Sabbath: Resting Well as a Family

Feeling a little disconnected as a family? Thankfully, God has created a way for you to reconnect with one another by establishing an official Rest Day for you and your family!

What is Sabbath?

Sabbath is an invitation to rest. There are two main Hebrew words used for rest in the Bible. The first is shabbat, which gets partially translated into the English word sabbath. This word for rest simply means to “stop working.” The other main Hebrew word for rest used in the Hebrew Scriptures is nuakh. This means to “dwell” or “settle.”

Why is Sabbath important?

In the Bible’s account of creation, God worked for six days creating the world and rested on the seventh day (Genesis 2:2-3). After six days of bringing order to chaos, now it is time to shabbat from this work. Only a few verses later, we read that God creates humans and then immediately “rests them” or “settles them” with himself in the garden of Eden (nuakh) (Genesis 2:15). It seems like the ideas of shabbat and nuakh are meant to work together. God leads by example as he rests from work (shabbat) and then dwells together (nuakh) with his people.

When do we practice it? How long?

Sabbath is not reserved for Saturdays or Sundays only. It can be any day of the week that everyone sets aside to rest and dwell, or shabbat and nuakh. It can also change from week to week. Jesus reminded the people of God’s actual intent for the Sabbath: unity with God, creation, and each other. It can last all day long, or you can start small. Make sure you purposefully carve out time where it is just you and your family, no playdates, no work emails; just you and your family.

How do we practice Sabbath as a family?

There are many different ways to practice Sabbath. One suggestion could be to create a Sabbath box. Anything that could take your attention away from Sabbath would go into the box. This could be your phone, a video game, or anything that shows you are putting away work in order to rest and dwell with one another. You might share a meal as a family, re-connect, talk to each other, or pray. But most of all focus on resting and dwelling together in the presence of our Creator.