I have a friend, Robert (not his real name—or is it?), who is a great dad. Because of this, I will often ask him questions in search of advice on how I can be a better dad. On one of these suggestion-seeking quests of mine, Robert gave me a golden recommendation.
The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” —Genesis 12:1
Ever so often, Robert will ask his two daughters, “Who wants to go on an adventure with dad?” He never tells them where they are going or what they are doing.
The only information he gives his girls is:
1) it’s an adventure
2) it’s with him
The only way to find out where this adventure leads is to join him.
Intrigued, I asked what kind of adventures he would take them on. He told me sometimes it was out to eat at the girls’ favorite restaurant. Sometimes, it’s out to a movie or to do one of their favorite activities. Sometimes, it’s just to go fill up the car with gas. The what doesn’t matter as much as the who.
Here’s why I thought his idea was so great:
A call to adventure creates excitement.
There’s a mystery to this type of calling from their dad. They can’t be sure where the outing will lead and the unknown almost always has an allure to it. The only way to explore this adventure is to follow their father.
A call to adventure practically guarantees quality time.
Not all time together with our children is “quality” time. Simply being in the same room with our children isn’t the same thing as an adventure. Bonding takes place in the midst of adventures. No matter where the adventure leads, you’re in it together. Teammates. Of course, as your children age, this “adventure” will look different. But the idea is the same.
A call to adventure teaches our children that time with dad is awesome.
If we create a habit of taking our children on adventures, regardless of how big or small, they will learn spending time with us can be fun. As our children grow up, they naturally start to pull away from us. This can be a good thing. It needs to happen for them to grow and become independent. But memories of adventure will bring them back to us.
When Abraham first met the God of the universe, it was through a call to adventure. A call to abandonment. A call to the unknown. He had no idea where he was going or what lay ahead of him. All Abraham knew was that his Heavenly Father was leading the way. And that was enough. If you and I become intentional about calling our children into adventures with us, they will follow (Prov. 22:6). Who knows, in following, they may learn something about God in the process.