I’m Tom McGrath and I believe that mealtime is a great time to experience the presence of God. Since social scientists say the family meal is on the endangered list my friend Bret Nicholaus and I decided to do our part to bring fun back to the family meal by creating The Meal Box: Fun Questions and Family Faith Tips to Get Mealtime Conversations Cookin’. Regular readers of People for Others have seen samples over the past few weeks.
Bret Nicholaus LOVES creating questions that help family members and friends learn fun and fascinating things about each other. He’s been writing question books for the last16 years, so this “interest” is nothing new for him. As for me, I’ve been creating resources to nurture family spirituality for decades.
In my years exploring family spirituality, I came to realize that Jesus was onto something when he invited us to break bread in memory of him. Research study after research study has contributed to a mass of evidence showing how regular family meals (5 or more times a week) are good for what ails us. They offer stability during stress and transition. They lower the risks of cigarette use, alcohol use, drug use, and sexual activity in teens and pre-teens. They lower the risk of eating disorders in teens and increase the likelihood of success in school as well as socially. Regular family meals increase children’s health, self-esteem, personal identity, and academic achievement. And though I’ve yet to see any research data on this aspect, I’m convinced regular family meals are also a powerful way to pass on a living faith and communicate a family’s values.
Bret and I both believe that mealtime affords one of the best opportunities to help families grow in their love for one another and in their faith—and a helpful way to do that is to begin with a FUN question!
So let’s get started with a question from The Meal Box. Post your answers—your HONEST answers—and we’ll get the conversation going! Together, we’ll have fun learning about one another and discovering ways to serve up a little faith at mealtime!
Almost everyone, adults included, has a favorite “place” in their mind to “go” when they need to get away from reality for a moment or two. What is your favorite place to daydream about?