Keeping a kingdom perspective on home-cooked meals

Tamara Hill Murphy

Tamara Hill Murphy
September 22, 2014

A kingdom perspective on the home-cooked meal neither idolizes the practice nor denies its communal importance.

Jonathan Downie
September 25, 2014

I think there is something else here too. In our society the importance of family is fast being crowded out by personal branding, work, careers, achievement, status and the like. Taking the time to do home cooking (or in my case, making a handmade loaf of bread the slow way) is almost an act of rebellion. It says that family is far more important than all the stuff we are supposed to be chasing.

Cooking from scratch rather than doing TV dinners takes time that our culture would rather we used to do something bigger. For mums especially, it is becoming harder to to publicly justify those kinds of decisions. Perhaps the point isn't meals = community but meals = family, the closest and most important community of all.

Tamara Hill Murphy
September 26, 2014

Jonathan, thank you for your comment. I'm so grateful for your input to the conversation. I considered zooming in a bit more to the issues you bring up: slowing down our rhythms and commitments to make time for the essential needs of our lives. In short: slowing down. I do believe that family = meals but not necessarily the other way around. For one thing, I have so many friends who are single. To frame meals=family (in the nuclear context) would be excluding them from this whole rich gift God has given us. For another reason, meals=family could become a self-protective thing that actually isolates us from our neighbors. In the example of Christ's life -- the many accounts we are given of him sharing meals -- it's with friends, community members, religious leaders. I wanted to press into that a little bit for this article rather than the particular focus of home and family.

Thank you again, Jonathan. I'm so glad to hear from you! Peace to you and your home.

September 30, 2014

Today I confided in a friend, "I don't know what it means about me that doing the normal chores that are essential to our home carry the feeling of time wasted."
As a wife and mother, part-time teacher, artist, and writer, I sometimes struggle with guilt for doing things that are not pulling income or that have no "lasting impact". I have gotten to the point that cleaning feels self-indulgent. Today my youngest was home sick and I took the opportunity to luxuriate in the culling of his wardrobe, the washing of his bed linens, and the location of the mysterious smell under the sink (ok, so that part wasn't so luxurious). Afterward, he and I worked on a jigsaw puzzle and listened to music together. Maybe this was a day well-spent, even if I do have the nagging feeling that I got, "nothing," done.
It's funny that and our culture shames us for staying home and then shames us for not being the, "pinterest mom."
I am of the opinion that meals aren't the only thing that are falling by the wayside nor are they necessarily essential for time together, but they sure present one great way to take in the glory of a life slow enough to be savored with the ones we love.
Thanks for this post!

Add your comment to join the discussion!