While numerous studies have revealed that a shared family meal, and quality family time, can have tremendous benefits for children (especially teenagers), many families experience the reality of busyness, technology, and individualism. The concept of a traditional family time is a dying notion.
And the culture is taking notice.
The "family hour" was once a coveted spot on network television. Now it's an hour for the television history books. I wrote about this trend, and our response as Christians, over at the Her.meneutics blog today.
Here is a snippet of my thoughts:
Will we Christians who have families follow the cultural drift? I believe we can provide a counter voice to the individualistic mindset that permeates our families. While we can never be perfect in our approach, we do have a guide to show us a better way.
Scripture attests that God instituted the family as one model of not only his triune nature but also his relationship with the church (Gen. 1:26-31; Eph. 5:22-33, 6:1-4). When we lose family togetherness, we lose a valuable and crucial picture that cannot be recreated elsewhere.
The loss of family togetherness is a symptom of a culture that is increasingly embracing individualism over community. But we Christians know we were not made as “individuals” but as persons in community. Separation from the God-designed community of the family creates an environment that is not healthy or productive for us. It has implications for how we relate to others, the church, and God himself. While it might seem noble and cool to live outside the confines of a family, countless studies have shown that families where a father is absent, due to reasons other than death, face greater dysfunction and turmoil. God knew what he was doing when he made Adam and Eve and told them to “be fruitful and multiply.”
You can read the rest here.