What's For Dinner?

I have a friend who is a single male in his late forties. Career-wise, he’s quite successful. And his passion for Christ and genuine love for others is obvious after only a few minutes in conversation. But even more striking is his story of how he found a level of contentment that many single adults never find. The answer was food.

My friend works with singles and young adults in his local congregation. Because of his compassion, he often found that groups of young adults would “drop by” his house and wind up hanging out on any given night of the week. This made for plenty of interesting and entertaining moments, but it also made for quite a bit of stress and chaos. Then one night, my friend decided that this group of twenty–somethings could probably use a real, home-cooked meal. He went to the grocery store, filled his cart, and came back to prepare a meal. Those who felt comfortable doing so chipped in to help with preparations. The event was magical. My friend and his ten visitors shared a meal together, but somehow, they shared something more. They shared stories. They shared dreams. They shared life. And they decided soon after that they should do it all again sometime soon.

That was many months ago. Now this “family dinner” is the highlight of the week and everyone pitches in to buy and prepare food. As word spreads, more and more people are anxious to get in on the deal. Why? I think Miriam Weinstein, author of The Surprising Power of Family Meals, has the answer: “Sitting down to a meal together draws a line around us. It encloses us and, for a brief time, strengthens the bonds that connect us with other members of our self-defined clan, shutting out the rest of the world.”

So, did you and your family have regular family meals as you were growing up? If so, what do you remember most about those times? In your experience, what is it about sharing a meal that typically makes it such an enjoyable bonding experience?

Christ often used mealtime as ministry time during His brief time on earth. Even in His stories, meals often played a big role. How would your relationships be different if you adopted this method and mentality?
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About Eric Wilbanks

Brand strategist. Wordsmith. Change architect. Training specialist. DiSC Certified. Family guy (hot wife and 4 cool kids). Love my Bible, guitars, baseball, and MMA.


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