Along the Way While Eating
People love to eat food. Gathering around a table and satiating our bellies has a way of bonding us to one another and helping us feel comfortable talking. Much of our days is spent thinking about, planning for, preparing or eating our next snack or meal. It’s so much a part of our lives! We can use our eating times as opportunities to talk about God and shape faith as we are charged to do in Deuteronomy 6:6-7:
“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be on your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the way, when you lie down and when you get up.”
Here are some ideas for how we can talk about faith and point our families to God while we’re eating:
- The Menu-Some days we haphazardly scour the refrigerator for something that can be thrown together quick, some days we have a hodge-podge of leftovers that don’t quite seem to go together, and some days we carefully craft a well-balanced and executed menu that covers all the food groups and somehow gets onto the table before everyone breaks from hunger. Whether or not your family meal plans in advance, the menu can be a great jumping off point for conversation about God. What items on the menu did God make? Consider how each fruit and vegetable and animal is so unique and tastes so different. Consider how the preparation method can make each food taste different still. Talk about your favorite tastes that God made and why you like them so much. Maybe even take a minute to thank God together specifically for those perfectly ripe raspberries or crunchy snap peas or whatever those favorite tastes are.
- Savoring-So many times we are scrambling to eat quickly and onto the next thing. But have you ever just savored the food you are eating? Enjoying every detail of how it tastes and going back for more to enjoy? We can take a lesson from this on savoring God’s goodness too. Going back for more of His Word. Really reflecting on His promises. What are some ways you as individuals can savor the good things of God? How can you savor His goodness as a family?
- Table Time-Sitting at the table gives us the comfort and space to simply be together and have conversation. There are great conversations that can happen when we are at the table. That means two things 1) we have to actually be sitting at the table together sometimes to eat and 2) we have to sit there long enough to have conversations. Share what happened during your day—highs, lows, how you saw God at work, blessings God gave you today, etc. Or read a Bible verse, discuss a question about God or spend an extra minute in prayer together. Table time is great faith building time.
- Unwanted Items-Rather than guilting children to eat the foods they don’t like because “there are starving children in Africa,” consider requesting them to take a single bite of a new or unliked food. Even in the less than preferable items, we can thank God for providing for us. We can model that and discuss how we know that God gives us good gifts always. Some of us may love the mashed potatoes and others of us think “yuck” but ultimately God gives us all the food that we have. How can we thank God for all the food that He provides to our family? How can we show gratitude through our words, actions or attitude even when we don’t like something? Talk about how God uses food to sustain our bodies.
Your challenge now is this: eat together and think and talk on the things of God while you do!
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