How to Unleash the Power of Sabbath Rest in Your Life as a Homemaker
So many of us are tired.
Between meeting the needs of those around us, running our homes, working, or waking up with children throughout the night, we find ourselves depleted mentally, physically and emotionally.
This exhaustion leads us to turn our focus from the things that matter most to survival.
If that’s you, God has prepared a very practical balm for your weariness. It’s called Sabbath, and it made a bit difference in my life (read my story here)!
If we want to experience all the fulness of living and being that God has for us, I believe we need an element of Sabbath rest in our week!
Whether mothers, homemakers or working women –Sabbath was created to meet a deep-seated need in us. We should pay attention to that.
Let me explain…
The Theology of Sabbath
Sabbath rest is an ancient custom. It’s (nearly) as old as creation! Genesis 2:2-3 says,
By the seventh day God had finished the work he had been doing; so on the seventh day he rested from all his work.Then God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it he rested from all the work of creating that he had done. (NIV, emphasis added)
God required the nation of Israel to observe a day of Sabbath rest as part of His law. These holy laws set them apart as His people.
As Christians, we know that Christ fulfilled this law (Romans 10:4), and so it has been set aside in favor of a new and better covenant (Hebrews 8:13). Since we are not bound by the law, but rather are made right with God by grace through faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), many of us no longer observe Sabbath.
However, Sabbath rest was more than a legal requirement for the people of God. It was a gift from God –a practice which met a deep and real need within our humanity. This need for weekly, rhythmic rest was inherent in our design even before sin entered the world.
When explaining why His disciples were not observing the Sabbath in the way the Pharisees expected, Jesus explained,
“The Sabbath was made for man, not man for the Sabbath. So the Son of Man is Lord even of the Sabbath.” Mark 2:27b-28 (NIV, emphasis added)
When God ordained Sabbath in Genesis 2, He did it for us, not the other way around! Our creator knows our needs better even than we do. We should pay attention to that!
How to Have a Sabbath
Hopefully you see why I think Sabbath rest is important, even for a 21st century woman! Now, practically, what does this look like?
Based on my personal experiences, putting feet to these concepts and living them out, I think your Sabbath rest day (or portion of a day) should be characterized by these four things.
4 Characteristics of a Modern Day Sabbath
1. Do the minimum, on purpose
With a little planning, you do not have to do laundry on this one day. You do not have to cook, if you’ve stocked up on freezer meals or done the work in advance. You do not have to pick up toys, or clean anything, or even wash dishes.
Figure out the absolute minimum work you can get by on (changing diapers, pulling prepared food out of the refrigerator, throwing paper plates into the trashcan) and do that only.
The premise of Sabbath is that you’re not working! Stay off your computer and email and smartphone. Your work can wait. Set boundaries and hold firm!
2. Rest for real
Physically and mentally, rest! Naps are great. Sitting is great. Laying on the floor and doing a puzzle with your kids is good. Be still a lot!
3. Choose things that give you life
Sometimes, resting happens through activity. If there is something that fills your cup, do that! If you love to go for a run, but don’t normally have time, then this might be a good activity for your Sabbath. Do what feeds you! I will not be running on my Sabbath. 🙂
If getting together with friends who draw you closer to Christ is what fills you, do that!
4. Make it about God
If your Sabbath rest day is on Sunday, go to church and be with the people of God. It will get you started on the right foot. However, I don’t believe a Sabbath rest day must be on the day you go to church. My husband worked at a church for several years, and as a result Sunday was not a particularly restful day for us.
Beyond that, don’t fill the hours of stillness with TV… please.
You will miss out on so much that God wants to give to you on this day! Instead, resolve to keep it off for part (if not all) of your rest time. Instead, spend the time simply being with God. Resist the temptation to fill the stillness with noise and distraction. If you hang in there, God will meet you.
- Open your Bible and sit in it.
- Have spiritual conversations.
- Read books that propel you towards Christ
- Be still and know that He is God! (Psalm 46:10)
I cannot even begin to say how much God ministers to me when I do this on my Sabbath rest day.
Sabbath rest and refreshment flow from time with God, not time with Facebook.
4. Quality time with your family
When I intentionally set aside the work and distractions of running a home, I suddenly find I have time to read more books, have more conversations and play more games with my husband and children.
It becomes such a joyful day!
How to Get Started
This all might sound well and good to you, but believe me when I say, our natural tendencies and impulses become an adversary. This makes it challenging to be successful with a Sabbath rest day.
You must have a plan and make advance preparations. You must be committed.
If you would like some help in that process, I’ve created a Sabbath Planning Guide resource bundle.
This bundle contains:
- a printable Sabbath Planning Guide
- an audio teaching segment
- beautiful scripture memory cards on the topic of rest
Plus a free bonus download!
