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By:  Laura Miller

My husband and I received a used oak table with four wobbly chairs and two table leaves for a wedding present.  We were appreciative, but being newly married with no children and a small apartment we were unsure how to make it fit into our little kitchen. We were able to utilize it in the corner with two chairs and no leaves. Little did we know what an invaluable gift we had been given. This table has been with us for almost 25 years. Although it has new chairs, it has become a treasured family heirloom. 

For me, the quote “the fondest memories are made around the kitchen table” is more than a familiar saying.  It is a reality. Dinner is my favorite time of day. While family is gathered around the table we catch up on our day.  This might involve anything from practical inquiries about the day, to more detailed or fun questions reserved for the child that needs additional prompting to open up. We daily use the invaluable tool of the family table to feed our bodies and souls simultaneously through laughter, discussion, and prayer. This has created a bond that has strengthened our family through the ages and stages of life.   

Over the years, our table has been used for everything - art projects, homework, reading, coffee time, board games, family gatherings. It is where my older children still gather when they come home from college. We catch up on each other’s lives’ while still utilizing the same shared chores and mealtime connections from their childhood.  The number of people at our table may change from time to time, but our shared faith, love, and sense of connection with family and Jesus has remained intact. The nicks and scratches on our table are testament to a lifetime of laughter, tears, and memories we have made around it.  

As we approach the thanksgiving table this year and prepare to gather around to glorify God, count our blessings, and make memories, I encourage you to begin a new tradition of fostering daily relationships and memories around your table. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Make mealtime together a non-negotiable priority. 
  • Choose the meal of the day that works best for your family.
  • Use mealtime as an avenue for communication, education, preparation, and shared chores. 
  • Make the family table a media free zone! 
  • Have fun. Work, play, talk, and pray together.

Distance and commitments often distract us from the true meaning of a family dinner. We must intentionally slow down and thank God for fellowship with family and friends. 2 Corinthians 4:15 says, “All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.” Making the family table more of a regular occurrence will help you embrace family dinners - large or small – and create a lifetime of treasured memories for your family.



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