Redeeming Carpool and Commute Time

by Kelley Mathews

minivan autumn road

Have you ever calculated how much time you spend in the car each week?!? (For heaven’s sake, please don’t!) My guess is that you would agree it’s enough time that we should consider how to spend it.

The good news is, spending time in the car is a perfect opportunity to talk to your kids about faith. You can work on Bible memory (Seeds Family Worship), listen to Bible stories (Adventures in Odyssey), engage some simple discussion starters (Focus on the Family app – Conversation Starters), or review Sunday school or Family worship topics.

You can spend time talking about what’s going on in their lives, and pray for families, missionaries, friends, and other items. Parents are commanded by the Lord to pass on the faith to the next generation, and the best way to do this is in the context of everyday life! Deuteronomy 6:7 tells us that we should “. . . teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down and when you rise.”

Since we drive more than walk, I feel confident that car time fits squarely in this general “when traveling” principle. Passing on the faith can become the stuff of life that keeps our family bound together when everything around us seems to be speeding ahead.

I find that my time with the kids in the car can be some of the most meaningful conversations of our week. Just the other day when I was in the car alone with my 11-year-old, I started asking about his school day. “Did you learn anything you didn’t know today?” “Did you have an opportunity to be a leader?” “What was the best thing that happened while you were at school?” (You definitely want to mix up your questions, or kids will get bored and start giving rote answers . . . even to the most cleverly worded questions!)

He usually proceeds to tell me the coolest move he did while playing basketball on the playground during recess. Deep stuff, I know. But you know what? That is a window to his soul. He absolutely loves to play sports and when I pay attention, he lights up!  Next, he’s telling me about including a kid who usually doesn’t get included.

Now, we can praise God together, first because he has the physical abilities to play sports and also that God has given him a heart to love all kinds of people.

Hear me on this: there are plenty of days when I’m worn out and it would be much easier to just nod my head and say, “Wow bud, that’s cool!” without even really listening to what he’s saying. But, the more I tune in, the more I see the reward… a growing relationship with my son and an opportunity to help him see how God is always at work in our lives and deserves our thanks and praise!

So, the next time you’re in the car, you can start out with the usual questions, but then I’d challenge you to press in a bit more and start a faith discussion. Here are a few suggestions:

  1. How did you see God at work today?
  2. Have you noticed God answering a prayer lately?
  3. What opportunities did you have to share the Gospel this week? Did you do it?
  4. What is something you read in the Bible that you didn’t understand? Did you figure it out or do we need to find answers together?
  5. Is there something or someone we need to pray for right now? (Pray then and there!)

What are other questions that engage your kids in faith discussions?

Jenna Hallock

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Jenna started doing Family Time activities shortly after her daughter was born 14 years ago. Since then, she and her husband Mark have integrated home discipleship into their regular schedule with both their children (Zoe, age 14 and Elijah, age 11). Mark and Jenna have been married for 17 years and live in Littleton, CO.…
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