This is a totally new concept to me. I have never been a faithful observer of “the sabbath” and what God has to say about it.
As our family entered this brand new season at a new church, I felt like it was the time to start really being mindful of a rest day. Work outside the home…. Work inside the home…. Church revitalization or any type of ministry work…. There always seems to be more to do. If you don’t make the effort to be intentional with having a sabbath, then you probably will never have one! As a family, we recognized that this season would be so rewarding and could also be so draining at the same time. We knew to protect our mental health, that we needed to really work on a balance.
The first thing I did was start a Bible plan all about rest. Sometimes when you hear the word sabbath, you automatically default to the Ten Commandments and that’s it. The Bible has so much more to say about resting. Taking a day of rest is one of the first concepts from the story of creation.
“And God blessed the seventh day and declared it holy, because it was the day when he rested from all his work of creation.”
Genesis 2:3 NLT
I’m not saying it’s easy. If your house functions like my house, there are always chores to be done. If you choose to view taking a sabbath as an act of obedience, then that hamper of laundry might be able to wait. For us, it does take a little planning. As pastors, Sunday is a busy day for us and does not work as our sabbath. My husband and I look at the calendar every weekend and choose which day of the week would work best. It varies from week to week… and that’s ok. It’s not the when, but the how. It’s all about choosing obedience to the rhythm God intended and honoring the concept of a day of rest. I’m not saying we are perfect by any means. I don’t think we ever will be. There is always some work that needs to be done. I’m not saying that I leave our dishes unwashed overnight simply because it’s our rest day. What I’m saying is I will fight the urge to do all the extra stuff like purging and organizing, etc.
I do try to plan ahead and have most of our laundry caught up. I also try to have our meals planned for the day. If budget allows, sometimes we choose to eat out so that eliminates any cooking or dishes! 🤣🤣 Sometimes I plan a crockpot meal so that I can toss it inside in the morning and not have to think about it again. I just try and be intentional with my energy on our rest day.
We make sure the kids know what day we are observing as the sabbath each week. The morning is usually slow, which can be so nice. To stay in bed and read or journal and not be rushed to my to do list feels like a luxury. The day really is set apart. Sometimes we spend our day doing something as a family, like going to the park or aquarium. Sometimes, we just lounge. I really feel like that is fine and just what is intended. Again, it’s truly my belief that it is about the rhythm and obedience.
I would encourage you that if you don’t take a sabbath each week, to pray about it and give it a try. If it seems impossible, then you probably need it the most. Start off with half a day or even a night, if a full day feels out of reach. God knows your heart. Live how He designed with a balance of work and rest. It’s life changing!
“So let us do our best to enter that rest. But if we disobey God, as the people of Israel did, we will fall.”
Hebrews 4:11 NLT