The Dinner Table

23 Aug


As the youngest of four boys (my mother still calls me the baby), there was never a dull moment around our house–especially at the dinner table.

Meal times were signaled by a huge iron bell that when rang could be heard anywhere in our neighborhood.  I never wanted to be late for dinner.  My mom was a great cook, and I learned that as the youngest child, you needed to grab food quickly before it disappeared.  Our meals always began with my father saying a prayer of thanks to God.  My father’s Amen at the end of this prayer was like the firing of a starting gun.

One day before dinner, a new ritual began.  We all sat down at the table and instead of a quick blessing for the food, dad pulled out his Bible.  This was a shock to me and my brothers and we began to cast worried glances across the table.

Although my father went to church with us every Sunday and prayed for our meals, he was private about his faith.  He tried to be a spiritual leader by example without words, but today was different.  The room was silent–too silent.  My dad began to read from the Bible, while I could do nothing except think about diving into mom’s fried chicken.  It was torture.  After a few minutes, the Bible was closed and he prayed.  That was it—a Bible story with no added commentary or discussion questions.  The much anticipated Amen finally came, and I was able to eat.

The next evening, I was dismayed as once again the Bible came out and we endured another story of God’s Word.  My brothers and I acted bored, while secretly kicking each other under the table and making faces.  I remember thinking to myself, “Forget the Bible, and let’s eat.”

I was too young then to understand the significance of my father’s actions.  His efforts at family devotions only lasted a couple of days.  At the time, I was thankful it was over.  Looking back, I wonder what compelled him to start this new habit.  I wonder why he stopped.  Now twenty years later, I am filled with emotions as I remember that scene.  I would do anything to go back to that day, look my father in the eyes and say, “Keep going.  Don’t give up.  You are doing the right thing.”

Today I have a family of my own, and I view that day much differently.  I no longer think that Dad’s new ritual was insignificant.  I now see a man moved by God to be the spiritual leader that he knew he should be.

I imagine sometimes how our family would be different if dad would have kept going.  I am not simply talking about his new practice of family Bible reading, but about a lifestyle of being a spiritual leader in the home.  I wonder if my brothers would have seen the authenticity of his faith, and followed in his footsteps.

I wonder if our family row would still be full every Sunday instead of hauntingly vacant.

Unfortunately that day is gone, and I cannot go back and encourage my dad to keep going.  It is too late for my father to hear those words, so I say them to you:

“Keep going. Don’t give up. You are doing the right thing.”


-G. David Boyd
david in hat

G. David Boyd  is a writer, collector of Marvel Comics, an avid gamer, a radical follower of Jesus Christ, a father, and a husband.  He is the founder of EA Resources, a faith-based non-profit organization that is dedicated to equipping parents and churches to understand emerging adults.  You can connect with David on Facebook, Linked-In, or Twitter, or drop him a note at

One Response to “The Dinner Table”


  1. Dinner Table Devotions – A Father’s Day Reflection | More Than A Beard - June 11, 2015

    […] Click Here! […]

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