Since young children often say what they think, they can be great reminders when we as parents stray from our practices. We have a custom at home of praying prior to our meals to pause to recognize God’s grace as our provider and give thanks for His blessing. One time we were out with our young children at a restaurant and the wait staff brought our food to the table. After the food was placed before us I began to eat and all three of our children were quick to notice that a prayer was not said and were not bashful to speak up and remind me that I had forgotten to bless our food. I admit that when out at a busy restaurant with a client, vendor, or mixed group that I may not share a prayer or pray to myself. My children were the first to convict me of my double standards by saying “Daddy you forgot to pray”. I have also been challenged by another Christian businessman and fellow deacon at our church to never have a meal without a proper blessing regardless of the company you are with. He encouraged me to simply state that it is my custom to bless the food prior to eating and invite them to share in the blessing. He said only one man has ever declined the invitation and that following the thousands of prayers offered deeper conversations and relationships have formed because of his courage and openness to share his faith. I was reminded of this again this week as I have been beginning to study the book of Romans with a group of men. Romans 1:16 says it all. “For I am not ashamed of
the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes, to the Jew first and also to the Greek. The good news of Jesus’ death and resurrection to cover our sins and make us right with God is for all men. I should not be ashamed or bashful to express my thanks to God in a public venue.
Many years have passed since being called out by my children for not praying prior to eating at a public restaurant and we have shared hundreds if not thousands of meals together in public places. Subway, McDonalds, baseball team parties, the local diner, and occasionally at nice restaurants when sharing a meal together our family always bows our heads to thank God for His provision. These prayers are brief and do not call attention to ourselves, but they also do not go unnoticed by the wait staff or other patrons. It doesn’t take much to be a witness and share your testimony by quietly and privately thanking our God for His Grace and His mercy on us. It is often said that leadership is doing the right thing. As Christian parents and role models we have a great privilege to lead our family in doing the right thing. I challenge you regardless of the company you are with to never share a meal with your family without taking a moment to bow your head and express true gratitude for the provision, mercy and saving grace that God has given you.