In the crazy world of a single mother, we often have to pick and choose what matters, and mealtime is one of those things that just gets pushed to the side. We have to determine some core values and stick to those, oftentimes seeming dogmatic in our earnestness to maintain some consistency in the home.
One of those core values for me is MEALTIME together as a family.
In the early days of the journey of being a single mother family, the table was often the only time I would see the face of my 13 year -old daughter. Then as the years progressed, schedules became busy, and our daily dinner became a bi-weekly event. I began to require the kids to ask off work for our nights together. With the transition into college and adolescence, the kids became increasingly against mealtimes as a family…they always had somewhere else to be and someone else to be with. I often wavered but would come back to the core value. In 2008 everything shifted. We visited Israel and my children experienced the beauty of Shabbat (the Sabbath) When we got back to the USA, they began to make our family dinner a priority. I found them saying NO to friends and situations because it was “family night”.
As the years have progressed, our family has been torn apart and rebuilt. I have been forever grateful to my Wise Father who instilled this value of gathering with my family at the table in me.
This value has allowed the Lord to meet with us, restore our relationships, shape our future together, and bring hope to our family.
Throughout biblical history the table is of utmost importance.
Many of the great encounters with God center around the table:
- Abraham meeting with God in the desert
- Passover feast
- Jesus at the last supper
Even through the busyness of life as a single mother, we can help our children find Jesus and hope at the table.
If this has not been a practice of your family start small, one night a week; shut off the TV and gather around the table
- Make it FUN…do a picnic on the floor.
- Be consistent: choose a night and time and stick to it.
- Be ready for complaints, excuses etc. Keep a happy heart and positive attitude in the midst of meals.
- Don’t stress, it’s not about a fancy meal (frozen pizza or hot dogs can be a fun family meal) but about gathering together.
- Be PREPARED. Have some questions to ask to keep everyone talking.
- For older children give them responsibilities: setting table, coming up w/5 questions, creating a centerpiece, etc.
The Lord delights in bringing us to the table. He spreads His covering of love out over us at His table. He says “TASTE and see that the Lord is good” (Psalm 34:8a). He gives us the joy as mothers of bringing our kids to the table. We meet with Him and one another.
TASTE and see that the Lord is good.
How do you make mealtime matter?
By Misty Honnold
Mother of 2 adult girls, 2 adult sons & 2 amazing NEW sons (married to daughters)
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Executive Director and Founder of The Single MOM KC
Hostess of Mocha Moments For The Single MOM