This is particularly for the dads (while we’re likely at home more).
I’ve previously said that the table is our most important piece of furniture. But let me encourage you to particularly use it at the moment. We obviously can’t invite guests around it, but, if we have children, we can gather our children around it.
Teaching our children to sit down, to sit still, to stay sitting at a table is hard work. It’s much easier to not bother gathering our family around a table for meal times. The TV keeps them quiet, and it’s less aggro. If you do bother to sit up, it’s all too easy to zone out once everyone’s there. But this is the ideal time to train our children to sit up. At the table, you learn what it is to be part of a household. Each individual has to “fit in” with others. It requires cooperation – listening, passing the salt, timing when to speak, learning the rhythms of conversation. All that etiquette of waiting to eat before you pray, and “please, may I get down” knocks off the rough edges of individualism.
Notice how Psalm 128:3 describes the idyllic home:
“Your wife shall be like a fruitful vine within your house; Your children will be like shoots, round your table”.
I know there might be some families at church who don’t even have a table to eat around; well, it’s worth re-arranging your house, moving that sofa and buying one! It’s not the tablet that’s the most important parenting device in your home; it’s your table. If we want to be godly dads, who lead our children to the Lord, the table is one of the most significant sites for that task.
And if we make progress now, it’ll pay off with them sitting still when church re-starts.