We all hear and read how dating is important and valuable to maintaining relationships, right? We date so we have one-on-one time with our spouse without interruption, so they can see us showered, and if you are a mom so we can eat out at some place that serves more than nuggets and fries. We do it to create memories, re-connect, and perhaps make a new discovery. Dating is good. I am a fan!
But it hit me recently between a soccer game, a trip to the Disney store with Grandma, and homework that I prioritize on the calendar all these “dates,” but you know who I should be dating?
Yep, you read that right.
God and I should be dating.
Jesus did say “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments” (Matthew 22:37).
God and I should also be setting aside memory-making time. We need to do things that intentionally draw us closer and allow discovery. So I have put together a top twelve God dates list for us. There is a date for every month in the year, and I might add they are all free or super cheap!
I would love to hear a God date you have created.
1. Playing with God.
Pack up bubbles, sidewalk chalk, a hula hoop or soccer ball, and head to a local park. Roll in the grass, kick the ball with your bare feet, slide down a slide, and remember the joys of childhood. Was there something from your childhood that brought you joy that is missing in your life now? Talk with God about it. Goal: two hours.
2. Resting with God.
Take a nap. Gather a blanket and pillow and find grass to lay in at a local park, fall asleep reading a book in your favorite chair, cozy into your best pjs, and head to your bed. It doesn’t matter how, just find room to rest with God. Goal: one to three hours.
3. Coloring with God.
Using an art medium you like or want to learn more about (I would choose pastels and a sketch book), read a passage of scripture and then draw, scrapbook, paint, or mold your interpretation of that passage. Do not be hard on yourself; just enjoy the exploration with your hands and heart. Goal: one hour.
4. Reading with God.
One day a week or once a month grab a book from your “waiting to read” pile and read it without interruption—even if that means finding a way to go hide at a coffee shop or local bookstore. What did God teach you in that time? Goal: one hour if weekly or two to three hours if monthly.
5. Praising with God.
Gather your favorite pen, a journal, or construction paper, play worship music (could be via Pandora on your phone through headphones) and write a thank-you note to God. Write a note of praise even if you don’t feel thankful. Goal: twenty to forty minutes.
6. Reflecting with God.
Do a little research of your town and find a cool historic church or interesting landmark. Go walking the grounds with God. Reflect on the feet from history that have walked the steps you are walking. Talk with God about the lessons you have learned in the last year. Goal: one to two hours.
7. Learning with God.
Pick a passage of scripture that is story-oriented, something you have read plenty of times. Read it. What word or short phrase jumped out at you? Read it again, but this time read it out loud. What word or phrase jumped out at you? Read it one more time, and this time write about what God is saying to you through the word or phrase that is jumping out to you. Goal: thirty minutes.
8. Talking with God.
Jump on your computer or grab a pen and paper and talk with God. Ask Him a question and wait for the reply. You can see examples of this here. If this is out of your comfort zone, simply take the time to write Him a letter. It can be a letter of thanks, a letter of concern, a letter of hopes. Save the letter away to read in six months. Goal: thirty minutes.
9. Growing with God.
Take a few dollars and head to a local nursery or farmers market. Just look, touch, smell, and wander. What is it that catches your eye? What do you want to keep going back to? Why does that scream YOU??? After much debate, what MUST you buy? Get yourself a little treat. Goal: two hours.
10. Remembering with God.
Gather a handful of photos from across the span of your life. Spread them across a long table or on the floor and just look at and touch each and every one. Remember the day they were taken. Was it a good day? Why? Was it a sad day? Why? Remember the people in the photos. Where are they now? Pray for them, call them to chat in the moment, or send them some snail mail. Remember with God how powerful people and places have been in your life. Goal: one hour.
11. Dancing with God.
This one could be a family date. CRANK up the worship music and just spin, raise your hands, maybe get some flowy fabric out, and let the kids run the house with it. Give the tensions in your body to God as you dance with Him. Goal: fifteen to twenty minutes.
12. Serving with God.
Does your church need help answering phones? Does a local food bank need help stocking the shelves? Does the neighbor need to escape and have free babysitting for a few hours? Offer yourself as an act of service and watch how God meets you there. Goal: one to two hours.