Posts Tagged ‘family’

In worship this morning we used this video using the image of the family mealtime from Fuller Youth Institute.

Our college minister, Peter White, posted on his facebook :  “At the great banquet in the Kingdom of God, there is only the kids table.”   I love it. What are your thoughts?

Everybody is home right now. One daughter is home from overseas, another from college, and basketball season is not quite in full swing. That means LOTS of talking, laughing, some quarreling and of course, eating together.

One of the strongest staples of my childhood was the family dinner table. Not only did we eat together twice a day, but it was rare for us to have a mealtime without someone….or many someones…in attendance. We learned to laugh, discuss big ideas, tell stories and honor one another by listening to every age. When I was a boy, I heard it said that no missionary or visiting preacher came to Wilmore, KY who did not eat at my parent’s table.

I thought about this as Annamarie and I walked tonight. Last night, it was just our family. We were silly and laughed until tears came. Tonight we had young friends join us around the table. They listened and joined in as we told stories, passionate and hilarious, again wiping our eyes and gasping for breath. It’s not always this way. Sometimes we quarrel and misunderstand and even hurt each other. But that is a privilege too.

Some of my favorite people (yeah, there are a lot of you!) are Kara and Brad over at Fuller Youth Institute. Check out this quote on family dinners and the article it comes from. “Teens who have infrequent family dinners AND whose families dinners are pervaded by cell phones, laptops, and video games have even higher rates of risk behavior. They are three times more likely to use tobacco and marijuana and 2.5 times more likely to use alcohol.”

If I remember right from family systems class, since the 1950s up through 2009, there has been very little research so clear on the impact of a particular family behavior. I seem to remember that a minimum of four family meals a week was key. And I know I remember that you did not have to be a blood relative to benefit from a given family system’s mealtimes.

Many, many people have been around my dinner table at some time or another. In the late 90s we estimated almost 1,000 a year. in this season of our lives, the numbers are much smaller. It’s never been fancy….lots of biscuits and gravy….and chocolate chip bars…..and pizza, but lots of love and laughter, stories and schedules, and of course, prayers. I wonder if they became family mealtime “converts”…if that was something they held onto for themselves. I hope so.

Did you….do you…have family mealtimes? What did you learn…and hold onto? What are you sharing together besides the food?

Last night we dressed in orange.   I ran to Radio Shack to buy the HDMI cord that would connect my laptop to the TV.  Hannah drove home from Dallas in time to see the big game with her family.  Mom bought orange soda (yuk) and made homemade pizza.  Our emotions swung back and forth until Oklahoma State kicked the winning field goal in overtime!

To tens of thousands of people in Tulsa, that was absolutely normal for last night.  But what was striking for me is that a year ago, none of us cared.  I have always been an SEC fan.   All of our orange clothing is new.  What happened?  And what can I learn from this conversion for (forgive me, OSU fans) for things that really matter?!?

We have lots of friends that are OSU fans.  They are not shy to talk about their allegiance.  They are quick to throw parties, invite others to join them, and have a blast.  The game schedule shapes their fall.  Being a fan is a major part of their identity.

The school really welcomed my daughter (currently a freshman at OSU).  They wanted her, they pursued her, they made things easy and fun to get oriented and become a part.  They did the same for us as parents.  When asked how she chose OSU, my daughter replies, “It’s more like they chose me.”

OSU fans are friendly.  They have that reputation and we have seen it lived out.  I’m a lifelong KY Wildcat basketball fan.  No one is more loyal than Big Blue Nation, but we can be snobs.  And argumentative.  And have to be right.  And know it all.  At Rupp Arena in Lexington, the crowd reacts as one voice faster than the referee can blow the whistle.  To go tailgating at OSU was to be introduced to a different kind of fan.

We had a good time last night.  I think we have a new allegiance….a conversion even.  What do you think?  Is there anything to be learned?