(BNC) — More and more, Americans are eating out. Spending in restaurants surged the second quarter of 2018, and the third quarter wasn’t far behind.

Some see it as a result of President Trump’s tax cuts. With more disposable income, Americans are racing to the restaurants, ordering at the drive-thru, and getting their food delivered.

Not only is this a recent trend. Over the years, we’ve noticed on our visits to the USA that Americans are preferring to eat out more and more. Few invite us to their home anymore; they take us out to eat. (Not that we’re complaining, mind you. We’re grateful for the hospitality and generosity of the brethren.)

What worldview is in play here? One wonders if homes are less and less places for family to thrive, and more where individuals live for themselves and do little for others. Also, the women don’t cook; they’re out working.

This bit of news appears to tie into the breakdown of what the family is supposed to look like among Christians.

It’s not popular, but women are instructed in Scripture “to be sensible, morally pure, working at home, kind and submissive to their own husbands, so that God’s word won’t be ridiculed” Tt 2.5 CEB. Never mind that God’s word is ridiculed today when saints obey these commands. Whether we’re ridiculed for obeying or for disobedience, we ought to be far more concerned with pleasing God than man.

And men are still the heads of the household, responsible for the spiritual and financial integrity of the family. All husbands and fathers ought to do like elders and deacons: “He must manage his own household well and keep his children in control without losing his dignity” 1Tm 3.4; cf. 1Tm 3.12. The world is full of absent and passive men. The home where God is honored is orderly, peaceful, and respectful.

The bad imitations and caricatures made of God’s plan for the family do not negate the need for restoring masculine and feminine roles in the home.

With so many more important immoralities and sins that have taken over American society, why spend any time considering what and where Americans are eating?

Because it appears to be a symptom.

Food is not only a physical necessity, but a social and spiritual one as well. The table, be it humble or piled with options, is a centerpiece of brotherly hospitality and family love.

We do not call some dishes comfort food for nothing. Flavors and smells are powerful reminders of gratitude and stimulants for motivation.

It is not merely that children or spouses are neglected, but the home itself suffers from a general dereliction of duty on all sides. God’s plan for the home has been abandoned, even in the church.

The state, in the form of schools and the so-called “village,” has become the real caretaker of children, while Dad and Mom are doing their own thing, often in different directions, if not completely estranged from one another.

I know a husband and father whose wife never worked, because as a child he suffered abuse at the hands of close, trusted relatives. He knows the chances of his children suffering the same are greatly increased when both parents work. The family cannot do what others do, financially, but they are the better for it.

That attitude of willingness to sacrifice makes a home what it ought to be. Each member of the family is willing to do his or her part, according to God’s plan.

When that happens, there will be food on the table and joy in the heart from being a true Christian home. Leave the noise and cost of dining out to others.

 

Randal and his wife Vicki have lived and worked in Brazil since Nov. 1984. They have three children, two daughters-in-law, and five grandchildren. He enjoys his new home office. http://randal.us

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