What are God Adventures?
In one of my recent blogs, “One Reason Children Don’t Trust Their Parents," I mentioned something called “A God Adventure.” I got a lot of questions about what that is, and how other parents can do the same thing with their kids. Here’s a bit more info about that.
When I was a kid, I grew up thinking I had to read the Bible every single day to have a relationship with God. The problem with that is, sometimes things happen, we get sick or busy, and we miss a day or two—or even a week or two! That mindset can do a lot of damage. First of all, it can cause your child to think it’s the only way to fall in love with God,, and have a relationship with Him (just to make sure it's clear, reading the Bible is massively important). And Second of all, they’ll be eaten alive with shame if they miss a day because they’ll think they’ve ruined everything!
Moses’ relationship with God made his face glow. Did he have a Bible? Did Enoch have a Bible when God took him? Did Abraham have a Bible? All of those people had AMAZING relationships with God, and yet none of them had a Bible.
I don’t want my children to feel like they HAVE to read the Bible. I want them to love God so much they just HAVE to read it!
We don’t read the Bible because we’re trying to get relationship with God. We read it because we have a relationship with God.
Every morning I read the Bible; right now I'm reading the gospels. Then, every night at bedtime, I retell one of the stories I read to my kids. (It’s good for me too because it helps me remember what I read). When I tell the story to my kids, I put them in it. For example, they’re in a boat in the middle of a storm. The boat is rocking, the water is splashing all over them, they’re soaked and getting really nervous. I set the scene for them, someone, maybe a ghost, is walking on the water near your boat. I then say, “You call out and say ‘Jesus if that’s you, tell me to come!’” I give my kids the role of Peter. I have them step out of the boat and begin to walk on the water.
I have them experience it all in their imaginations.
After a few steps they notice the waves and wind, and suddenly the water isn't holding them up anymore. They sink, but then someone takes their hand and lifts them up. They are then walking on the water again with Jesus, back to the boat!”
As I do this, they’re fully engaged in the story, they’re connected mentally, emotionally, and spiritually! I’m not actually reading the Bible to them, but my kids are falling in love with God and His word.
They fall asleep at night asking me for God’s word!
In the verse that says “Love the Lord your God with all your heart, soul, mind, and strength,” the word “mind” can also be translated “imagination.” In other places in the Bible, the same word in other places is also translated ‘heart’.
It is so important for kids to engage God with their imagination.
We all know the verse that says "Your word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against you.” The Pharisees had every single scripture memorized in their minds, yet they still sinned against God. It’s not about just remembering stories and verses. It’s about experiencing them on the inside, in their hearts. What they experience inside, will eventually be lived on the outside.
Use your heart to experience the Bible.
One day, my children will find themselves in one of life's storms, but will know to keep their eyes on Jesus. Why? Because they’ve been doing it on the inside for quite some time.