Sunday, May 07, 2006

Dinner After The Conference... An Historic Event

Last night, after the conference had ended, Jim Bob and I went to the Sprouls' home to have dinner with R.C. Sr., R.C. Jr., Howard Phillips, and his son, Doug Phillips. What a memorable evening! I think as long as I live I will remember dining with these wonderful examples of Christ's love within families.

So, there we were, sitting across the table from the Senior Mr. Phillips, with Doug and his lovely wife, Beall, sitting to my left, and the topic came up of the family table... you know, that thing that has become obsolete in our day. Well, I can tell you that it has not become obsolete in the Phillips' family... and it shows. Their children are content, peaceful, and joyful. More importantly, you can tell they truly enjoy being around their parents. In fact, when my oldest son asked one of them what his favorite thing to do is, this Phillips boy said that his favorite thing to do is be with his dad. Does that tell you how important honor and living out Christ's love is within this family?

The family table was also important in the Sproul home, where my husband's boss grew up. The family affection, tenderness, and camaraderie is evident in their family to any observer. There is a loving-kindness evident in their mutual respect for one another. R.C. Jr. and his wife, Denise, have children who also regularly exhibit the fruit of the Spirit toward eachother and toward those who visit their home...this I have witnessed first hand many times.

What I am getting at here is the lost art of a patriarch-led family-dining experience every evening in our homes. This is a tool that binds children to their fathers, and families together in mutual love, honor, and respect. Children are taught to listen when their father speaks, to revere his stories, opinions, and to accept his instruction in the most loving ways. I actually saw this lived out in front of my eyes last night at dinner. Doug Phillips still sits and listens to his father's stories with wide-eyed attention (as did we all!). The stories were wonderful, and we also listened with great roaring laughter as R.C. Sr. and Howard Phillips exchanged stories about their common love of baseball. I had the sense that I was sitting in the midst of a truly significant event... I'm sure now that I was.

This morning over breakfast, Jim Bob was sitting quietly looking out the window when I suddenly opened my mouth and said that I was still thinking about the family dinner table as we discussed it with Doug and Howard. Jim Bob confessed that he was thinking about the same thing. We agreed that we are going to change the way we do meals, especially dinner, at our home. Daddy will be in the lead during conversation. This will mean educating the children on a much deeper level than we have ever done before. It will also mean a turning of our hearts toward our children and our children turning their hearts toward us.

More on this in a later post... I'm tired from the conference right now and I want to make sure that I do justice to this incredible weekend!

5 comments:

Duchess of Fife said...

What a great opportunity! Sounds like you were learning and being greatly blessed this weekend! :)

Anonymous said...

Excellent Post! As a child, I remember the time our large family spent around our family meal table. Supper time was an important and anticipated time in our home. Our friends who have founded Franklin Springs Family Media have just produced a DVD called The Family Meal Table soon to be released about this very subject. www.franklinspringsfamilymedia.com is the website and I think they have information out there about the DVD.

B in Tennessee

Amy Howard said...

Dear "B,"

Yes, I have heard of the DVD from Franklin Springs...more on that in my next post ;)

Amy Joe

Laura D. said...

Hi Amy!!!

I was catching up on Kim's blog when I came across your posting. I'm so excited to find your blog. Although I am glad you love it where you are, and everyone is well and happy, we still miss your shining face.

Blessings to all of you!!
(say hi to rachele for me)

Laura

Amy Howard said...

Laura,

Thanks for writing! I miss all the sweet faces there also. Have you been hitch-hiking in C.P. lately? ;0)