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Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The pitfalls of multitasking and family dinners

I know what it is to multitask.
As a pastor, during an average day, I will put on my counselor's hat and move to my administrator's hat and then to teaching hat and finally to my leadership hat - all within a matter of hours.
I know what it is to multitask.
Yet let me give you one situation where we need to pause and think twice before we multitask:  Family dinners.
Being that God is blessing us with young families with children (at Stone Church), this is an especially important word.
An estimated sixty six percent of American watch T.V. while eating dinner.  Sixty five percent eat lunch at their desk.  Twenty percent of meals are eaten in the car.
That other things to people do while eating?  Walking, riding the subway, talking on the phone, reading a magazine or book, putting on makeup, and walking the dog are common pursuits of those who eat while juggling other tasks.
What are some of the pitfalls of constant multitasking while you eat?
You eat more.
You overindulge.
It dampens your perception (according to studies) of taste - food tastes blander, you crave stronger flavors like salt and sugar.
But the greatest pitfall of multitasking while you eat (especially those with kids) is that you lose an all important opportunity of relationship - relationship with your spouse and kids once a day.
I believe that is one of the things we (Debbie and I) did right in raising our children.  We always had a family meal each evening. 
Not all evening meals will be a "kumbaya" moment, but you will not have "kumbaya" moments unless you have family meals.
Teaching moments will arise during meal times.  Stories will be shared.  Challenges of the day will be talked about.  The highs and lows of life will be experienced.
The bottom line:  when it is time to eat, it is time to eat.  Turn off the computer, the IPhone, and the T.V.
Enjoy the meal - and each other (and don't forget to say a prayer before you eat).
Just a simple thought for a Wednesday - from a pastor and a dad.

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