A Family Sabbath

As the Holy Spirit continues His sanctifying work, one evidence will be to eliminate wrong thinking in the Christian’s life by conforming him to Jesus Christ, the perfect reflection of the law of God.

An example of wrong thinking is a false notion that the Christian Sabbath is a restriction of our liberties. This is far from the case. When the children of Israel escaped slavery, rather than being restrictive, the Sabbath was a gift to them. And it is still a gift—a gift to you and your family. I want to help you make the most of it.

Schedule the day

Have you ever felt like you lost a day? That you accomplished nothing? This is why we use schedules. We didn’t invent them, God did. He made time—day and night, a seven-day week, and the seasons—setting a pattern for us.

I’ll not argue the case for morning and evening public worship here, but I believe that is an ideal start, if possible, as you think about structuring the Lord’s Day for you and your family. In addition, it can be wise to schedule a nap in the day, which can help you and your children revitalize your mind so that you can give your best to and benefit from evening worship.

Use the day

The point of a schedule is to help make the most use of our time. Benjamin Franklin said, “To fail to plan is to plan to fail.” Plan your Lord’s Day. Beyond the time we spend with the Lord’s people in our public assemblies, there are other good uses of the day including reading Scripture and good books, praying, napping, and fellowshipping.

For children, provide age-appropriate Christian reading material. It may be material you can read with them, or provide books and read them together. As lunch is being prepared, perhaps you could have a discussion about the morning message with your children, and tell them what specifically blessed you and why. Think of ways to engage their young minds with eternal truths.

If you have more free time, find a series or subject on Sermonaudio that may be of benefit to your soul. And at certain times, especially in the morning, set the atmosphere for the day by playing Christian music. Try Abiding Radio (the app or website).

Enjoy the day

The Lord’s Day is a reminder that you are no longer a slave, and through Christ and His finished work you will one day enter the eternal Sabbath, where all the things that make us need a Sabbath in the first place will be banished forever. This is a truth to be enjoyed, not endured, and it’s important to communicate this to your children. When they are young, give them something to look forward to each Lord’s Day. It doesn’t have to be complicated. One family I know used to allow their children to choose a bar of chocolate each week, which they received on the Sabbath.

Finally, try to invite people into your home with some regularity and enjoy a portion of the day together.

May these suggestions stir your thoughts and help you and your family to make the most of the gift of the Lord’s Day.

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By Armen Thomassian

Rev. Armen Thomassian is the minister of Faith FPC, Greenville, SC.