Gather Round’ the Table

I had a conversation with a Proverbs 31 woman this past weekend. She’s 89 years young. She has a picture of herself parasailing, which was taken 3 years ago. She is also quite computer savvy. I started to explain what a blog was and she said, “Oh, I know what a blog is!” She is a woman who has lived an extraordinary life and continues to do so. I will be sharing bits and pieces of our chat for years to come.

The part I wanted to share today has to do with the topic Lisa and I have been covering, family devotions. I have recommended a lot of books and talked about how to make time to do devotions. This recent conversation gives a beautiful example of another type of ‘Being devoted’.

This wise woman has four lovely daughters who are impacting their world. I asked her what the secret was to raising strong children. She told me that she always taught her daughters that they could be a blessing to the world, or a curse…and she wanted them to be a blessing.

As her daughters became teenagers she noticed that it was getting harder to get everybody together at the same time. She stepped up and decided that dinner would be a special affair, every night. She cooked a nice dinner and they always ate in the dining room. There was always a tablecloth and her good dishes. She had Sunday dinner every evening. She says that she always had a couple of extra kids at her table.

At the table, each of the children had their time to talk. They could talk about whatever they wanted to. If they were working through a dilemma, the family would help them hash it out. Then, their father would lead them in a discussion about things that were happening in the world. They would debate and look at it from a Christian perspective. Not only were the girls learning about current events, but they were developing a Christian world view. In addition to that, they knew that they were loved and that the things they had to say were important. They also saw the value of family through these times around the table.

This conversation inspired me. My family generally does eat dinner together, but our conversation is not often organized. I see that this time is precious and I want to use it to listen to our children and impart knowledge to them. I want my children – my greatest legacy – to be blessings to the world, and I plan to take this wisdom and apply it around our table.

I know that many families are busy, but I encourage you to take every chance you can to listen to and to teach your children. They are your gift to the world.