Fellowship at the Family Table
Every family needs time together, but finding a time and place to connect can be difficult.
In today’s busy culture, the family is pulled in many different directions. To combat this, parents must intentionally create a structure that allows the family to have meals together. This requires planning, as someone needs to buy groceries, cook the meal, gather the family, and clean up. Parents can make sure these tasks are completed by establishing roles and responsibilities for each family member, and in Fellowship at the Family Table, Geary Reid discusses how you can do this. Once the family is gathered, the dinner table should be a formative and safe place where family members feel listened to and respected. During mealtimes, family members can help to facilitate discussion, teach social skills to younger children or siblings, and emphasize the importance of nutrition. Families can share important news or discuss decisions together. Every family needs time to connect, and the dinner table is the perfect place to do so.
Persons are often busy paying attention to themselves. With the demands of their employment, they spend less time with their family. Many of their discussions are done with strangers, and those who hear their concerns cannot always help them. The advice received from strangers may not necessarily strengthen their family.
Every individual is connected to a particular family type, which is not always a nuclear or extended family. However, whatever family type they live within, they must seek to have a healthy relationship and discuss important matters with each other. Children often learn from both parents, so parents have to set good examples for their children to follow. As the entire family sits at the table, the discussion can be very lengthy, but it can also be very meaningful as critical decisions are made. No one should exclude their family from their plans, since they will need them as a great support for the future.
Gathering the family together may not always be easy. Sometimes, due to work or study, some family members will be sleeping at the time when the family meets to have quality time, so someone must wake them up so that everyone can meet and eat at the family table.
Purchasing of groceries is important for every family. Those who are responsible for purchasing groceries and meats must make the best choice in purchasing quality, rather than quantity. Some families may not have much money to spend, but with whatever amounts they budget to spend, they must make sure that their families are taken care of.
Preparing and serving meals may be a function that different family members will do from time to time. If the meals that are prepared are what everyone needs, then there is great satisfaction at the family table. If some family members have health issues, then special meals will have to be prepared for them.
At the family table, there will be much discussion, which will help to inform the future direction of the family. Both parents and children are expected to share their views at the family table, and they should seek to come to an agreement before they conclude their discussion. It is expected that families should spend more time at the table, where they pray for their meals and then openly discuss matters like educational development, building a house, acceptance of a spouse into the family, and new employment opportunities or even current affairs.
There may be some disagreements at the family table, but there should be more time spent in agreement. When the family discussions are civil and respectful and decisions are to be made, then more family members will want to share more and be more involved in open discussions. The matters discussed must remain private, but everyone must be allowed and encouraged to ask questions when they are around the family table.
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