Ask any server and they will tell you how deflating their job can be. If they are industrious, they wait on people’s every whim in hopes of adding a few dollars in tips to their less than minimum wage salary. On a bad day, they would have made more money working at a fast food restaurant. Truly good days are often few and far between.
Thankfully, I have never had to wait tables, but my friends who have, tell me stories of the unbelievable rudeness and self-centeredness of many restaurant patrons. Perhaps an even larger insult is that to the majority of restaurant patrons, the worker is a nameless, faceless blob with food.
No, Christians don’t have some weird recipes only we know (although there are a few potluck recipes I question!). We can though, use our cooking to do more than fill someone’s stomach. I hope as we teach our children to cook, we are also teaching them how to serve with what they produce.
I know, quite a few of you are now having a mild panic attack. You just realized you have never made a concentrated effort to teach any of your children to cook. At best, one of them can pop popcorn in the microwave and there is at least an even chance one of them can boil water, but that’s about it. The idea of using what they produce in the kitchen to serve others is a fantasy from another day and time.
I am going to challenge you to take back your kitchen for the Lord. If you are like me, this may mean cleaning out a few cabinets or a trip to the grocery first, but that’s okay. Clear an afternoon for you and all of our children to do some good old Christian cooking. You can use some of the ideas below or come up with your own.
This month’s assignment in Teaching Our Children to Live More Like Jesus is to take the time to prepare our children to serve God. In Preparing Our Children for God, I shared some of the reasons I believe this is possibly one of the most important things we will ever do as parents.
Unfortunately, I am afraid many parents put more thought and effort into how they will potty train their child than how they will prepare that same child to follow and serve God. Admit it, when your first child was old enough to potty train how many articles and books did you read? How many experienced parents did you ask for advice? How many times did you call someone in the middle of the training process for support or emergency advice?
I think sometimes when we think about trying to be as purposeful about preparing our children to serve God, we just get overwhelmed. How are we supposed to train our child when we still don’t totally understand everything ourselves? Where is the training manual? Whom do we go to for the correct advice? You may even feel a bit embarrassed asking for help because you assume all of the other Christian parents have it down pat and will be shocked you don’t.
One of the oldest debates in education, psychology and other related fields is nature versus nurture. What qualities are we born with and which ones are a result of our environment? For parents, the question becomes “How much can I and should I influence my child’s personality and gifts?”. I believe the Bible can give us some answers.
There aren’t a lot of people in the Bible about whom God gives us details of their childhood through their death. Moses is one of the interesting ones. You may recall that as a Hebrew baby in Egypt, Moses begins his life in danger of having it taken from him. His family sets him afloat in hopes of saving his life. Sure enough, Pharaoh’s daughter finds the child and raises him as her own. She even brings Moses’ real mother in to nurse him and help care for him.
One of my friends shared something interesting with me the other day. She said it is hard to find younger women who know how to bring home-cooked meals to people who need them or organize dinners for large groups of people. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to help, but they really didn’t know how to do it.
As we analyzed the situation, the light began to dawn. During our childhood, most of our mothers stayed home. We might have participated in one activity a week as a child and at times none at all. What resulted was a lot of time at home with our parents. Times when we invariably annoyed them with complaints of boredom.
Since there were few activities to enroll us in, they enrolled us in helping them do whatever they were doing. This meant many teens could cook entire meals for large groups of people, make simple repairs around the house, sew, knit or display dozens of other practical skills.