Better is a dry morsel and quietness with it, than a house full of feasting with strife. Proverbs 17:1
“In every culture, meals are about more than simply fueling the body; they are communal experiences, as much about gathering, sharing, and connecting as they are about the cuisine itself”.
A quiet, very modest meal in a peaceful, quiet atmosphere is much better than a rich man's feast with its strife and contention. That is what the writer of Proverbs tells us. When you consider the table of Solomon as you read this - you realize that being the richest man with the most awesome feasts in history may not have been all that fantastic. You can see king Solomon thinking in his head that things may have been better without all the pomp and revelry that surrounded his royal banquets. We read today that the relative tranquility with which you take your meal may do more for you than the meal itself. You can have a feast fit for a king - and yet if is it filled with stress and strife - it will yield indigestion. Thus a dry morsel of food with a quiet, gracious atmosphere is better than the finest feasts of the rich. This word "quietness" is a word we all would like to experience. It is the Hebrew word "shalvah" and it means a sense of security, prosperity, and quietness. It indicates a lack of anxiety and ease. The concept here of prosperity evidently does not speak of riches, but rather of the security and peace that come from not having to be concerned about things. Though the world may trick us for a time - we will eventually long for this more than for all that the world can give us. The other state of mind - strife - comes from the Hebrew word "rib" and means a controversy, a contention, strife. It arises from disputes and quarrels and usually involves open hostilities and a clamoring of others for action on their behalf. Oh, what a rough meal is experienced when we try to enjoy a meal with this kind of atmosphere and attitude present.
“The Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics reports that children of families who regularly eat together:
- are more likely to have higher intakes of fruits and vegetables and have a healthy weight, and
- are less likely to have behavior problems or use drugs, cigarettes or alcohol when they get older.
Beyond health and nutrition, family meals provide a valuable opportunity for children and parents to reconnect.”
Peace and tranquility . . . these are often overlooked in our world's racing search for wealth, riches, and affluence. The truth is that one-day in spite of all the wealth, fame, and abundance of things - they will long for peace. Better to have the simple meal and peace - than all the wealth in the world and an ulcer as your side dish.
Resources to check out to improve your family meal times…