God is a good Father to us all! His rules are rules of love not condemnation. He has no desire to deprive us. His aim is to always revive us. In one way that He revives families is He instructs them to take a Sabbath – a day of physical and mental rest – a day to remember His blessings, to reflect on His goodness and return to His love.
God, in His timeless power took His creation of the Sabbath seriously. Not because He was tired, but because He modeled for us a behavior that would refuel us and reconnect us with His heart. He, God the Father, Jesus Christ, the Son of God gave us, His children a day of rest. What a loving Father!
Parents, we need to love as our Father in Heaven does and give our own children the same gift of rest – a day off from work, school, chores, and even the plethora of activities they are involved in. Let them play – be free of worries. Teach them to lay aside the long to –do lists they have. Give your children one day a week where they play in the sandbox, run free at the park, go swimming, cook and make a mess with flour…in other words give them a day of unadulterated play.
You will also benefit from such a day as this!
Besides being a command from God, there are seven reasons we give our children a Sabbath…
- It increases a strong desire to do well in school.
- It empowers excellence in their activities.
- It gives focus to their goals.
- It makes their sleep satisfying at night.
- It gives hope to their future dreams.
- It makes possible innovative creativity.
- It strengthens relationships with their family and friends.
I knew a home school mom who taught her children seven days a week! Fear of having gaps in her children’s education, she used three curricula to teach each subject. For example, annually each child had three English curricula, three Math, three History, three Science, etc. These children never played. Their play was swimming lessons, ballet recitals, co-ops – structure, structure, structure. On occasion when I would visit this woman, I saw tired worn out children doing chores. Grant it, their house was immaculate, but the bags under the eyes of her children were disheartening.
Parents, be careful to not give into the lie that if we work more, do more, and strive harder we will be more successful. This lifestyle in the end has the adverse effect. A regular Sabbath increases cognitive attention, creates strong family relationships; it gives peace to a weary soul, multiplies successful achievements in our child’s work and makes for more obedient children.
Often the whine and arguing coming from a child does not indicate he needs a time out in discipline, instead he just may very well need a time out to rest and play!
Play time often communicates Sabbath time to children!
The Sabbath is not on our to-do list, it’s a gift to be given. A present to be opened. An endowment of love.
Jesus said to the over-achievers – workaholics (Pharisees) of His day, “The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath” (Mark 2:27-28). Let us submit to the Lord of the Sabbath not the many lords of workaholicism.
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