I was raised in a family that was pretty close for the most part! We had our challenges and our difficulties, but I never doubted that my parents loved my siblings and I and always wanted the best for us.
There were many ways that my parents showed us their love, but one of the most apparent ways was the intentional time that we spent together as a family. My mom had one rule in our house: Everyone eats dinner together every night at the table! She didn't care if you weren't hungry, if you were mad, happy, tired, etc. You could always count on the fact that you were going to sit at the table and be a part of dinner time.
Because I grew up with this as the norm, it was always strange to me when a friend would sleep over, we'd sit down to have dinner together, and they'd lean over and whisper the same question in my ear each time, "You guys do this EVERY night?" And we did. We DID do it every night.
Now as a married adult, I see what my parents were doing here. We spent valuable time as a family. We talked about our days, I shared with my parents and siblings about problems at school, accomplishments in classes, what the Lord had been teaching me. And my family did the same. They were silently telling my siblings and I how much they loved us. They wanted to spend time with us. They wanted to invest in our lives. They wanted to be there for us.
My husband and I now have dinner together every night at our table. Sometimes we're tired and he convinces me to watch TV while we eat, but for the most part, we sit together and share about our day. About students at UL who are growing in their relationship with Christ, we talk about problems we may be having in our marriage, we share about what the Lord is teaching us, and silly things that just make us happy. This family time is sacred to me now. And it's all thanks to the lesson from my parents that family is important. The time you spend with them is sacred. So gather your clan tonight and share a meal at the dinner table together. You won't regret it!