Scott Hyde, Yale Digital Commons

With Passover and Easter entwining—holy days and holidays of religious celebration—it is a good time to rekindle love at what my Grandmother called, "the welcome table,”  a place for family. She believed that at the table you learned to "read" people—from the expressions on their faces, the questions they asked or did not ask, their laughter, smiles, snickers, and silence.

The dining room table gave us a lesson in relationships and in unconditional love. So often the world of  love is one of conditions.  "If you loved me you would. . . . ."

In reality, ideal love—love that is unconditional—is one in which you love someone from the heart despite behavior, actions, or even qualities.  As one friend said, "It means loving your husband even as he puts his briefcase on the dining room table and tracks mud on your off-white carpets.”

However, as  Jeremy Nicholson, M.S.W., Ph.D.  points out “Love can be felt unconditionally, while still maintaining conditional requirements for the partnership.”  Do You Believe in Unconditional Love?

Good for families and children

What I am suggesting is that one can become more understanding of a partner when they sitting across the table. When I talked with Joseph Califano, founder and chairman of CASA  for a Providence Journal column he said: “Eat meals together, it makes a difference,” adding, “The more often children have dinner with parents, the less likely they will smoke, drink, or use drugs.” (VIDEO LINK) How to Raise a Drug-Free Kid: The Straight Dope for Parents Book .

Research studies indicate that only 40 to 50 percent of families have dinner together just two or three times a week.

Strengthening a couples’ bond

Eating meals together is not just about raising healthy children, it is about raising the bar on togetherness. As we move into a 24/7 Smart Phone society, we miss the moments around a table when people come to know each other just a little bit better—where attachments help strengthen love and loyalty.

A table is a good place for couples in love and marriage to communicate.  Is it any wonder that "come to the table" is an expression used in business negotiations? 

As families come to the table to share Easter and Passover, it might be a good time to reflect on the tradition and the benefits. It might even help couples come closer to an understanding of unconditional love.  No agenda necessary.  The welcome table has only one requirement -- your presence. 

Copyright 2013 Rita Watson/ All Rights Reserved

Follow Rita Watson on Twitter @ LoveColumnist

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