In six days the God created the world. On the seventh he rested, not for His sake, but for man’s. The seventh day was to be holy. The Sabbath was meant to be a day of rest and refocus; a reminder of our purpose in life. Yet, in the last hundred years, Christians seem to have forgotten the importance of the Sabbath.
Because our society is in the process of turning its back on God, keeping the sabbath is not easy. To the rest of America, the Lord’s Day is just another day. If you want to raise your children in the Lord, the Sabbath is a must; it is God’s weekly devotion. Don’t try to replace it with your own version. God’s knows your family’s needs better than you do.
So, what is the Sabbath and how can we keep it in today’s secular world? The Sabbath is one day in seven to rest and worship God. It is a whole day, not a Church service.
Keeping the whole Sabbath used to be a big struggle for me. I’d wake early and work, go to Church (where I often daydreamed about work) and then returned home and continued my work. I wasn’t keeping the Sabbath; I wasn’t giving that day over to the Lord. I was checking a spiritual block and then returning to my ‘pressing’ work.
If you want to keep the Sabbath I’d recommend sundown Saturday night to sundown Sunday night. That is a full day and I promise, God is worth it.
If we want our children to respect the Sabbath, then we have to set the example. I recommend that parents try not to work on Sunday, unless your work is in emergency care. Jesus says that, “It is lawful to do good on the Sabbath.” So, when we talk about work, we are talking about working for our own benefit.
When I first attempted to take the Sabbath more seriously, I resolved NOT to work on my business on Sunday. Then I did something worse. I worked hard all week, sometimes 16 hour days, only on my business. So when Sunday came around all the house and yard work had piled up and I used “my day of rest and worship” to catch up on it.
Instead of doing petty chores during the workweek, I was saving them for the Sabbath, again putting my work ahead of God.
It is funny how hard we try to find a way around honoring the Sabbath when the Sabbath was created for our own benefit; honoring God is what we were made for and when we do it our lives work better.
There is no job, no soccer game, no football game that can fill that void. The minute you start compromising, cutting the day short, substituting days, claiming work is rest for you, redefining work, you begin to destroy the Sabbath for yourself; and you and your family suffer.
Activities to Do with Your Children on the Sabbath
1. Pray – Make 3 prayer lists. One of things to pray for yourself, one of things to pray for others, and one of people you want to give their lives to Jesus.
2. Fast – Choose 1 meal to skip and give the money to those who are in need. This is one of the hardest things for children to do, but the impact is greater.
3. Sing – It keeps the house joyful and pleases the Lord. Psalm 9:2, “I will be glad and rejoice in you; I will sing the praises of your name, O Most High.” Some of my favorite songs are here and we also LOVE Songs for Saplings.
4. Read – Of course your Bible would be a good pick, but also anything that glorifies Him.
5. Watch – A Bible Movie after reading are great to help kids remember the lesson and we highly recommend watching a movie about Eric Liddle (aff. link), who wouldn’t run in the Olympics on the Sabbath.