We as humans crave relationship. We want to get to know people better and have them know us. We naturally want to share life together, the ups, downs, the good and the bad. However, time is one of friendship’s dearest costs because it seems to be in such short supply. Building Friendships Around The Table is one way we can slow down and grow our relationships.
Our time shortage isn’t because we have less time than we did years ago. We have become a culture that can crowd our lives with events, work, and activities, leaving little time for sitting and relaxing with friends. Gone are the days of Andy Griffith lingering on the front porch in the evening, strumming the guitar, resting, relaxing, and having conversations with friends and family.
Lingering is a task that must be intentional on our part, in order to cultivate strong friendships. We must stop, spend time getting to know better how we can love and serve those whom God puts in our lives.
The one good thing that seems to slow us humans down is sitting around a table, one that has great food, conversation and genuine concern for those around it
Sharing a meal together can become a time to rest, relax and build strong friendships with our own family or friends through conversation.
Here are some tips for creating a low-key, relaxed atmosphere for lingering around the table making time to talk and share our lives.
- Create a slow-paced meal by serving it in courses. Serve a soup or salad before the main course. As the hostess set the pace for slow eating.
- Don’t rush to clean up all the dishes and put the food away. If you go to the kitchen to clean up guests feel it is a clue that the meal is over.
- Designate one person to clear the main plates but not so obvious to say this meal is over. Have them place the dirty dishes at the sink and only put away the food that absolutely has to be in the refrigerated. Leftovers and dirty dishes can wait.
- After the main course refill drinks, fix everyone a cup of coffee and serve dessert. Encourage guests to make themselves at home and serve themselves their own cup of coffee by having a coffee bar set up near the table. For ideas on how to create a coffee bar be sure and see my post Coffee Bar Design Ideas.
- After dessert is over continue to create an atmosphere of conversation around the table by playing a game that everyone can join in. I share some of our favorites in my post Top 10 Favorite Games For A Crowd.