In our home, we’ve found that we best connect with our children around the dinner table. We teach them to share their ideas, dreams, and stories around the dinner table to build those muscles of communication. We want to reach their hearts while they are little, so they will be in the habit of sharing their lives with us. We are richly blessed by the priceless conversations that happen around our long, white, repurposed farmhouse table.
- Teach our children about the heart of God and the life of Jesus.
- Have meaningful discussions about what is happening in their lives, what they are curious about, and their greatest dreams.
- Connect with their hearts in a way that we hope will prepare them to keep connecting and sharing their hearts as they grow.
- Relate as a family learning more about each person’s interests and favorites through “Family Dinner Games.” You can read more about our Family Dinner Games in this post.
My husband and I have been parents for nearly eight years and we’ve found a few resources along the way that our family considers a valuable part of our mealtimes.
One of my dreams for families is that parents and children will form meaningful and lasting relationships. I’m at the beginning of these family years, but I already treasure these resources for the way they bring my family together and bond us so deeply. I would love to share them with you, sweet friends.
- Melissa and Doug Family Dinner Box of Questions Our middle child has loved leading “Family Dinner Games” since he was a toddler. He asked us our favorite animal more times than I can count. (My children know all about my love for giraffes, I tell you.) We bought these cards for him as a small Christmas gift a few years ago. We absolutely love what we learn about each other through these simple coversation cards. I’m grateful for the topics that have been sparked by these cards. If not for these dandies, I wouldn’t know nearly as much about my children and husband. Truly. I wouldn’t think to answer these questions on my own.
- The Jesus Storybook Bible:
we have several children’s Bibles in our home including most of the popular Bibles. This Bible has been my favorite for teaching my children about the heart of God in a way that reaches the hearts of little ones. The author, Sally Lloyd Jones, points each story throughout the old and New Testament to Jesus in a way that children can easily comprehend. As an elementary-school teacher on hiatus, I value the clear delivery and age-appropriate writing style of this particular Bible. I also deeply appreciate the theological aspects of this Bible, conveying the truth that Jesus was fully God and fully present from the very beginning and that God is the same yesterday, today, and forever. Often times, children’s Bible stories cause little ones (and even grown ups) to think of Jesus as a creation of God that first appeared in a manger. We know, however, that the Bible tells us about Jesus as a part of the Holy Trinity from the beginning of Genesis. The Jesus Storybook Bible makes this clear to children. Teaching this from the very beginning seems to be preventing my boys from having to untangle common Biblical misconceptions, making it a bit less complicated to see the heart of God and the Gospel in full. I’m extremely fond of this Bible and love the way it lends to age-appropriate, theological discussions around our dinner table.
- Unwrapping the Greatest Gift by Ann Voskamp This is our family’s Christmas devotional. Similar to the Jesus Storybook Bible, Ann Voskamp’s daily Advent stories give a full picture of the Gospel of Jesus from the Old Testament prophecies to Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem. To be completely honest, my husband and I know far more about the lineage of Jesus and the Old Testament from sharing this book with our children. As much as I love Christmas traditions, this book’s daily reading at the dinner table may be at the top of my list. I cannot recommend it enough to fellow parents. This book has completely changed the way our family views Christmas. I couldn’t be more thankful for that.
May our dinner tables serve as sacred spaces for sharing hearts as we share meals. May we form practices of connection while our children are still small. May our family culture and our love for one another be shaped by our love for Jesus.
From my heart to yours,