When it comes to nurturing a happy, healthy, lifelong marriage, spending time with one another must be a non-negotiable priority. In the absence of dedicated time, marriages suffer and families drift apart. One way to encourage more togetherness between spouses and among families is to enjoy more meals with one another.
Meal time equals together time. And in a time-starved world, it’s crucial to take hold of every opportunity to spend that valuable time together. While it’s all too easy for the busyness of life to take over, there are many reasons why dedicating more time to meals is a must.
1. Time to communicate.
Some of the best conversations happen over a good meal. If you and your spouse are starved for time, then enjoying more meals together can pay dividends. Not only will you be enjoying delicious food together; you’ll be opening the opportunity for meaningful and fulfilling conversations.
We know how easy and tempting it is to eat on the go, in shifts, or in front of the television. Whether or not you have children, meal times are one of the best ways to gather the family in one place and talk about your day. The opportunity for connection is invaluable, and critical for building and maintaining strong relationships with one another.
2. Time to be grateful.
Enjoying a meal together is an excellent opportunity to consider and express gratitude for our blessings and for one another. Many couples want to pray together more often, but struggle to find the time to do so. In addition to talking about what you’re thankful for, you can use meal times as an opportunity to pause and give thanks before going about the rest of your day. For many people, prayer is transformative, so incorporating it during the meal time you set aside is a plus.
3. Time to savor.
These days, how often do we savor our food? Truly taking the time to enjoy and pay attention to what we’re eating can feel like a luxury all its own. Next time you sit down to eat together, take a moment to notice more about your food–the flavors, the scent, the textures, and the colors. If you have time to set a mood in the room, such as with music or candlelight, take it all in. Fully enjoying the sensory experience of a good meal is rejuvenating in itself.
4. Time to linger.
Pausing for a good meal encourages us to linger over good food and conversation. Once we’ve gotten a good thing started, it’s hard to let go–right? Let yourselves linger over these special pauses in your day. Enjoy one another’s company and the nourishing food you’re enjoying together. Don’t scarf your meal and run. Instead, take your time, slowing your transition back into the daily grind.
5. Time to reconnect.
So many couples go through the motions of life, only to find that they feel disconnected from one another. If this sounds familiar, then setting aside mealtimes can help you and your spouse feel more connected again. Taking the time to communicate, practice gratitude, savor your food, and linger over meals will help to reconnect you like never before.
If you’re struggling to feel connected and find time together in your marriage, take a look at our book, Your Time-Starved Marriage. It’s full of tips and tricks for reclaiming more time with your spouse, even in the midst of a busy life. Pick up your copy here, or get a couples’ kit for you and your spouse.
Do you and your spouse set aside regular mealtimes? What are your favorite things about sharing a meal together? Let us know in the comments.