- “55 Ideas for How to Rest on Your Sabbath Day as a Mother” printable.
Do you practice Sabbath? If so, please share your wisdom! If not, will you try it?
New to this community? Start here, friend.
I enjoyed this article however the Sabbath is Saturday and it does matter to God which day we keep as a Sabbath. “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy” We need only to look to the 10 commandments to know what God wants to do for us, we just have to follow Him.
Great article however, Saturday is and will forever be The One True Sabbath.Of course, everyone is free to ‘chose’ their the day that is convenient to them, despite the fact that it is a part of the 10 Commandments, Exodus 20:8-11. God Bless.
I won’t say your right or i’m right.I respect what you have said.
However we must not forget that, indeed the sabbath is made for us, but God is the creator of the sabbath. He says that the sabbath is on the seventh day. Now it’s up to us to respect what he said and practice it. It’s a choice as we are all free. But the bible says God created it the seventh day for us, the blessings are given on the seventh day which he created for us not on any other day.
So many of us say that laws have been abolished. If it’s so, it will be logical to say that we can murder, we can lie, as these are written in the ten commandements which have been abolished.
What actually have been abolished are the sacrifices which were performed at these times. When studying, we must remember that each verses refer to a specific situation and history. I can’t take a verse and apply to a different situation and say that this is what God’s saying. If i do so, i am therefore using the verses the wrong way, and changing the word of God by adding a verse where it was not supposed to be and this is a sin. The bible is the truth and there is only one truth. God gives us the truth, not several truth or the truth that benefits my lifestyle.
There is only one way to understand the bible and it’s God’s way, not the church’s way or my way.
May God bless us and help us understand his truth!
God bless you!
Thank you Katie for sharing your heart. I have been led by the Holy Spirit, pointing within His Word to keep a Sabbath weekly. You are right, the day does not matter to Him.
For those of you who would like proof within God’s word:
“Therefore no one is to act as your judge in regard to food or drink or in respect to a festival or a new moon OR A SABBATH DAY— things which are a mere shadow of what is to come; but the substance belongs to Christ.”
Also, I believe the Lord who gives grace beyond what we all deserve, if we repent and turn our hearts to Him wants us to understand these scriptures as well:
“Do not judge so that you will not be judged. For in the way you judge, you will be judged; and by your standard of measure, it will be measured to you. Why do you look at the speck that is in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log that is in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, ‘Let me take the speck out of your eye,’ and behold, the log is in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the log out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to take the speck out of your brother’s eye.
You would receive even a much bigger and better blessing if you do it on the day The Lord chose and made Holy. The 7th day. Great article.
I am always going to be encouraged by anyone who brings a discussion of God’s sabbath to the forefront. So good on you for that! Katie, I would like to encourage you to prayerfully re-examine your current understanding of Romans 14 and how you believe it relates to God’s 7th day sabbath. For something as fundamental to God’s people as the 7th day sabbath was/is, there would need to be something much more explicit being said in Romans 14 to clue the receipients of the letter that the sabbath is what is being referred to here, and that this time-honored and God sanctioned practice – His special gift to His covenant people – is now being set aside by these mere words; to be taken from holy, set apart status which defines us a set apart people unto Him and becomes ‘any ol’ day YOU choose’. So may I offer to you and your readers another perspective on Romans 14, which preserves the integrity and honor of my King? In context, Romans 14:1 sets the stage by mentioning ‘doubtful disputations’ (in the greek, reasonings or opinions made by man). Romans 14:1: ‘Him that is weak in the faith receive ye, but not to doubtful disputations.’ Any interpretation in which Romans 14 refers to God’s sabbath inadvertantly puts His Word in the category of ‘reasoning or opinions’.Is God’s Word EVER a ‘reasoning or opinion’, or is it TRUTH itself? Do you think it is likely that Paul would EVER refer to ANY of God’s instructions as ‘reasonings or opinions’? Would Jesus? Of course not. So if the sabbath instructions are not the ‘doubtful disputations’ of Romans 14, then what could it possibly be that Paul means? We’d have to look for a man made custom in 1st century times that was in dispute and caused divisions among people. I think we have some clues in the key words themselves related to ‘observing the day’. Notice it’s talking about ‘He who eats’ and ‘he who does not eat’. So now we have reasoning and opinions (Not GOd’s law) related to eating that is causing divisions among the people. Did you know that various religious sects in the 1st century had special fasting days? One group fasted Mondays and Thursdays, for example.Each believed their way was best. Vegetarianism is a type of fasting (Daniel). We don’t have to guess at this either, many 1st century writings attest to the fact of these different ‘days’ of fasting. Given all of this, how likely is it really, that ‘doubtful disputations’ refers to God’s Sabbath at all? How much more likely is it referring to special and man-made fasting days that were actually causing divisions among people who SHOULD be walking in unity? By the way, everyone observing sabbath on one day alike would certainly bring unity among the people, which is GOd’s intent. Everyone observing their own sabbath on whatever day they wanted certainly would not bring unity. Be blessed by your search, don’t take my word for it, and know that God loves it when we seek Him on the practical things of life.
