A Family Meal is More Than Just Food for the Body

Life seems so busy sometimes, doesn’t it?  Certainly families with school-age children have their own set of challenges.  Perhaps you or a family you know has so many outside commitments that family members are often going in opposite directions to meet those commitments.  Sometimes, sitting down to a family meal is not easy.  I do not intend to discount the value of being involved in activities outside the home, but  perhaps we underestimate the value of a meal shared as a family and the things that happen during that meal.

Secular studies by the National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University, the University of Minnesota, and others have shown that teens who regularly eat meals with their family are less involved with substance abuse, suffer less stress and depression, are less likely to commit suicide, and get better grades in school.

Surprising? Not really.  Our good and gracious God designed the family to provide for our social and emotional needs as well as for our physical needs.  Much of this happens around the family meal as we share our food and our thoughts with those who care about us.  The feelings of love, security, and acceptance that the family meal produces help build up the defenses against the problems that children and adults often face.

Even with these wonderful benefits, the family meal is not what it could be if Jesus isn’t there.  After all, he is a part of our family!  When you tie a family devotion with a family meal you connect yourself with your spiritual family as well as those people who live in your house.  You meet not just physical and emotional needs, but also what really is your only need – your spiritual need to hear about your Savior.  The feelings of love, security, and acceptance that come from knowing we are a part of God’s family help us with our struggles in this life and the benefits last into eternity.

A devotion is not a difficult thing to add to the family meal.  There are many good devotional books available that could be placed by the kitchen table and used at a family meal.  Just ask if you need some suggestions.

In the name of Christ, our brother,
Pastor Draper

Some of the facts for this article came from an article on the web at:

http://www.mercatornet.com/articles/view/the_incredible_reappearing_family_dinner/

It is an interesting article.  Please read it if you have the chance.

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