Every Monday through Friday my husband or I load our three kids, ages 6, 8, and 9, into our gray Honda Odyssey (along with every other middle-aged, suburban parent, right?) at 7:20 a.m. to head to school.
Our brakes always squeak as we back out of the garage. Our children typically have a small or large spat as they get situated. I often end up barking a “be quiet!” or “keep your hands to yourself” command at the offenders (and then regretting my tone). So begins our day.
We have 5 minutes together in the van between our driveway and the school doors. 5 minutes isn’t much time. But, it’s the only unhurried, un”get-your-clothes-on-eat-your-breakfast-get-in-the-van!” moment we have each weekday morning. I want to use that time wisely.
Years ago when our oldest started school, my husband and I decided we wanted to help our kids use that morning drive to set their hearts on what really matters. We wanted to use those precious few minutes to help all of us–parents included–to fix our eyes on Jesus.
How do we do we spend our 5 minute drive to school? We simply read a Bible verse, discuss it briefly, and pray. Depending on our kids’ ages, we’ve used different resources and discussed different topics over the years. I’ll share some of our favorites and how we’ve used them below.
To drive safely (cause that’s important and all), we usually read a Bible verse while still in the driveway or at a stop light. Or, now that two of our three kiddos read aloud pretty well, they often read a devotional snippet to everyone in the car and ask the questions. At least one child is paying attention that way. Score!
You need to know that some mornings go well. Everyone meaningfully contributes to the discussion. One kid might even offer to pray. And my heart melts. Other mornings, not so much. A kid derails the conversation by mocking the devotional content. Another submits a ridiculous prayer request just to induce giggles. And my heart does something other than melt. (Grrrr.)
I did some quick math this morning, though, and realized that we’ve racked up approximately 900 minutes of this 5 minute devotional time together over the years now. That’s not a pat on my back. It’s just a reminder that those few minutes really do add up over time.
We can help our children learn that nothing (not school, not friends, not grades, not how they look) is more important than coming to God–even for 5 minutes–a day. We can teach them over time to depend on Him and that the Bible speaks wisdom into every area of life. Not in huge, mountain-top experiences, but instead one imperfect, sometimes frustrating “spoonful” at a time.
Looking for a few easy resources to use in the car? Here are seven devotional resources we’ve found useful on the way to school.