Book Review – Come to the Family Table (Giveaway!!!)

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Book Review – Come to the Family Table

Come to the Family Table by Ted and Amy Cunningham is a book that encourages people to use the meal table as a tool to nurture meaningful relationships. This idea appealed to me immediately because, as a husband  father of eight children, I understand the unique opportunity that the family table offers for this very thing. The basic premise behind Come to the Family Table is that the meal time ritual (making the food together, setting the table, savoring the taste of the food and wine, and even cleaning up) presents an opportunity to take time out of our routine to enjoy the presence of those whom we love.

The book is divided into two parts. Part one focuses on familial relationships while part two encourages the reader to reach out to others and practice hospitality, Each chapter includes selections from both Amy and Ted as they share their journey enjoying “slow food”. This is followed by a recipe that you can use if you don’t already have a good selection, a game that can be played around the table and which the authors designed to foster meaningful conversation, and a short devotional which can be used to bond these relationships together in Christ.

One of the things that I really appreciate about Come to the Family Table is the way the Cunninghams understand that the table is a place where we gather to receive God’s good gifts. In fact, the subtitle of chapter three says just that, “The Family Table is where we receive food and wine as good gifts from our Lord”.This understanding of God as a gift-giving God, and of the table as the central place in daily life where we receive, enjoy, and share these good gifts are central to understanding the the book as a whole.

The Cunninghams don’t see the table merely as a place where a biological family gathers. Rather, they expand the utility and comfort of the table to be a place where old friends gather and where new friends are made. I really appreciated the warm stories of hospitality that were woven through part two. Ted and Amy shared many scenarios in which they learned hospitality from those who have mastered the art of making others feel welcomed in their homes.

If you are love people, enjoy good food, and desire to enrich the relationships in your hope you will want to get a hold of this book. The Cunninghams offer a wealth of wise experience gained on their own journey and generously share these relationship building lessons with us as we engage on a journey of good food, enriching friendships, and God-honoring conversations. On a personal note, I can’t wait to implement some of these ideas in our own home as we learn to give thanks to the Father of lights from whom all good and perfect gifts come.

Where to buy Come to the Family Table Amazon – Click here to search Amazon.com for the best price on Come to the Family Table Christian Books (CBD) – Come to the Family Table: Slowing Down to Enjoy Food, Each Other, and Jesus

About the Authors

Come to the Family TableTed and Amy Cunningham- Ted founded Woodland Hills Family Church in Branson, Missouri, in 2002. Ted is a popular speaker and prolific author of marriage and family books, including Trophy Child. Both Ted and Amy are graduates of Liberty University, and Ted is a graduate of Dallas Theological Seminary. The husband-and-wife team are authors of The Power of Home 90-Day Devotional: Building a Strong Family Day by Day. They live in the Ozarks with their two children.

 

 

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from NavPress/Tyndale House Publishers in exchange for an online review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

21 thoughts on “Book Review – Come to the Family Table (Giveaway!!!)

  1. Maria S.

    Growing up in a Mexican home there were always times that I remember around the kitchen table. I think my mom, grand mother who lived with us and my sisters and I never laughed so hard than when we were preparing meals. We would laugh at everything! The way the tomatillos would squirt all over, the tears brought on by onions, the green fingernails from the avacado and the smell of spices which always surrounded us even after the showers and how at least we didn’t smell like men! These are my most cherished memories and I want them for my own family. Somehow I forgot how special these were between rushing kids to soccer, picking them up dropping them off, and just wasting time on Facebook. How I miss those days.

  2. Jen Andreason

    I grew up with nothing but anger and fighting at meals. It wasn’t until I became a Christian and started going to church regularly that I realized just how special table time can be. For me this first this happened at a church picnic where I realized for the first time that people don’t just see me as a single mom with old tattoos and a checkered past. Together we celebrate Jen the new creation whenever we gather together. I never knew that meals could be so safe until I shared one with my eternal family. I saw this for the first time when an older lady at the picnic took my crying toddler in her experienced arms and rocked him to sleep never once judging me for the mess that I made out of his life. Now we talk almost daily as I learn from her many years as a mom and grandma how to better love, teach, and discipline my baby.

  3. Chelsi

    Thanksgiving was always our big feast. One year my little brother lost a tooth on Thanksgiving. We thought maybe he had swallowed it because we couldn’t find it anywhere. That all changed when during the meal uncle Jimbo let out a little yelp after biting into the mashed potatoes. Sure enough he found my brothers tooth! We’re still not sure how it ended up in there but we laugh about this every year when we pass the potatoes!

