Habit #2 - The Home is the School of Love
There is a lot more going on at the daily dinner table than what you may think. This daily ritual forms us. It teaches us how to love each other and the daily predictability of it reminds us of the promise-keeping nature of God.
I know that for a lot of families, this daily routine seems rather mundane. The table can often be a place where sibling bickering and complaining can happen. The chore of getting dinner ready and cleaning up afterwards can also be challenging. “What is for dinner?” Just the thought of knowing what to prepare day after day can be tiring and exhausting.
But that is part of the formative nature of the dinner table. All these things are ways that the family serves each other and spends time together. The daily provision and process are expressions of love.
Furthermore, in an increasingly isolated world, this space is becoming more and more sacred and needed. With the busyness of schedules and the distractions that come from our mobile devises, it is vital that we have a time in the day where the family can be together and be present to each other.
Granted, most days the conversation will center around the mundane things of life. But there is nothing wrong with that. But the cumulative effect of this mundane habit is that it creates an atmosphere where meaningful and instructive conversation can happen. It could be something that happened in the news or something that happened at school...or, wherever; and it provides an opportunity to apply faith to real life.
Even secular sources are championing the value of daily sharing a meal together. In his book The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg refers to this habit as being a “keystone habit.” A “keystone habit” is a habit that impacts a host of other habits. He writes, “Studies have documented that families who habitually eat dinner together seem to raise children with better home-work skills, higher grades, greater emotional control, and more confidence.”
So, let me encourage you to practice the daily habit of sharing a meal with others. I can’t think of a better habit to pursue as we come to the end of a long period of isolation due to COVID.
So what could this habit look like for you?
- As a family, make it a habit to share one meal together each day.
- Involve the family in serving one another during this time.
- Consider who you might invite to join you at the table. Is there a neighbor, a co-worker, a classmate, a church member or family you could invite? (Tip: Don’t feel the pressure to “entertain” people by making it fancy. Just extend simple hospitality.)
- If you are single, take the encouragement to look for ways to eat in public, meet others in public, or take the initiative to invite others around your table.
Give it a try!
Join me tomorrow night for a Workshop on the Four Daily Habits. It will be instructive and interactive as we learn from each other.