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5 Things that Matter to Families


There are days that I’m parenting, and think…“This really matters. Right now, what I’m doing matters. I wish other parents knew how much this really mattered!” It was a collection of those moments that led me to start tracking them more closely. Of course, there were way too many of them to list on any one blog page. So I boiled them down to these 5 things.

Here are 5 Ideas that Matter for my Family:  

Adventure matters. Building faith by taking risks, doing things that hurt and cause pain, venturing into the unknown, and holding hands as a family throughout big change. We don’t create adventure necessarily for adventure’s sake, but we do look for the adventure in all that we do. I’ve seen it through foster parenting, changing jobs, changing schools, and going to new places with new friends. Adventure really matters. It exposes the real us, while also bringing us together.

Fun matters. Vacations and birthday parties really have a place. They matter because memories matter. As a father, I’m the one that carries the mantle for making sure we laugh and enjoy our times together. There is fun to be had on very little money, just lay back far enough to let it happen. I want my kids to really ‘act their age’ and that age is fun!

Talking matters. Everything should happen within the context of sincere relationship. We don’t need forgiveness from people we don’t know. Want your kid to be able to ask for forgiveness? Then let them get to know you. That only happens through quality time spent in building  relationships. It’s not always easy work getting everyone talking, but when families talk we become a better family. Talk it out!

Learning matters. Getting better at school, learning a new sport, or becoming more adept at using an instrument. We learn, we listen, we learn, we listen…repeat. We are the best teachers our kid will ever have, but we also learn as we lead them. Build a heart for learning in your kids by being a learner yourself. Watch television that has a point, read books that interest the entire family, and share your spiritual growth experiences with your children. Learn something!

Community matters. Our family is important, but it’s still a family within a family. There are other dads, moms, and 5th graders in the world. We are all in this together, and our kids need to see it. Go to church, share community. Make it a priority, and watch the community come to your rescue as you lead your own family. It really works, and I believe in it enough to dedicate my entire professional life to helping it do so!




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.