In every episode of the superb, long-running CBS series “Blue Bloods,” about a New York family devoted to police work, NYPD Commissioner Frank Reagan, played by Tom Selleck, holds court at a Sunday family dinner.
At the other end of the table sits his father, Henry Reagan, played by Len Cariou. The elder Mr. Reagan preceded Frank as commissioner. The rest of the family is on either side of the table. Despite some heated discussions, the love and firm direction of both Frank and Henry steer the family back to solidarity every time.
The show is also unusual for TV in that the strongly Christian family is shown praying at every meal.
Two things are going on here: the importance of a regular family dinner as a place to reconvene family regardless of what happens outside, and the dedication of fathers who speak truth in love.
More than ever, American households could benefit from a regular schedule of family dinners, if not nightly, than at least weekly.
Common sense tells us why this is important, but scientific research also informs us.
A study cited by the Partnership to End Addiction found that children who regularly attended family meals were less likely to sink into depression or get into illicit drug use. In addition, frequent family dinners correlated with good relationships between teens and their fathers.
The researchers found that teens who were comparably less close to their dads were:
Almost 4 times likelier to have used marijuana
Twice as likely to have used alcohol
2.5 times as likely to have used tobacco
The National Center on Addiction and Substance Abuse found that children who eat with their family five to seven times per week reported mostly As and Bs in school.
Finally, the American Society for Nutrition found that children who ate out more often were more inclined to be overweight. Fast foods are notoriously full of larger portions, fats and sugars. Family dinners are usually far healthier.
One of Timothy Plan’s mutual fund filters is dedicated to strengthening families by excluding companies from its portfolios that engage in anti-family entertainment. The filter “seeks to preserve innocence” by weeding out firms that trade in “violence, language, sex and drugs through advertisements, media, games, stores, establishments, publications and the Internet.”
For a lot of reasons, let’s set the table for stronger families in how we eat and what we consume for entertainment.
A writer for Timothy Partners, Ltd. He is a regular weekly columnist for The Washington Times and Townhall.com and is frequently published by AmericanThinker.com, DailyCaller.com, OneNewsNow.com, and others. He has authored the following books: “A Strong Constitution: What Would America Look Like If We Followed the Law” (D. James Kennedy Ministries, 2018), Invested with Purpose: The Birth of the Biblically-Responsible Investment Movement, and A Nation Worth Fighting For: 10 Steps to Restore Freedom.