by Ray Delcourt
You may have heard the joke about family dinner. When someone is asked “What are you making of dinner? “The response is, “Reservations!” Funny, but also shockingly a true new trend over the past 20 years. Despite dozens of cookbooks written by renowned chefs about dinners in 20 minutes and meals under $10 bucks, home cooking has declined alarmingly over the years. Even the popular Food Network hasn’t spurned us on to creating those same meals in our homes for our families.
Let me take you back to a day in yesteryear…….The chicken sits on the cutting board seasoned perfectly, while the potatoes that will soon be mashed with gravy are boiling. A boy and girl (you fill in the age) whose books are tossed on the kitchen table, tell about their day to their parent as they cook. Mention is made about finishing homework before dinner, groans are also made; more groans and sighs as the verdict of NO TV BEFORE dinner is repeated for the umpteenth time this week.
As the chicken fries on the stove and the smell wafts through the kitchen, the kids help with cutting up the veggies and setting the table. A song comes on the radio that everyone knows. Little by little, everybody is chiming in singing along, dancing a bit, goofing around, and laughing. Soon everyone is home, and a buzzer rings with the anticipation of food to be deliciously consumed.
Glasses are filled at the table with milk. Napkins are placed on each others’ laps, (a gentle reminder is given to the son). And then without prompting, as if it is happened hundreds of times before (because indeed it has), they joined in prayer for thanks to GOD. Food is passed, manners were (mostly) used, compliments were given to the chef, and CONVERSATION WAS HAD. Fun ensued.
“An important exchange of varying ideas where one party or more talk for any length of time”; yes, that is a definition of a conversation, and we need to continue to include that as part of the fabric as we create our modern day family quilt, and the family dinner is an excellent way to start. Hearing about how we went about our day is more important than you may remember. It’s about the caring, the listening, and the melding of our collective souls while we break bread provided by the LORD. It’s simple, beautiful, and the best investment in your family you will ever make! Do it your way, make it fun…but create an opportunity to listen. This month, we challenge you to start to “Create a Lifetime of Memories” at the dinner table. You may be surprised what you hear.