Hope the back-to-school season is going swimmingly. So far it is for us. Since all three sons are now at one school, and we have a fully licensed driver and another with a permit, things feel a little less complicated. Sports are part of the school day. Sam goes directly to swim practice instead of being home for a while and then swimming or doing something else. This simple shift in schedule has dramatically improved our lives. Sitting down to dinner flows naturally. They walk in the door hungry and I’ve been doing a pretty good job of having dinner ready to go. We can linger at the table because no one has anywhere to be. Evening obligations — games and meets — will creep back in in a few months, but right now I am loving the get-home-and-stay-home routine.
As Henri Nouwen writes “a really peaceful and joyful meal together belongs to the greatest moments of life,” and I agree. I honestly don’t think the importance of this time spent together can be overstated. In our house food makes people happy and chatty. There is little in life as satisfying as winsome and chatty sons.
How are you and yours doing with indulging in peaceful, joyful meals? It’s not really about the food. Although, tasty nourishing meals certainly don’t hurt. And obviously phones and other distractions need to be put away. But mostly it’s just about the people. It’s about undivided attention and continually pointing those we love to the ways of Christ.
The Bible says that we are to teach our children to love the Lord our God, to walk in obedience to Him and to hold fast to Him. When are we supposed to do this? At church on Sundays? Family devotional time? No. Deuteronomy 11:19 says, “Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.” In other words, all the time. And think of how few distractions and outside influences people had in the days of Deuteronomy! People of that time weren’t bombarded 24/7 with the lie that stuff would make them happy, but still God commanded that the truth be shared over and over and over again. All day. Every day.
Parenthood is a high calling! May I be faithful to the task!
Praying for you as well. May this weekend include some peaceful and joyful meals seasoned with laughter and lots of truth sharing.
P.S. I took the picture of the schweineschnitzel above because I had made so much of it, and I wanted to see how much would be leftover. Any guesses?