Family Dinners

Years ago, when our children were small, my husband and I decided to do something that seemed so radical to us at the time. We decided that whenever it was humanly possible, we would sit down at the dining table as a family and eat dinner together. When my husband’s schedule didn’t allow him to be home for family dinner time, the children and I would have dinner together at the table, with their father’s place set for him in anticipation of his returning home at any moment.

This became our habit pattern, and a very special time for us as a family. It gave us time to slow down, sit down together, discuss the day’s events, and laugh together. Dinner didn’t have to be fancy. In fact, when the kids were little and my husband was off serving our country, you could expect to see something like macaroni and cheese from a box with ground beef or hot dogs thrown in to bulk it up a bit.

As the children grew (and my culinary expertise improved), family dinners were simply expected. It was just a natural part of who we were and what we did as a family.

Our children are older now and no longer live at home. But when they visit (which is quite frequently), we still sit down at the table together for family dinners. As the years have gone by, we have found ourselves spending more and more time sitting at our dining table (which just happens to be the same table we had when we started our family dinners together). We find ourselves lingering over our meals, and sitting together at the table long after everyone has finished eating. We enjoy our time together at our family dinner.

I hope my kids will continue this tradition when they have families of their own. Neither my husband nor I grew up in homes where family dinners were the norm ~ that’s why it seemed like such a radical idea to us when we first began actually having dinner together at the table, with no distractions. At the very least, my kids will know what to expect when, in the future, they bring their spouses and children to our home.

Family. It’s what’s for dinner.


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About Trish

Trish describes herself as a true mountain girl and lover of all winter sports, including curling. Even though she longs to be near her beloved mountains, Trish is happy to bloom wherever God plants her. A military wife (USAF, retired), mom of 3, veteran homeschooler, and nana to two of the most beautiful grandchildren ever, Trish enjoys reading, photography and fiber arts (i.e. knitting and crochet). Trish's heart is to mentor and minister to other women, emphasizing the importance of a relationship with Christ and finding significance through that relationship. She and her husband Roger currently live and bloom in Arkansas. Trish is co-founder of A Martha Heart; in addition to her responsibilities as a managing partner of A Martha Heart, she loves her jobs as wife, mom and nana, and is optimistic each day about what God may bring into her life next.


  1. We generally ate together at night, our special dinner table time was on Sundays…I became queen of the casseroles, for they could be fixed ahead of time, and the crockpot queen too, for I found all sorts of things that could be put in and be ready when we got home from church. I always used my good china and silver and good glasses..not cloth napkins, for I did’t want to wash and iron them, but I know that my children have fond memories of those lunches and the desserts I fixed etc…what memories we can build and what iron we put in thier lives. I encourage everyone to do so…they will never be sorry.

  2. Carol Ray Lackland says:

    My dad was gone a lot when I was growing up. I was the youngest of 3 girls, and one of the anchors of our lives was the evening meal. We ate gathered around the table every night. I had two children and we gathered 2 meals a day…breakfast and dinner.
    While my son and daughter do more eating out with their families than we did…both of our children love to cook and entertain and sit around a dinner table to talk. They both excel at cooking and asking others to join their family celebrations and I’m so grateful.

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