5 Reasons Family Meals are Awesome

I recently came across this brief article by Brian Howard on why family meals are crucial.

Of course, this got me all weepy about growing up a Pearson.

imagesSitting together as a family – around the table – was NOT an option growing up. Until I graduated high school, if we were all at home – we were eating together. In fact, the ONLY time I can remember there being the slightest exception was on Thursday nights for The Cosby Show.

Were there times I hated it? You betcha.

Were there times I wanted to watch TV or play Nintendo or talk to my girlfriend on the phone? Of course. Who doesn’t remember the excitement that comes when you get to tell your girl that you beat up Mike Tyson AND got to the coveted 8th level on Super Mario Brothers. . .  all on the same day!?!?!?

Were there times when I didn’t even want to look at my sisters or parents, due to various circumstances, much less eat with them? Yes.

Were there times I wanted to drive to McDonald’s instead of eat Tuna Casserole. . . again? Oh my, yes.

Would I trade those times for anything in the world? No way.

Do I do the same thing with my family of 5 now? Oh yeah.



You want to laugh? Eat supper with your family. There is a dynamic that happens that will have you rolling in the floor at/with each other that will not happen anywhere else.


There are things we Pearson’s still laugh and talk about that happened at the supper table (Hey guys, “float a biscuit”???). If you make a habit of eating together I promise you memories for a lifetime that will be the topic at Christmas, birthdays, weddings, etc.


What I mean here is simply that I don’t want to go to bed at night with regrets. I don’t want to watch Luke walk across the stage to get his diploma and cry like a girl because of the opportunities I missed. I want to be full of joy and fulfillment during these times. The thought of my children driving off to college haunts me enough. I cannot imagine them doing this while I was thinking how I much I wish I would have turned off ‘Duck Dynasty’ reruns to talk with my kids.


I think it honors the cook when we turn everything off, sit down together, and enjoy the meal she has worked so hard to prepare for us. It gives me an opportunity to teach manners to the kids. It gives me a chance to brag on what a great cook she is. It allows Katie and me to demonstrate what marriage and manners look like. If they don’t get it from us, where they gonna get it?


Getting 30 minutes to an hour to talk with the family – just us – is the ideal time to talk about what happened during the day. It is a perfect – I think God ordained – way to find out what is going on in their lives in a ‘non-threatening’ way. If everyone is sharing, then it is weird when one person doesn’t. It is another way parents can get into the hearts and lives of their children.


I know life happens. I get that. I also know distractions are everywhere. When I was growing up, there were no cell phones. Heck, we had to actually walk all the way to the telephone when it rang. And even then it had this curly thing called a chord attached to it (crazy, right?). But I don’t think it is ever out of our reach for families to AT LEAST commit to sit down together – just your family – and eat together one night a week. Go ahead. Make the commitment. I can guarantee you will be glad you did.



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3 thoughts on “5 Reasons Family Meals are Awesome

  1. Johnny Isbell says:

    Dear Pastor Matt,All four of our “kids” are grown up now, but Johnny and I started this eating at least one meal together when they were very young. We also gave each of them a chance to lead a prayer. When they over the age to pray “God is Great, God is good”, we asked them to think of something they could say thanks for that day! Our table life was always active and interesting!Short story: Melody, our youngest, was a picky eater, and she knew that she was required to eat something that was good for her. Often, she would look at the delicious food I always cooked, take a look at me, and get up and say, “OK, I’ll fix me a peanut butter and jelly sandwich.”Johnny and I are impressed with your sense of humor, efforts to pull our church family together, and reaching out to our community! We have traveled and lived many places and have experienced being members and involved in at least fifteen different churches during our marriage. Hope to be able to sit down with you and have a short personal visit soon and share some of our ideas!How do we accomplish that?In His Love,Becky Isbell

    Date: Thu, 14 Mar 2013 14:14:10 +0000 To: johnny.isbell@hotmail.com

  2. Lauren Cox says:

    Matt, I am friends with your mom in Athens. I really enjoy reading your blogs and this one especially. Growing up, we sat and ate, talked and laughed around the table as a family. That carried over to my family. We never answered the phone during family time. And we have made some great memories.

  3. Libby Kloap says:

    Matt, Sitting down for dinner with the family is important in so many ways! We had dinner at the table with our boys as much as possible. I would not trade that time for anything! One of our boys still will not eat anywhere except at his family table. Some things do work out well. This is one thing young families really need to make a priority! Thanks for writing about it! Thanks for all that you do!

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