Passing the Faith by Passing the Potatoes
Research shows one of the most important we can do to increase the likelihood that our children will stay connected to Christ once they leave our home is eat dinner as a family.
In our home, we are seeking to create a daily rhythm.My dear wife Sarah is the champion for relational connectedness at dinner. Without fail, she leads our family and asks two simple but probing questions: What was the best part of your day? What was the most challenging part of your day?
If a one word answer is submitted, Sarah brings a follow-up question of Why was that the best part of your day?! Sarah created the daily rhythm and expectation for connection during our family dinner time. Interestingly enough, our three-year-old son often will beat her to the punch and say, “Best part of the day, Mommy first!”
Listen, it is about the connection not the location. Someone may say in hopeless resignation, “We NEVER eat at home at our dinner table!!” So is all hope lost if you find yourself running ragged, feeling as if you know the inside of your car and the McDonald’s drive-through more than you know your own dinner table at home? I say no, hope is not lost. It’s about connection with your family not the location where that connection happens.
I am convinced that kids want more! A 2005 study found that “Religious Matters” was the #1 topic teens wished they could honestly discuss with their parents over dinner. Kids want substantive dialogue! They want to interact around things that really matter.
My advice to us all would be to start slow by intentionally introducing a rhythm and consistent connective tenor to your dinnertime discussion. Interestingly enough, if this rhythm is consistently introduced into your meal times, before long, its absence will feel awkward and someone at your dinner table will cry out, “Hey, we haven’t talked about how we saw God at work in our lives today!”
We are creatures of habit. Our kids are creatures of habit. Let’s seek to create the right habits during our dinner times. I am convinced it will make a supreme difference.
- Recall: What is one thing you can do as a family to increase the likelihood of a child following Christ after they leave the home?
- Reflect: How can establishing a connectedness at dinner time impact your family?
- Respond: How can you intentionally begin establishing a relational family dinner time?
- Rethink: What are you doing right now to increase the likelihood that your children will stay connected to Christ?