Most Christian parents really do want to spend time having Bible devotions with the kids everyday. Some parents have it all worked out, and are greatly disciplined and get it done faithfully. But for many others, with every member of the family on a different schedule, it can be very challenging. But hopefully parents are paying attention to what even the secular world knows which is……
The Most Important Time of Day
Family dinners are more important than play, story time and other family events in the development of vocabulary of younger children. (Harvard Research, 1996)
Frequent family meals are associated with a lower risk of smoking, drinking and using drugs; with a lower incidence of depressive symptoms and suicidal thoughts; and with better grades in 11 to 18 year olds. (Archives of Pediatrics and Adolescent Medicine, 2004)
Adolescent girls who have frequent family meals, and a positive atmosphere during those meals, are less likely to have eating disorders. (University of Minnesota, 2004)
Kids who eat most often with their parents are 40% more likely to say they get mainly A’s and B’s in school than kids who have two or fewer family dinners a week. (National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse at Columbia University)
What About Spiritual Health?
So we all want our kids to emotionally healthy. But what about spiritual health? Is that an automatic by-product of eating supper with your family? Well….depends on a number of factors. But we should not assume than in and of itself eating supper with the family has significant spiritual impact unless spiritual issues are being addressed.
First of all, if you are a splintered family at supper time, maybe you should seriously reconsider your schedule and do something drastic—like drop out of half of your activities! But secondly have you ever considered that this might be the perfect time to impact your children deliberately and purposefully with spiritual issues–when everyone is together even for a short time?
The scary truth is the average parent spends 38.5 minutes per week in meaningful conversation with their children. (A.C. Nielsen Co.) So when, Christian parent, are you passing your faith values and beliefs on to your children?
Click on the images below to talk you to mini-devotionals and conversation starters that you can have around the dinner table, in the car as you’re chauffeuring your kids from one place to the next, or as you are tucking them into bed at night. Then write and let us know how it went.