Parents Only | Dinner |

I love dinner. I snack throughout the day so that I can take full advantage of dinner. I look forward to dinnertime with family, and eating a full portion. While I prefer eating at a time which reflects that of an 85 year old woman who sits down with her t.v. tray and dinner fare at 4:30 PM, my husband prefers the schedule of a college age male who eats dinner at 8 PM “Grab a snack,” he instructs as I impatiently wait to leave the house for our 8 PM reservations. Since the insides of my stomach start eating each other with no other viable options at 6 PM, the 8:00 hour seems light years away. He is in no hurry. “Aren’t you hungry?” I question. “I will be at eight.” He replies, void of a growling stomach. This is one important nuance that had failed to come up during premarital counseling.

Our kids prefer dinner at 3:30 PM. I suspect that their insatiable, after school appetite can only be linked to their disposing most of the ingredients lodged in their brown lunch sacks instead of indulging in its contents. However, they are not satisfied with a snack to curb their appetites. They want enough food to fill them up and banish any and all hunger pangs. “You don’t need to fill up,” I tell them. But, they inevitably reply, “But we’re still hungry.”

Although our family has never had to experience true huger as the world defines it, we do go through moments of feeling hungry and longing for something to fill our stomachs. In those moments our moods shift, irritable attitudes emerge, energy levels plummet, and impatience appears. I have been told that I am the CEO of appetite irritability. However, this has not been fully proven.

The same is true for me when I find other things to take the place of my time with God. While deciding on a particular time to spend reading the Bible, studying devotionals, and journaling varies with preference, I prefer mornings.

In the same way that hunger interferes with my ability to function normally, or so I’ve been told, the absence of time with God has the same affect on my attitude and well being. I find myself losing patience with homework mistakes, smashed crackers on the counter, and the bathroom mess from three untidy boys.

Psalm 107:8-9 says, “Let them give thanks to the Lord for his unfailing love and his wonderful deeds for mankind, for he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” Time with God is the ultimate spiritual hunger eliminator. His inspiration and assistance through devotionals and scripture, fills us in ways that food never will. He fills our spiritual emptiness and gratifies our soul, and fills us with joy. When we follow Him and commit to time with Him, we are satisfied.

After 24 years of marriage, my husband and I have have decided on a compromise to our dinner hour dilemma. I will eat a snack at 4 PM, and dinner will be served at 7 PM. As for the children, they will have a hearty snack and then I will block all entrances to cupboards and the refrigerator. If they are still hungry, I will brew them a fresh cup of black coffee. I read somewhere that coffee curbs your appetite. Consider it done.