When I see this picture, I see a demand for respect. Not a crude demand like a harsh command, but like a rose demands attention to its beauty.
A lovingly prepared, carefully laid out dinner shows that in that house, the family is held highly. The table is graced with a cloth, spread over a solid foundation to serve the family a feast. Special plates are set in front of each chair. Oftentimes a personal placemat is also provided. Clean and shiny silverware is put delicately in its proper place. A large napkin is neatly folded and set tastefully in front of the valued individual, its bright color laughing away any embarrassment from a dirty face. Glass goblets and deliciously scented candles will further decorate the table with an atmosphere of honor and love.
It is not rules and awkward politeness; it is a safe retreat from the downgrading influence of disrespect and quarrels. It is a place where families grow, love on each other, grow closer together, laugh and cry through life together, share their burdens and joys, tell about their day, and bless and encourage each other. It is a place of sharpening and polishing. Of humbling and accepting. Of honorable pride and reverence. A sacred part of the home, dedicated to blessing, filling, and satisfying others with good things.
Even when there is little food, you give thanks. The family is treasured. Unity in love is revered.
Blessed are the women who live to serve their families, neighbors and friends through the table. It is a high calling; a noble task. One cannot take lightly the work of the dinner table, a formal place setting on a spread of love.