Katie — what a grace-filled answer to the inevitable post about the Sabbath never having been changed from Saturday. I’m impressed, and will have to remember that. Thank you!
I have been a torah-observant Christian for over 10 years and have always struggled with this rest! I look forward to this next Shabbat, where I get to put your ideas to the test. One of these may well be the missing key for me, and I’m excited!
Katie, I have been a torah-observant Christian for over 10 years and have always struggled with this rest! I look forward to this next Shabbat, where I get to put your ideas to the test. One of these may well be the missing key for me, and I’m excited!
This comment is for ‘Pat.’
I have been a Torah-observant Christian for over 10 years. I, too, came to this simply by ‘reading.’ That being said, I have come to other truths in the same manner. According to this same Bible that teaches about sabbath, the most important trait of a follower of this God is the ability to love. Not just love the lovely well but love EVERYONE. So all of us are without excuse (partly preaching to myself). Especially now, and especially as we steward the hearts of another generation, it is imperative to keep these things as top priority and in proper order. What things? First, we are known by our love, ONE TO ANOTHER. Also, as my husband is fond of pointing out, Matthew 5:18 and 19 teach us a bit about those who enter the kingdom. Note who is speaking here. Even those who disregard the teachings and teach others likewise ARE PART of the kingdom. This is not an issue of salvation.
While I agree with your theology, I must say that you are more in danger of error than Katie, because you spoke without love. The core idea could have been conveyed in a much gentler and loving, accepting way. As an outsider, I would describe your comment as ‘nasty’, even, and I pray that if there is some wound behind this that you turn to your Healer for healing. He is such a sweet healer…
I wonder if you are aware that in NO PLACE in the Bible did God change the Sabbath from the 7th day of the week, to the 1st… that was the doing of the Catholic Church. It’s always baffled me how Christians say that we are no longer under the Law, yet they believe in keeping the Commandments EXCEPT for the one pertaining to Sabbath. God starts that Commandment with ‘Remember ‘… perhaps because He knew we would forget??? And that Commandment is also the one people seem to leave out in its ENTIRETY…God never changed Sabbath from the 7th Day to the 1st…something to think about. Also, if you read in the New Testament about Sabbath, the Disciples still kept it!! (And no, I’m not affiliated with any religious group or church. I learned this by reading)
I disagree Pat. I see that God gives us freedom from celebrating Sabbath on a specific day in Romans 14. Here is an excerpt from that chapter, but I recommend reading the entire chapter,
“One person considers one day more sacred than another; another considers every day alike. Each of them should be fully convinced in their own mind. Whoever regards one day as special does so to the Lord. Whoever eats meat does so to the Lord, for they give thanks to God; and whoever abstains does so to the Lord and gives thanks to God. For none of us lives for ourselves alone, and none of us dies for ourselves alone. If we live, we live for the Lord; and if we die, we die for the Lord. So, whether we live or die, we belong to the Lord. For this very reason, Christ died and returned to life so that he might be the Lord of both the dead and the living.
You, then, why do you judge your brother or sister? Or why do you treat them with contempt? For we will all stand before God’s judgment seat.” Romans 14:5-10, NIV
You may want to ‘fix’ your ‘sign’ on Pinterest…Sabbath has 2 ‘Bs’❤️
Yes! I finally started practicing a weekly Sabbath about a year ago and it has been life-changing. I mean happier, healthier, more grateful and at peace, plus a better wife and mom. I don’t miss those hours I “lost” one bit, and I can definitely feel it in a bad way whenever I let something else come first.
Once upon a time, i worked in a church, instituting a Sabbath rest on Saturdays (because, as you said, Sunday not so restful for those who work for a church). It became my lifeline to sanity. While I no longer work for a church, my family still practices a Sabbath rest. Some of our most cherished memories take place on this day. The great thing is that it helps the following week to not feel so pressured-most of the time 🙂
That is wonderful Rebecca!
Yes, please! I so need this and although I’ve been thinking about it and talking about it for the last two years, I have not been able to actually accomplish it. I am going to use your planner and hopefully achieve what I have not been able to achieve. I am doing better at giving myself rest times (as I type this at midnight…sigh), but there is always so. much. to. do. So, I thank you! I will try to prioritize this yet again and maybe this time, I will succeed!
Sue, you won’t regret it! I can say that with so much confidence because this is God’s idea! It has made a big difference in my life. God bless!