Fostering TRUE rest through Sabbath (part 1)

“Honor the Sabbath and keep it holy”

If you grew up in a Christian, church-going household, you’ve probably heard this a million times.

For me, I thought this meant go to church on Sundays and maybe taking a good Sunday afternoon, nap, am I right?

Recently, we’ve started to feel this might not be what God had in mind for the sabbath, and we’ve set out to learn more.

Does God really care if I rest?

  • It’s like tithing. There are arguments on both sides, but it’s a matter of trusting God. Sabbath/Shabbat/Rest is like a tithe with your time.
  • It’s one of the 10 commandments. If we follow the other nine, why not follow this one?
  • God himself took a day of rest after creating the world. If it’s good enough for God, it’s good enough for us

One thing that jumped out at us as we started looking into Sabbath was the comparison to a tithe. When we first started giving a true tithe, we had many discussions around this idea of trusting God. At first, we tended to have a selfish perspective on our tithe. “We are trying to get out of debt so we CAN give. Why would we let 10% of our income go somewhere else?”

We have the same feelings about our time. “We have GOALS. If we’re going to get stuff done, why would we give God an entire day!”. As soon as we heard how similar our attitude was towards true rest, we realized that it was probably something we NEEDED to do.

Sabbath is time to spend together in true rest

Tithing our Time

The issue with this perspective isn’t the math, or even our intentions for the money or the time. The issue is that we didn’t want to trust God. OUR plan is the best, so we can ignore what God says and do it our way. When our plan or our own goals become the center of our lives, we leave God at the wayside.

We have started to see the idea of a weekly Sabbath in the same light as we had seen tithing. Is it hard to truly rest for 24 hours, knowing that there are literally hundreds of other things we could be doing? Absolutely! But together, we are working on trusting that God knows better for our lives, relationships, and time than we do.

So, what IS a Sabbath?

When this idea began to take root in our lives, we were less than qualified, to say the least. We have started learning and leaning into people much more experienced to understand what Sabbath is, and why it’s so important.

For starters, we DEFINITELY recommend listening to John Mark Comer’s series on Sabbath, available here. This series from Bridgetown Church really launched our commitment to figuring out what a day of rest looks like for us. John offers lots of great historical and spiritual insights into what Sabbath is and why it is such a lost art. In our world that’s so focused on more, faster, and better, it’s very revolutionary to STOP and focus on God.

Some of our other favorite resources on this topic come from Annie F. Downs, Jeff and Alyssa Bethke, and Jeremy and April Pryor. We will keep working on our own journey with Sabbath/Shabbat because it is important for our relationships with God and each other. Are you craving rest in your life? We’d love to see others step in beside us and commit to a day of true rest every week as well. We hope you will take some time to study and pray on this idea, and see if God puts it on your heart like he has ours!

You can read part two of this series here.