Give Me the Simple Life: Family Dinners


I’ve been reading a terrific memoir by Eugene Peterson (author of The Message), called The Pastor. Towards the back of the book, he describes a time when his wife, Jan, was asked to speak to a group. Someone asked her if she had any pearls of wisdom for raising children?

Her simple but profound answer: “Have a family meal every evening.”

I loved that!

There’s a lot of things I wished I’d done better as I raised my family, but having family meals was one thing that we did well. Steve worked long hours. Often, we didn’t eat until after seven at night. Not ideal . . . but worth it. I think our happiest memories are around our table.

Eugene Peterson goes on to describe what happens when people sit around a table together:

“Nothing is abstract or in general when you are eating a meal together. You realize, don’t you, that Jesus didn’t drop pearls around Galilee for people as clues to find their way to God or their neighbors. He ate meals with them. And you can do what Jesus did. Every evening take and receive the life of Jesus around your table.”


What is a pearl of wisdom you used (or use) for raising your children? Share in the comment section below for a chance to win a copy of Amish Values for Your Family! Winner will be announced next Tuesday.


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About Suzanne

Suzanne Woods Fisher writes bestselling, award winning fiction and non-fiction books about the Old Order Amish for Revell Books. Her interest in the Plain People began with her Old Order German Baptist grandfather, raised in Franklin County, Pennsylvania. Suzanne's app, Amish Wisdom, delivers a daily Amish proverb to your phone or iPad. She writes a bi-monthly column for Christian Post and Cooking & Such magazine. She lives with her family in California and raises puppies for Guide Dogs for the Blind. To Suzanne's way of thinking, you can't take life too seriously when a puppy is running through your house with someone's underwear in its mouth.


  1. Pat Thompson says:

    We are losing values and they are very important. Teaching K and 1st grade most of my career, I am fortunate that I could push values to my class. I never had complaints from the parents. Many kids do not get time with their families because of wrong choices. I would love to have this book.

  2. Pat Thompson says:

    I need lessons on how to be a fulltime reader 🙂 Your books sound interesting, and I love visiting the Amish/Mennonite in Ohio. Thanks for sharing.

  3. Linda says:

    I don’t have kids, but I have some of my dad’s sage advice ringing in my ears, even though we lost him more than ten years ago: If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.

  4. Sharon says:

    My children are grown and out on their own. When they were home we had a dinner together every night.

  5. Frances Cavallo says:

    Always make time at the end of the day, to discuss with your family, things that went on during their day! Either at the dinner table or sitting around the living room together,what might not seem important to you,may be very important for a family member and discussing may help to resolve the issue for them! Thanks for the giveaway and God Bless Everyone!!!