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Rhythms that Work for My Family: Driving to School


Deuteronomy 6:7 “Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up.”

As a parent it can be exhausting to “find the time” to talk about what’s important. There is tremendous value in finding the time that is already there to get you started. Here is an actual nearly daily event that my family has found to be valuable.

Driving to school each morning is our first main interaction as a family.

I know, I know…we are around each other much earlier while getting ready, and sometimes eating breakfast; but we are not morning people in our house and any meaningful conversations tend to happen on the way to school.

I try not to “teach” on this car trip, as much as just remind them that I’m praying about the things that matter to them at school that day. I simply ask,

“What happening that’s a big deal at school today?”

It’s through that conversation that I can remind them how they are gifted to get through whatever their answer is. It’s also when I find out what’s on their mind in the morning, and it’s where I can speak into how excited I am for what their day holds.

It’s also on this car trip that we get to set the tone for our day. I point out beautiful sunsets, foggy meadows, and dew on the grass. I’m a nature inspired follower of God, and I get to share this with my kids each morning driving to school.

When we finally get to the end of our 5 minute drive, I always, always, always, always tell them that I believe they were made for the day they are about to have. It’s my way of coaching them into what could be a very important day for them. I’m not a rah-rah sort of dad, but why miss an obvious chance to send them off with some love?

What are some ways you use the mornings to introduce faith to your family?


Jonathan Cliff is married to his wife Starr and they together live out their days with two sons and a daughter. Jonathan serves as one of the Pastors at Grace Community Church in Clarksville, Tennessee; where he works with leaders throughout the city to help develop Christian community that leads to deep and meaningful spiritual friendships. His journey has been an adventurous one, having served in the local church for 15 years in family ministry developing leaders, building environments for kids and students to belong, and encouraging parents to take big spiritual steps with their families.


  1. Chris C Hooton · September 14, 2013

    I like what you have going on here!