I have heard many women over the years tell me how they hate to cook or they can’t cook. Some see it as just another chore to be done during the day. Sometimes I get to feeling like that. When I start thinking that way, I have to remind myself of the words of the apostle Paul who said, “Take every thought captive.” In reality, I think that eating together as a family is a very important part of being a family. Maybe we should look at it as an honor to gather around the table. God himself is preparing a table at which we will gather one day. If it is important for His family should it not be important to mine.

Matthew 8:11 “Many people will come from east and west and sit at My table with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven.”

Luke 13:39, “And they will come from the east and west and from north and south and will recline at the table in the kingdom of God.”

Luke 22:29-30, “That you may eat and drink at My table in My kingdom.”

Revelations 19:9, “Blessed are they which are called unto the marriage supper of the Lamb.

To be able to gather our families around the table we need to have a plan. I am amazed at the amount of young women who don’t know how to cook or plan for a meal.

First, you do need a plan. I usually plan my menus for a two-week period just because that is the way our pay periods fall. I plan for three meals a day for 14 days. Then I list everything I need to prepare these meals. That way I am not trying to figure out what to have thirty minutes before supper or lunch is to be on the table.

Don’t get into the habit of buying and serving all prepackaged foods. A few now and then may be fine. It is not just about preparing a meal, but taking care of what we put into our bodies and the little bodies that sit at our table. We will be at our best when we are eating healthy. God did not intend for us to misuse food. When it becomes a god to us then we have crossed the line with food.

The meals you serve don’t have to be fancy. Keep it simple. Teach your children how to set the table correctly. Let them help with the menu planning. Make the meal a special time. Ask questions about random things. Last night I asked what they would do with a million dollars. The answers were interesting. My six year old said he would help children in a hospital. I don’t know where that came from, but it gave me a little peak inside the person he is becoming. I also asked them if they could go anywhere in the world where would you go? You get the idea. Don’t ask how was your day? Get creative. Maybe you can start focusing on one meal a week being special. Make sure you turn off the TV, radio, phone, ipod and anything else that would keep attention away from what could become the best time of your day.

originally published November 2007, by littlesanctuary