What is the sabbath?
The original Hebrew word for sabbath meant to stop, cease, or keep according to BibleStudyTools.com. The theological meaning of this word is associated with the seventh day during the creation of the world when God rested. There are several places throughout the old and new testaments the sabbath and observing it is mentioned. One example is in Exodus chapter 16 in which Moses instructs the Israelites to collect enough food on the sixth day so that they will not work on the sabbath. Even Jesus observed the sabbath as mentioned in Luke chapter 4.
A Special Day
In a society so focused on accomplishing tasks and being involved in several activities, it can be hard to observe the sabbath ourselves let alone teaching our children about it. One way in which to explain to your children about the sabbath day is to refer to it as the Ministry to Children website does as a day to be kept “special.” God made the sabbath day to enjoy all that he had worked so hard for within the past six days of creating the earth. This day was set apart from all of the others.
Today’s Christian Woman website explains the sabbath day as a day in which we can accomplish the “get-to” tasks rather than the “have-to” tasks in our lives. Rest does not necessarily mean sleeping, although it might if you are physically tired from the week prior. Doing activities to enjoy time with friends, family, and especially God, are all restful for the soul. Taking a hike, playing a game, or eating a meal together can all be considered appropriate and restful activities to participate in during the sabbath.
In order to really enjoy the sabbath, work must take place in the days prior. This may mean extra cleaning or cooking duties for parents and children during the week. Participating in these helpful tasks can help to teach time management and the simple pleasure of enjoying a day without work after working hard in the days before. Do not be afraid of safe-guarding this sabbath day for your children by restricting certain activities or extracurriculars. As stated in the Gospel Coalition website, proper times of rest are very important for our children to learn about.
Prepare now and enjoy a restful and revitalizing sabbath with your family this week!