Mar 30 2017
THE DISCIPLINE OF THE TABLE
I used to feel guilty for not “doing family devotions”. Parents who homeschooled their kids (or at least were on top of their schoolwork) intimidated me. People assume because I am a pastor that I have powerful times of prayer with my wife and that was the secret of a good marriage. Though we have had powerful times of prayer, they have usually come in terrible times of struggle more than in the discipline of daily devotions.One thing we have been disciplined about is eating together. Traci and I have made a priority of eating together regularly and lingering over our meals. Wine helps. A view helps. It’s not always easy to make time, but nothing has been more important to our marriage and family life. It may be easier to eat on the run or it may feel more relaxing to eat in front of the TV. But nothing will enrich your marriage and family like sitting down to a meal together.As our kids were growing up, we would dismiss the kids to do their homework or wash up or play or whatever, but Traci and I would take the time to connect. Now, we regularly have our adult children and their spouses and friends join us and we talk late into the night. Other nights it is just the three of us left at home and Luke does his own thing while Traci and I talk. But the table is the center of family life.I no longer feel guilty about my lack of “devotions”. I’ve seen the fruit of what happens at the table and I wouldn’t trade it for anything. It’s not because we have formal discussion questions or Bible studies or a “strategic plan”. Life is passed on around the table. It will feel mundane sometimes. It may seem like nothing important is happening. But it is. And the cumulative effect of regular eating together (like eating in general) is more significant than it seems.