you truly take this coming year to cook with your family and eat more around the table. It does take lots of work but the benefits far outweigh the work.  I pray that God will give you the time to open up communication in your home and pour blessings on your family.  For additional ideas and recipes visit

Categories: Thanksgiving Thoughts.

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