Mistake #8. They fail to keep the Sabbath principle with their family. Heb. 4:4b says, “And God rested on the seventh day from all His work.” If God rested, what makes you think you can do without? The Sabbath was made for your good (Mark 2:27). The purpose is for you to get needed rest and time with your family. You should only do what is absolutely mandatory or extend mercy in a time of need (Exodus 20:10, Luke 13:15, Matt. 12:12). The Sabbath is from sunset to sunset — 24 hours (Lev. 23:32). Pick a day that you can spend together with your family and break it for no one.
I know that I have really practiced the Sabbath principle when the early evening before we start our school week, I hang around the school room getting ready by tidying it up a bit (the kids tend to still take books from the shelves or have the urge to use art supplies during the weekend), mentally going through what we will tackle in the coming week, and sometimes even start previewing my teacher’s notes. When I have gotten that rest, I am ready to go.
Taking time for repose may seem quite easy to apply. However, from experience, it seems that it takes a great deal more. In this day and age, we actually have to be intentional about resting. Sounds ironic.
When Friday afternoon comes around, my tendency is to start laying back and getting lazy. And before I know it, I’ve wasted time that could otherwise be spent accomplishing responsibilities that would assure a smooth week ahead (correct or grade some of the children’s work, restock the pantry and the fridge, pick up school supplies needed, do some filing/tidying/printing, etc) as well as time for rest during the weekend. So, first things should come first. And lest half of the weekend totally becomes an “errand” day, I find it very advantageous to regularly attend to some of these duties at some less busy moments of the school week.
Needless to say, practicing this principle means we live unhurried lives during the week. A simple schedule and a prioritizing of commitments allow for this.
I also have to think of rest for everyone. While I’m off on my own buried in a book or recording my thoughts in writing, it still remains my duty to make certain that the children are “resting” properly. That they are engaging in some outdoor or imaginative activity. For really, how many of us feel rested after watching a movie or surfing the internet? I just think of the hours I spend researching curricula once a year and it makes me tired.
Ensuring my rest shouldn’t necessarily translate to someone taking in more work either. When my husband (who I take turns doing grocery shopping with) invites me to join him on the errand but suggests we take a breather in a coffee shop first, I hesitatingly oblige even if in my mind, “we should really be getting this over with.” Besides, he needs his rest as well. When the pastry we are sharing is down to the last piece, he suggests I go ahead with the shopping while he finishes reading the day’s papers. And again, I think to myself, of course, he needs to relax as well so if this is the way it must be for today, then so be it and I need to get this over with myself. And this is why I have to make certain that we schedule these things prior to our rest day.
Encouraging the children to have the same attitude in allowing our house help to rest is easier if I do this by example. Since we are quite a distance from civilization, our house help prefers she has her days off twice a month to save on transportation costs and so she can be away longer. This being the case, we still make sure that once a week, we relieve her of little things that we can manage ourselves. The efficiency that this results in during the week is beneficial to everyone.
And then when it is time for that rest, assuming it has been planned for and intended, we take a BREAK indeed. We make it a point to celebrate and rejoice as a family or with friends. We take time to remember how the Lord has cared and provided for us so that we can, indeed, be still.