Family, Food, and Real Relationships

Adam was alone in the Garden of Eden.

Genesis 2:18 reminds us that it’s not good for us to be alone, and consequently we need both a relationship with God and with other people.

But what is it that we need from other people?  How about attention?

God has created us with many important needs that can only be met within the context of relationships. One of those relational needs is the need for attention.

THE DEFINITION OF ATTENTION:  entering another person’s world or knowing what it’s like to be in another person’s shoes.

Meal time is the perfect time for strengthening relationships. Below are some great conversation starters to use around the table and they will help meet the need of attention!

part 1

Take turns finishing the sentences below, but kids go first:
  • The best thing about being a teenager/kid/parent is…[and tell why]
  • The hardest thing about being a teenager/kid/parent is…[and tell why]
  • During my school day/work day, the hardest thing I face is…[and tell why]
  • During my school day/work day, the part I enjoy the most is…[and tell why]
  • For kids only: If adults really knew what it was like to be my age, they would understand that…

Everyone in the family group will want to listen carefully to all answers.

There are no wrong answers!

You will also want to make sure that any answers are accepted without dismissal.  Refrain from any comments like, “Oh, yea. You think that now.  Just wait till you get to be my age.”  Or “Oh sure. That’s easy for you to say. You don’t know what it’s really like.” Or “It’s been way too long for you to remember what it’s like to be my age.

After giving participants time to complete these sentences, ask the following questions:
  • Were you surprised by anything that was said?  Why? 
  • Did you gain any insights or a different perspective about what it’s like to be in each person’s shoes?

part 2

Next, adults get to share. 
It is important for adults to model vulnerable sharing, because we can’t expect students to share the vulnerable places of their lives if we are reluctant to do the same.  After all, God entered our world by sending His Son to earth.  He knows what it’s like to be in our shoes.  God entered our world; parents have the opportunity to model the same initiative for their children.

We model the heart of our Heavenly Father when we enter our kids’ world.

The students or kids at the table can choose which topic they would like for the adults to talk about.  Ask each student or child to pick from the following topics.  Each adult then shares accordingly:
  • Tell about your first kiss
  • Tell about a time when you got in trouble with your parents
  • Tell about your best or worst dating experience
  • Tell about your best friend in school and what you enjoyed doing together.

Close your family discussion by praying together. Ask God to remind you often of what it is like to be in the other person’s shoes.

Did you enjoy this month's content? It is an excerpt from EXTREME HOME MAKEOVER. Pick up a copy today for a complete look at relationships in and around your family!

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