Better is a little with the fear of the Lord, than great treasure with trouble. Better is a dinner of herbs where love is, than a fatted calf with hatred. (Proverbs 15:16-17)
What Is On Your Dinner Table?
Central to every home is what is found at the dinner table. The hearth of the family spirit is expressed by the unity of the father and mother gathering with their children around a table of wood. One of the most powerful tools for building a family is seldom used in our hectic, hurried and harried world. Technology has replaced conversation. Schedules destroy family time. Relationships are compromised for the pursuit of the American dream. The picture of God is shunned away in a dust covered Bible unopened for lack of time and interest. Placed on the altar of trivial pursuits is the fatted calf of prosperity, pleasure and poverty of spirit. Families are dysfunctional for a reason. Conflicts in marriages and battles with teenagers are the norm. Treasures fill the house and garage but there is no fear of the Lord in the heart of the home.
The family is being torn apart and dismantled by the failed belief that more is better. Husbands and wives work tirelessly to live the life of material gain. Parents spend little time with their children because they are trying to keep their heads above the tsunami of financial woes that engulf them with worry. Books are written touting the wisdom of man to find peace and prosperity in harmony and still the elusive dream of contentment fails to materialize in a material driven world. Long ago, the Lord God who made man answered the question of life in a simple proverb that shows the deepest meaning of life known to man. It is better to have a little and be happy than to spend a life of woe to have more.
Contentment is the elusive dream. We have been convinced that happiness will only come if we have more and more, we work all our lives to gain the greatest things in the world, and then we die. We take nothing with us. Great treasure brings its own trouble. One of the first things people do who win the lottery is buy a security system. Why? They did not need one before. Now they worry that someone will come and take away their newfound wealth. Wealth did not bring happiness but pain, worry, anxiousness and fear. Fearing the Lord and enjoy a little is where real joy comes. A dinner of herbs with a loving family is better than building a home of wealth where there is no love.
The dinner table is the barometer of the family. How many families sit down together daily for a meal? This requires everyone present, seated in a chair and no cell phones within 1000 feet or IPads or other devices and the television turned (wait for it) off. No one is allowed to rush out before dinner is over. A magical thing begins to happen. Parents talk (that is a communication term) with their children and children (including teenagers) have a conversation (involves mouth, ears, eyes and brain) with their parents and siblings. The table may be filled with herbs but the family is together and sharing in their love for one another. There is nothing wrong with having a fatted calf on the table – as long as the family is gathered at the dinner table with love for one another. The lesson in the proverb is what the dinner table represents. Be honest and ask how many times the family gathers for a meal during a week. One of the main reasons this seldom happens is because everyone is trying to gain greater treasure and fill the freezers with more fatted, dead calves. What is the conclusion? There is little love and when there is little or no love, there is hatred.
Society is not destroying the home. The home is destroying society. Dinner tables filled with great treasures instead of the fear of the Lord and tables filled with the sacrificed calves of prosperity tear apart the unit of the family. Families who do not sit down at the dinner table together are setting themselves up for failure. The conclusion of the matter is the fear of the Lord and a plate of herbs is more important than a home filled with the trappings of prosperity. What is on your dinner table?