  4. Byron

    Thank you for reviewing! This is how we grew up in my culture we always eat together. Eating together is a sign of love and respect. My children have lost this here and with their children are too busy to sit down to eat not to speak of truly dining together.

  5. Tawnrae Elligsen

    Some of my best memories in the whole world happened at the dinner table with my family. We would laugh so hard strange things with just pour out of our noses. Sometimes it was water other times it was wine and rarely but it did happen we would laugh so hard that soda would come out. One time I was laughing so hard in the middle of a bite that a pea got lodged somewhere between my throat and my nose . This would always upset my mother at first who wanted dinner to be more refined but after we all started laughing she couldn’t help herself, lost all decorum and joined in. I don’t know how many times we ended up saying that it was the best night ever. I’m going to be married next year and start my own family if God wills it. One thing i know is if He gives me children we will laugh so hard every night because I can’t think of any other way to enjoy dinner together.

  6. I LOVE THIS!!! I’m sitting here sipping my coffee and giggling at the stories. I like this sort of thing. Sentimental me. We had a good size family growing up so meals were always chaotic. I swear there were always 4 or 5 different conversations going on at the same time. But they always had laughter in common. We had a lot of time together during the day to argue or cry with one another. Meal time was a time to put that all aside and just be with each other.

  7. Don Leder

    Growing up, Sunday lunch would always be a roast with potatoes or fried chicken. When I got married I was introduced to a whole new way of eating. My wife was raised with a wide assortment of finger foods , mini sandwiches which require consuming about 50 of them to get your fill, and tea. Needless to say when we started our own family I gave in and we continued the in law’s tradition of a light afternoon tea after church. One day early in our marriage we had an event which allowed both families to get together on a Sunday afternoon for lunch. The plan was simple enough. Each family bring food to share. Imagine my surprise when we found my family delighting in miniature sandwiches and my wife’s family chowing down hard on fried chicken with nothing but a paper napkin separating the greesy food from their Sunday bests. That day began a 40 year love affair between two very different families. We still get together monthly for this tradition. Each time we have fried chicken and mini sandwiches. The day is full of laughter and we go to bed with satisfied souls.

  8. Isaak Morales

    Grandpa’s tamales were the best. Everything in our home was centered around food. From the earliest hours to late at night we kept busy in the kitchen or working to earn money for things for the kitchen. We had hard times but they were always comforted by our meals.

  9. Drake

    Some would label me as a “foodie” because I seek out places that are different from the norm and am picky about ingredients. This doesn’t make me a food snob. I just care about the little guy who makes good food but doesn’t have corporate dollars to pay his bills. He chooses the best possible ingredients, usually local, and puts a lot of effort into his craft.I didn’t grow up with a family that spent time at the table laughing. We argued a lot and usually ate alone in front of the TV eating frozen meals. I’m not going to repeat this with my own family. I’m building habits now so we can make food a resource that binds us together and looks forward to heaven. It is a gift from God like you said. But we are responsible for what we do with anything God gives us.

  10. Sarah Smith

    Great review!

    What a great subject, so life giving. If I don’t win, I’m buying the book. 🙂

    So many fun memories flooded my mind. The first was when the college group went out for Thai food after church (in the Hinson House days). At the end of the meal someone mentioned that we hadn’t prayed for the food before the meal and suggested that we took a minute to thank the Lord for what we just ate. We ended up having a spontaneous, really sweet time of sharing and prayer around the table. I also have several wonderful memories of my high school, college and even a little bit in our early married years, going to church and knowing that there would be an impromptu lunch with friends afterwards, either at our house, theirs or out. Super casual, with lots of time lingering at the table after we ate. I could go on and on, thanks for helping me remember that so many of my great memories of friendship and communion with the Lord happened around a table. I’m inspired! Our friend made us a gorgeous table for our new home and I want it to be used to make memories and bless others. ❤️

  11. Rena!!

    Oh boy I need this lol!!! If I win Ill pay for shipping. I know you usually pay shipping but it will cost more to send it here and pretty much any place in Eastern Europe. Our meals are busy as you can probly guess and not always very plesant. More liek panic mode lol!

  12. Larry Reece

    One of the things we are starting to learn in out family is the importance of hospitality. We never used to have people over because we never knew how to act. Our conversations were awkward. Honestly they still are a little awkward but we’re trying! A few weeks ago we invited a young couple over to our home because they asked for prayer in our Sunday School class for their marriage. My wife and I stumbled through the entire night! We are in our 40’s and they are in their 20’s! From all appearances we failed to connect on a personal level, had NOTHING in common, and we were ready to give up on hospitality. Last Sunday they came to us and asked if we would be willing to have them over again. I know! They invited themselves! That is taboo in our home! God had other plans though and he immediately softened our hearts. We said yes to them and are having them over on Friday. We thought we utterly failed. God had other ideas and somehow used our bumbling selves to bless a young couple fighting thoughts of divorce.

