I have recently been convicted of not setting the table for dinner, but just serving the meal in a haphazard sort of way. So I have started setting the table properly just as I used to do when we still had children at home. I must say that somehow the meals "taste" better with a set table- like drinks seem to taste better when drunk from a glass!
Chris is more relaxed and talkative and has expressed his appreciation of my efforts too! Taking care with food presentation has proven just as important for us with just the two of us as when we had the family eating with us. During my reading of other blogs and Christian sites, I have noticed that a lot of women have been convicted of the same thing, so my news is by no means "hot off the press!"
Eating together is important for the family's sense of togetherness, whether there are just the two of you or just you and your children. I think we should endeavour to create a peaceful atmosphere whilst we are eating, both for our digestion's sake and our sense of pleasure. When teaching your little ones table manners, it is best that it be done in a calm way so that the children will not develop an aversion to coming to the dinner table.
I remember so well my early years with a drunken father glaring at us whilst we ate or if he was not eating, a bachelor uncle who lived with us, sitting 'tut tutting' as we tried to eat. (it is always easier to bring up someone else's children!) It was very stressful and because we were all nervous, peas would end up rolling over the table to the inevitable "tutting" chorus! We found we all scoffed our food down in order to be excused. The dinner hour was a time of great stress for us- so please make it a time of fellowship, laughter and love for your family!
The family that dines together experiences a richness to their life that the family that eats in front of the TV or in "shifts" misses out on. Aim to have all at the table ready to be served together. Make it the focal point of the day. With Chris being on rotating shift, sometimes I have to serve dinner at lunchtime. You may have to work around your family's schedule too. Even if you set the table nicely for your children and yourself, it will still be quality family time.
When your husband does get to dine with you when his shift allows, your children will be well mannered diners and you should have a great time of dining and fellowship. Dining together as a family is a practice that has been lost in recent years but has recently been rediscovered. May you enjoy rediscovering dining with your family and the pleasure that it brings.
© Glenys Robyn Hicks
Psalm 128:3 "Thy wife shall be as a fruitful vine by the sides of thine house, thy children like olive plants round about thy table."