By Dr. Josh M
Spring and summer breaks provide an opportunity for parents and grandparents to spend concentrated time with children and have intentional conversations to strengthen relationships and establish lifelong faith in Christ. Why not take advantage of your child’s time off from school to plan a family vacation that is fun and purposeful at the same time? There are many options, but this article will highlight two impactful and enjoyable ideas.
Creation Museum and Ark Encounter
Our family has been to the Creation Museum and Ark Encounter numerous times, and it is a faith-building, conversation-starting, wonderful experience. The Creation Museum and Ark Encounter are located near Cincinnati, Ohio, which makes it a drivable destination for a large portion of people in the United States. We live in the suburbs of Minneapolis, Minnesota, and can make the drive in a day. You will need a couple of days, ideally one day for the Ark and one for the Creation Museum. Half a day was perfect for my younger children, but all families are different. The movies, music, displays, and bookstore are all fantastic. The apologetic material that we purchased for our children has been read again and again.
The staff at the Creation Museum created low-cost educational guides that are worth purchasing and will help you bring some intentionality and talking points to the different displays. They have created different guides for several grade levels: K-2, 3-6, and 7-Adult. There are both student guides and leader guides.
We added one extra element to drive home the truth about the Creation Museum. On our drive home, we stopped at a natural history museum and discussed naturalistic beliefs in the displays. On our last trip, my children had a wonderful discussion with the tour guide about the fallacies behind evolution. We’ve done this twice with our children, and they have requested to do it again.
Do your children or grandchildren know America’s true history and how the principles in the Bible shaped the founding of our country? American history is under attack by individuals who want our children and grandchildren to believe our country was founded by racist, colonialist, bigoted people and must be torn down and replaced with a different form of government. You have a wonderful opportunity to teach your children or grandchildren about our country, the influence of Christianity on it, and the biblical principles that shape our nation. You can learn along with your children or grandchildren!
Stephen McDowell, the founder of the Providence Foundation, created a helpful tool that can be used on a self-guided tour of many of the most popular sites in Washington, D.C., including the Library of Congress, the Supreme Court, the Capitol Building, the National Archives, the Washington Monument, the White House, the Lincoln Memorial, and the Jefferson Memorial. See McDowell’s article In God We Trust: America’s Historic Sites Reveal Her Christian Foundations for a brief overview. Also available is the In God We Trust Tour Guide. This unique book will guide you through famous historical sites, recount important providential events, and tell the Christian history of the people who founded this nation and who are honored with monuments, memorials, and statues. The guide includes Washington, D.C., Philadelphia, Mt. Vernon, Jamestown, Williamsburg, Yorktown, Monticello, and more. This valuable book presents biographical sketches of many Founders while highlighting their personal faith: Washington, Jefferson, William Penn, Madison, Patrick Henry, and more. From the paintings in the Capitol to the story of the Liberty Bell, learn how our national buildings, monuments, and heroes declare that America was a nation birthed with a firm reliance on Almighty God.
Dr. Josh Mulvihill is the Executive Director of Church and Family Ministry at RenewaNation. He served as a pastor for nearly 20 years, serves on the board of Awana, and helps to provide leadership to the Christian Grandparent Network. He holds a Ph.D. from the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary. He is the author of Biblical Grandparenting, Preparing Children for Marriage, Biblical Worldview, and 50 Things Every Child Needs to Know Before Leaving Home. Josh is married to Jen, and they have five children. Josh blogs at GospelShapedFamily.com.