    I loved your review. It didn’t beat around the bush and identified real issues. I am looking forward to this book. Like the lady said before me, win it or not I am getting it. It sounds too good to pass up.

  13. This sounds wonderful! Thank you for finding it Aaron!! Let’s see. My favorite memory is right after I graduated from high school and I was at a boyfriends house having dinner with his family. He had a brand new baby brother (well more like three months) and I offered to hold him while his mom was serving food. How hard could it be right? I mean, I held my six year old sister all the time and the baby was way lighter! Well um, in that two minutes that I held him, he managed to have a blowout, spit up all over my new dress and in my hair and screamed so loud my ears still ring to this day! His mom was so gracious and just handed me a dish rag and said for me to clean myself off and she would get anew outfit for me from her daughter’s closet while she handed the baby off for a new diaper and outfit. The rest of the evening was so nice. His mom made me feel right at home, asked me a lot about myself so I didn’t have to come up with conversation, and was probably the sweetest lady I have ever met. My boyfriend on the other hand ended up being a real jerk. Can’t win them all!

  14. The format you describe your review sounds a lot like what we did with our children. We always had a nice dinner because breakfast and lunch were so hurried and we were not all home during those times of the day. But once dinner came it was all out! We would feast and we would talk and we would sing songs we would study the word and just discuss life. Our relationship with our children is strong to this day. The children’s relationship with each other are stronger than ever and I contributed this not only to God’s grace but also to the effort we put into each dinner during those years.

  15. Stacy

    Oh I love everything this review! This book looks so good. I long for the days when meals were laid back and full of love. I don’t know how my mom ever did it! I just get stressed out about the whole thing and it’s nothing like what I had hoped for.

  16. Ken Hanson

    We never had a lot of money growing up and it showed and how our lives are full of chaos and disorder. We didn’t entertain much because we didn’t have much. But my fond memories are from an elderly couple from church who would always invited us to their house maybe three or four times a year. They were retired and their own children had been out of the house for a little while and did not have any grandchildren. That’s why it was always a delight to go to their house and see that they kept a trunk of toys for us to play with. These are not fancy toys by any means just your common toys that you might see in any child’s room. They kept these around so that when they entertained any children would not be overly bored by adult conversation and could have something to occupy their time. It was a very thoughtful gesture. We loved going over to their house because they kept it nice and tidy unlike our own and we had something to do. Meals are always delicious and well thoight out. They would have things that children like. Jell-O mac and cheese and of course dessert. They spoke to us with respect but not undue respect. There was always a line between child and adult but the children knew that we were respected and loved by them. Their hospitality was designed in such a way that it was not just for the adults but the hospitality was also directed towards the children

  17. Hannah Armond

    We didn’t have this kind of experience growing up but it wasn’t bad either. Meals were stops in the middle of other activities. We rushed through making dinner and eating it. Clean up then off to the next activity. I want my own family to know what it’s like to slow down.

  18. Christine

    I love this contest! We’ve been giddy with joy just reading everyone’s memories! My favorite memory was summer of 2007 at a BBQ with my family. It was the perfect day outside and the joy and fun we had together is forever burned in my mind.

  19. E.Goffrier

    My favorite memories are of the family gathering as outdoors in our outdoor entertaining area. My father built it for entertaining and it included a pond ,waterfall swing for my mother and us kids, fire pit, barbecue, and a huge table. The best thing is this was all made out of stone and concrete so clean up was always fun we just took a hose and sprayed it down making sure to spray or siblings in the process. The only disappointment was that by the time he was finished making it all there wasn’t room left for a pool. That was the original plan and we started with an outdoor shower first to rinse off after playing in the pool so we had this random shower and our entertainment area. It didn’t take long for Mom to realize that if she just sent us outside to play and our swimwear, all she had to do was stick it in the shower to get all the dirt off of us and she would have clean kids by the time we entered the house.

  20. Holidays were always the best. Especially when they were at my grandparents house in California. Her house always smelled so good like she had been baking all day. She was so loving and accepting but could wallup a naughty girls bottom like no one else. Miss her.

  21. Family. That’s what it’s all about. Whether it’s a simple get together or a ordeal it’s the family that makes it. Sometimes family is someone you know from church. They are your family in Christ. These days I just enjoy the simplicity of having my children home, with their children and this Thanksgiving we will have great grandchildren joining us. That is the good life.

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