The kitchen table has always been a place of joy for my family.
Sitting together around the table, we seize the opportunity to discuss our day. We solve problems together and role play solutions to the great dilemmas of life, such as what do you do when a boy in class keeps calling you an old lady. (Our solution was to acknowledge him by name and ask how he was doing today — we figured he just needed a little attention.)
No other venue offers such an excellent opportunity to learn how to make a bid for a conversation, how to hold everyone’s attention when telling a story, or the ever important how to control the volume level of an excited dialogue.
Life happens at the kitchen table. Valuable lessons are learned somewhere between the passing of the peas, sharing the last cookie, and not forgetting to clear your place.
Of all the benefits of the kitchen table, I believe its greatest potential is the opportunity it affords for spiritual discipleship. We discuss the practical application of our faith at the kitchen table.
As far back as I can remember, we have played versions of Bible Trivia while eating dinner together, continually inviting our children to know and understand the Word of God. Recently we stumbled upon a simple, yet amazingly powerful version of Bible Trivia that has upped the level of discipleship at the von Atzigen table.
“Where in the Bible does it talk about…?” This is the simple question that is asked, and then my jaw drops as we go around the table and I listen to my children recite Old Testament Bible stories and relay the teachings of Jesus or the letters of Paul.
This simple question allows them to analyze what they have learned in their years of Vacation Bible Schools and Kids’ Church and then apply those lessons to the question at hand.
Right now our questions are simple. “Where in the Bible does it talk about swords, scrolls, water, or honey?” have been some of the questions we have tackled.
But, a day will come when the question applies to a more serious topic.
- Where in the Bible does it talk about broken hearts?
- Where in the Bible does it talk about forgiveness?
- Where in the Bible does it talk about God’s healing?
- Where in the Bible does it talk about wasting your gifts?
- Where in the Bible does it talk about what you are going through today?
If they can answer the question with lambs, princesses, and crowns today, then maybe they can answer the question of life tomorrow.
The book of Deuteronomy gives us some practical instructions for discipling our children.
Fix these words of mine in your hearts and minds; tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Teach them to your children, talking about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates… (Deuteronomy 11:18-20 NIV)
And at the kitchen table, talk about them at the kitchen table!