I just finished a great book, The Hour that Matters Most, about the value of the family dinner hour. Really, it's about much more than sitting down as a family to eat a meal. Through clinical studies and personal anecdotes, they present the value of making home an emotional and mental safe haven for your family. They also provide valuable advice and tips to help your home become a place of refuge.
Our children are still young, so eating together at home is not an effort, but it is something we want to be important even when it isn't convenient. Of course, eating a family meal is outward manifestation of a inner resolve to make the home a sanctuary from the world. While the authors only briefly discuss the topic of having a relationship with God, we believe He is the foundation of a good home. Teaching our girls about Him and a relationship with Him is the central value that we wish to instill in them. Outside of this book, I have come to understand that you can train your children to be obedient and disciplined, but if you don't have their heart and trust, you've missed the more important aspect of imparting your core values.
I found good, sound advice for reaching my girls' hearts and developing and keeping trust with them. The tidbits of wisdom generously sprinkled throughout the book gave me many "A-ha!" moments. Having a relationship where communication is open, honest, and trusting between each member of the family is the gateway to developing a home atmosphere of peace, love, laughter, and gratitude. There is a practical chapter at the end of the book on starting your own fix-and-freeze club for busy moms that meet and cook up make-ahead meals that I found helpful, as well as some really great recipes that I look forward to trying. I couldn't help but read portions of it aloud to my husband while we were driving, which is usually a good indication to me of an excellent resource.
You can find the book on Amazon for $10.87 or check your local library to see if they carry it.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of The Hour that Matters Most in exchange for an honest review. The opinions expressed are purely my own.