“Trust God.” How often has someone reminded you to do that? Great advice … but easier said than done, right? And teaching our kids to trust God can be even trickier. Simply telling our kids to trust God isn’t enough. The real secret to them learning to trust is showing them how to do it.
So here’s a simple way to show your kids what trusting God looks like. Take the kids on a little mystery ride. Load the kids in the car, blindfold them with a scarf, and hand them each a piece of paper and a pencil. You’ll make four stops—each time giving the kids ten seconds to lift their blindfold and jot down exactly where they think they are.
The objective is to fool the kids as to where you actually are. So when you’re planning this out, pick places where your kids wouldn’t normally go. Like the loading dock behind the grocery store. Park the car close to the building, maybe right up by the dumpster. Before they lift their blindfolds, remind them not to say where they think they are out loud. This isn’t a collective effort with their brothers or sisters. After the ten seconds are up and their blindfolds are back in place, drive to the next spot. Easy, right?
After you’ve made your four stops, take the kids home or grab a snack at a fast food place to talk about it. Where did they think the first stop was? The second? When you find a stop where they weren’t sure where they were, drill down a bit and ask a few simple questions.
When you weren’t sure of where you were … did you get scared?
Did you feel like jumping out of the car and finding your own way home?
Did you feel like grabbing the steering wheel from Dad and driving yourself?
The obvious answer is “no” to each of these questions. Why? Because Dad was driving … and Dad knew exactly where he was at.
Now you’re ready to transition to the spiritual truth. Try saying something like this. You know what, kids? There are times in life when you won’t know exactly where you’re at, why you’re there, or where you’re going next. Sometimes when we’re in that position we get scared, or try to take control and find our own way. But just like we were calm when Dad was driving, we need to remember that God is at the wheel when it comes to our lives. He is in control. God knows where we’re at. He knows why. And he knows where he’s planned for us to go next. Just like we trusted Dad, we need to trust God at these times in our life.
There. You just demonstrated what trust looks like—and the kids will never forget it. Neither will you. And that’s a good thing, because we all need to learn to trust God more.
One last bit of advice when taking the mystery ride. Do it at night—for two reasons. First, when it’s dark it will be harder for the kids to recognize where they’re at. Also, it’ll be less likely that some other motorist will be able to see into your car. That’s important, because if they see kids blindfolded and strapped in your car, likely they’ll call 9-1-1. Next thing you know, you’ll be explaining your little trust-building exercise to the police.
Trust God. Great advice … but tough to put into practice—and even harder to teach your kids. Take the mystery out of teaching your kids to trust God—by taking them on a mystery ride. You can do this … and afterwards you’ll be glad you did.
Can you see how a mystery ride can teach kids what trusting God looks like?
Can you think of four stops you could make with the kids?
Why not pick a day this week when you’ll take the kids on a mystery ride?
In his heart a man plans his course, but the LORD determines his steps.
By Tim Shoemaker
Husband to Cheryl
Dad of three sons and two daughter-in-laws
Grandfather of five grandkids
1 Corinthians 13 Parenting Team Member
Author and Speaker
Click HERE to see the family devotionals and books Tim has written!
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