True discipleship must reflect the fact that God values our voice, thought, and will. Dinnertime discussions reflect and enact this value, making a place where everyone can be heard, be exposed to truth, and have the space to develop convictions in the context of community. Through dinnertime discussions, convictions can be formed, confidence can be gained, conversation can be practiced, and consideration can be taught.
As we approach this week's way, let us understand that helping our children practice forgiveness over and over again, will establish a pattern in their hearts to remember when they must make this choice as adults. Train up a child in the way he should go--in forgiving 70 X 70 X70 and so on, and forgiveness will become a part of his paradigm for life. If we all loved this way and forgave, the world would indeed become a place open to the heart and message of Christ.
I am so excited to share this Mini-Podcast with you. We sat down quickly together and recorded this conversation after a quick breakfast the morning I left for Nashville. I know you will enjoy hearing his lovely accent and his insight about stories, an inspirational poem and thoughts from C.S. Lewis about table time.
The starting point of your influence is the state of your own heart, mind and soul. If there is purity, wisdom, strength, faith, love and righteousness there, then when you pour out your life, those around you will be blessed indeed.
“The love of beauty is taste, the creation of beauty is art.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Serving others helps children to learn how to think of someone other than themselves. Often, serving others softens their hearts, and when they are the one served it comforts them in times of need, and obviously makes their loads in life easier. Serving is a skill and character quality that is easy to spot because it is so rare in adults today.
The story of the Clarkson family has been written at tables. Not with pen and paper, but with words and people, food and fellowship, talk and time. Whatever kind of table it might be—breakfast, lunch, dinner; picnic or deck; plain or fancy; small, tall, wood, metal, or rock; bare or cloth-covered; even the ground—it becomes our family table when we sit down together to eat and drink and be and belong. The delightful fruits of God’s creation we share together fill and fuel us as God’s life- breathed and image-bearing creatures, and our shared story grows from the table’s Spirit-infused life coming alive in us.
Love must become a trained habit. Living by feelings is not a choice. We must help our children to "become strong inside" by choosing what is right, beyond negative feelings. Living in submission to the power of the Holy Spirit and choosing to practice love is what is at necessary here. Obedience to practicing love and learning to forgive is a pathway to maturity.
What does it mean to be transformed, changed, and reshaped as an antidote to being conformed to the world? In this episode, Sally ponders these ideas as she discusses chapters four and five of the Life-giving Table and teaches us about how family culture has the distinct and grace-giving power to both change and protect us. She inspires listeners to instill a sense of "this is who we are" and "this is what we believe" into the hearts of her children as they gather at the table, and gives tools to not only create a vision to define our own family culture, but to practically cultivate a legacy.
How are you painting a vision for the person they will become when they learn to "take the reins?" How are you cultivating a vision for the person you might become when you allow God to take the reins and lead you?