The 2nd Most Important Part of Your Day

Many Christians would agree that spending time with God each day is of primary importance.

But, what comes next? With a plethora of good choices available to us, coupled with busy schedules, it can be daunting to determine our next priority with clarity.

The answer may seem simple, but it’s connecting as a family over a meal. At its best, this is good, quality family time around the kitchen table. This simple act is actually more beneficial than you might imagine. Let’s dive into it… 

The Benefits of Family Mealtime

Why is this so important? Being intentional about carving out family time is getting harder and harder these days. There are tight schedules with work commitments, soccer practice, piano lessons, homework, and the list goes on. But there is power in the dinner table and, surprisingly, kids who eat together with their families each week reap amazing physical and emotional benefits, such as:

  • More likely to eat fruits and vegetables
  • 45% less likely to try alcohol (Gitnux)
  • Higher self-esteem
  • Lower likelihood of developing eating disorders
  • Bigger vocabulary in preschoolers
  • Healthier eating patterns in young adults
  • Better understanding of how to communicate and how to listen
  • Teens who have frequent family dinners are more likely to have higher-quality relationships with their parents. In fact, a Harvard study showed that 80% of teenagers claim family dinner is the time they are most likely to talk with their parents. 

There are also spiritual benefits! The dinner table is a safe place for kids to wrestle with spiritual questions, which can lead to great conversations as a family. We want to intentionally disciple our kids, which can seem daunting and we don’t know where to start. So, start with simple conversations at the dinner table — with some good food, of course!

Practical Ways to Make it Happen

We know this isn’t easy for everyone, for a variety of reasons. We’re here to help by giving you some practical ideas to make this important part of the day a reality!

  1. Schedule it — and it doesn’t have to be dinner. Maybe breakfast is more reasonable for your family. Block it out on your calendar and treat it like an appointment. 
  2. Create boundaries, such as no technology at the table.
  3. Be realistic — it doesn’t have to be perfect. The meal can be simple, and don’t be disappointed if not everyone is 100% engaged at every meal. 
  4. Intentionally include God in your conversation — ask for prayer requests, talk about something interesting from your devotional time that morning, reference God in your answers to their questions, etc. 
  5. Make it fun — create memories with themed dinners like Taco Tuesday or Pasta Night, or commit to experiencing a new restaurant once a week. 

Want more practical ideas? Check out our podcast episode here, where Kori Pennypacker provides lots of examples and stories of how this worked for her family. 

Remember, every little opportunity in our day is a chance to plant seeds of faith that will impact our child’s spiritual development. And, there is power at the dinner table and we hope this encourages you to be intentional about it for your family!

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Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments I give you…Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road…Deuteronomy 6:5-7